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Read and think before you write: Prewriting time and level of print exposure as factors in writing

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Author(s): L. Kimberly Epting | Evan M. Gallena | Stephanie A. Hicks | Elizabeth N. Palmer | Traci Weisberg

Journal: Journal of Writing Research
ISSN 2030-1006

Volume: 4;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 239;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: prewriting | revision | print exposure | planning time | self-editing

ABSTRACT
This study investigated situational and writer characteristics that influence the revision process. Thirty-four students who scored high on print exposure and 32 students who scored low on print exposure had 10 or 70 seconds to think about each of 2 prompts before beginning to write (prewriting time) the essays on a computer. A keystroke-logging program captured writing and editing behavior, including pauses, edits (deletions, substitutions, insertions), and prompt reviews. Quality was measured using an 8-factor, 3-point analytic scoring rubric. Results indicated that high print exposure students wrote longer and higher quality essays than low print exposure students. In addition, the short prewriting time increased prompt reviewing and average pause lengths. High and low print exposure writers showed differential responses to the prewriting time manipulation in terms of total pause-associated edits during writing. The complexity of the revision process and the importance of understanding multiple immediate variables in the writing situation are discussed.

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