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EDUCATION IN A COMPETITIVE AND GLOBALIZING WORLD

WRITING: PROCESSES, TOOLS AND TECHNIQUESNo part of this digital document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means. The publisher has taken reasonable care in the preparation of this digital document, but makes no expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assumes no responsibility for any errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for incidental or consequential damages in connection with or arising out of information contained herein. This digital document is sold with the clear understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, medical or any other professional services.

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EDUCATION IN A COMPETITIVE AND GLOBALIZING WORLD

WRITING: PROCESSES, TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES

NATHAN L. MERTENSEDITOR

Nova Science Publishers, Inc.New York

Copyright 2010 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc.All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means: electronic, electrostatic, magnetic, tape, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise without the written permission of the Publisher. For permission to use material from this book please contact us: Telephone 631-231-7269; Fax 631-231-8175 Web Site: http://www.novapublishers.com

NOTICE TO THE READER The Publisher has taken reasonable care in the preparation of this book, but makes no expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assumes no responsibility for any errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for incidental or consequential damages in connection with or arising out of information contained in this book. The Publisher shall not be liable for any special, consequential, or exemplary damages resulting, in whole or in part, from the readers use of, or reliance upon, this material. Any parts of this book based on government reports are so indicated and copyright is claimed for those parts to the extent applicable to compilations of such works. Independent verification should be sought for any data, advice or recommendations contained in this book. In addition, no responsibility is assumed by the publisher for any injury and/or damage to persons or property arising from any methods, products, instructions, ideas or otherwise contained in this publication. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered herein. It is sold with the clear understanding that the Publisher is not engaged in rendering legal or any other professional services. If legal or any other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent person should be sought. FROM A DECLARATION OF PARTICIPANTS JOINTLY ADOPTED BY A COMMITTEE OF THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION AND A COMMITTEE OF PUBLISHERS. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Writing : processes, tools and techniques / editor, Nathan L. Mertens. p. cm. Includes index. ISBN 978-1-61728-235-5 (eBook) 1. English language--Composition and exercises--Study and teaching. 2. Motivation in education. I. Mertens, Nathan L. LB1576.W748 2010 808'.0071--dc22 2010012264

Published by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. New York

CONTENTSPreface Chapter 1 Methods, Techniques, and Tools for the On-line Study of the Writing Process Thierry Olive Stepwise Computer-Based Scaffolding for Academic Writing: How It Affects Writing Activities, Performance, and Motivation Antje Proske Readability Formulae, Cloze Tests, and Computerized Textual Analysis for Testing Language Skills: Are They Useful? John Ludbrook Strategies, Tools and Techniques for the Development of Written Communication Metasociocognitive Processes Rosario Arroyo Gonzlez and Coral Ivy Hunt Gmez Self-Assessment and Learning to Write Heidi L. Andrade and Georgia C. Brooke How Busy Clinicians Can Write Scholarly Papers John E. Mullinax, Jonathan M. Hernandez, Sharona B. Ross, Linda K. Barry and Alexander S. Rosemurgy, Teaching Undergraduates to Write Publishable Material John P. Canal Breaking the Rules: Writing Reflectively for Yourself John Cowan Developing the Self-Regulation of Writing Process in Students with Learning Disabilities Jess-Nicasio Garca and Raquel Fidalgo Cognitive Strategic and Self-Regulated Instruction in Writing Processes Raquel Fidalgo, Olga Arias-Gundn, Jess Nicasio Garca and Mark Torrance vii 1

Chapter 2

19

Chapter 3

39

Chapter 4

57 75 91

Chapter 5 Chapter 6

Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9

101 109

115

Chapter 10

129

Index

153

PREFACEWriting is a complex and cognitively demanding activity. To be successful, writers need an understanding of the components of a quality test as well as knowledge of writing strategies that can be used to shape and organize the writing process. This new book discusses academic writing as a complex task which involves a variety of cognitive and metacognitive activities; a model for teaching writing strategies and the sociocultural processes of written communication; rubric-referenced self-assessment and the quality of elementary and middleschool students' writing and self-efficacy and others. Chapter 1- In the field of writing studies, the shift between the product-oriented approach to the process-oriented one has resulted not only in conceptual changes in the theories of writing, but also in development of methods and techniques that have enabled us to study the writing process. These real-time or on-line methods track the writing processes while they are operating in order to describe their time course and their functional characteristics. Generally, these methods focus on three features of writing: writing fluency through the analyses of pauses and execution periods, functional characteristics of the writing processes with thinking-aloud techniques, and their demands on working memory with dual-task designs. The most common tools used for that purpose are computers with digitizing tablets and keystroke recording programs. Moreover, recently, a new perspective has been opened by the analysis of the writers eye movement coupled to the analysis of the on-going text. Some scarce research has also attempted to investigate writing with brain imagery techniques. All these methods are shedding light on the cognitive operations necessary to compose a text. Consequently, the aim of this chapter is to provide readers with an overview of these methods and tools in order to figure out how to conceptualize and design new experiments. In parallel, through the presentation of these methods and of the tools that are required to implement them, this chapter also delineates the issues that are currently addressed in research on writing. Chapter 2- Academic writing is a complex task that involves a variety of cognitive and metacognitive activities. One approach to assist writers in dealing with the problem of managing their resources during writing is to scaffold writing by computer. Unfortunately, empirical research on computer-based scaffolding (CBS) of writing is quite limited, and the results are mixed. An explanation for these results may be found in the design of the scaffolding. Most CBS support discrete writing activities, independently from the writing process. This chapter seeks to contribute to the question of how to design CBS which supports the academic writing process as a whole. As a basis for the design, the subtask

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model of academic writing is presented which explicitly describes the demands of academic writing. This model is derived from theoretical and empirical findings on expert writing. The implementation of CBS for expert writing activities into the writing environment escribo is then described. The CBS stepwise supports the application of these expert writing activities. To this end, escribo decomposes the writing process in its subtasks and provides specific instruction and tools for the completion of each activity. Furthermore, two evaluation studies on the effects of the writing environment are summarized. The results show that working with escribo is superior to a situation without CBS. Implications of these results will be discussed with regard to the benefits and restrictions of fostering expert writing activities through computer-based scaffolding. Chapter 3- I describe nine popular readability formulae. These are designed to evaluate a piece of English text in terms of the age or grade level of school students at which it should be readable. By example and argument I conclude that these formulae are of only limited use: perhaps as a cheap and easy method for evaluating school textbooks and library holdings. The family of cloze tests is designed to evaluate grammar, vocabulary and reading comprehension by making use of communication theory and the redundancy principle. The most popular are the classical cloze procedure and the C-test. Both are reasonably reliable, but the former is arguably the more valid. Both have been used in many countries and many languages as part of the testing of scholastic ability in the candidates native languages or in second languages, though using trained assessors remains the yardstick. The Coh-Metrix project examines the coherence of text according to 60 categories, but is still in the course of development and seems not to be flawless. Lexical analysis is a