TASK AND AUDIENCE: EFFECTS OF PLANNING PROCESSES AND COMMUNICATIVE EFFECTIVENESS OF COMPETENT WRITERS

JOHN THOMAS FITZSIMONS, Fordham University

Abstract

The study investigated the effects of two writing tasks (reporting and generalizing) on the planning processes and the communicative effectiveness of competent eighth grade writers when they wrote for two different audiences (peers in their classes, the known audience, and peers at another school, the unknown audience).^ The planning processes were described through an analysis of composing aloud protocols produced by the subjects. The communicative effectiveness of the subjects' writing was measured by readers who used holistic scoring procedures and who represented the readership of the known and unknown audience.^ The following questions were addressed: (1) How does the writing task affect the planning process of competent writers? (2) How does the writing task affect the communicative effectiveness of competent writers? (3) How does the audience affect the planning process of competent writers? (4) How does the audience affect the communicative effectiveness of competent writers?^ Four eighth grade subjects were selected from a pool of volunteers. The subjects were selected based upon teacher recommendation, grade point average, and ability to compose aloud.^ The study included eight writing assignments, four of which required the subjects to compose aloud. The composing aloud protocols were analyzed and the compositions were scored holistically.^ All the subjects incorporated planning in their composing processes for all tasks. The two reporting tasks elicited high frequencies of sentence level planning, planning characterized as localized, with the writer concerned with the flow of words rather than the development of a network of ideas. Global level planning, planning characterized by the writers concern with the flow of ideas, was evident in all protocols but was especially evident in the first generalizing task. When global plans were well established writing was fluid, and characterized by bursts of writing with little or no sentence level planning.^ The protocols did not reveal the students' attention to their audience, nor did the task have any discernible effect on the subjects' ability to communicate effectively.^ The study supports the view of other researchers that teachers can now intrude to capture the aspects of the writing process that were usually well hidden in the drafts of their students' papers.^

Subject Area

Language arts

Recommended Citation

FITZSIMONS, JOHN THOMAS, "TASK AND AUDIENCE: EFFECTS OF PLANNING PROCESSES AND COMMUNICATIVE EFFECTIVENESS OF COMPETENT WRITERS" (1983). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8326170.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8326170

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