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DESCRIPTION OF COGNITIVE PROCESSES INVOLVED IN ESSAY-WRITING

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Author(s): Meneses Báez, Alba Lucía | Mata, Francisco Salvador | Ravelo Contreras, Ernesto L.

Journal: Acta Colombiana de Psicologia
ISSN 0123-9155

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 83;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Planning | revision | transcription | metacognition | attitudes | writing | essay | university students | process approach

ABSTRACT
The processes of planning, transcription, revision, metacognition and affection involved in the construction of an argumentative essay written by 11 university students were examined. Several assessment instruments designed by the authors were administered: The Verbal Protocol, The Essay-writing Strategies Questionnaire and the Self-Perception Scales on Writing Efficacy and Attitude Toward Writing. A frequency count per component of the textual data obtained by means of the Verbal Protocol and based on a content analysis was carried out. Later, the percentages within each category were calculated for each subject, based on his/her performance with respect to the group. Finally, a descriptive analysis of the self-reports was done. At the time of observation of the above mentioned processes using the Verbal Protocol, six participants showed evidence of planning, transcription, revision and meta-cognition during the writing process. However, when doing revision, none of them presented revision by others, and on the metacognition component only two participants demonstrated their awareness of the essay structure. With respect to self-reports, the participants expressed moderate to high levels of planning, revision and metacognition strategies, as well as moderate to high scores on attitudes toward writing and self-perception of writing efficacy when elaborating an essay
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