Journal of Writing Research

Published by Universiteit Antwerpen
Online ISSN: 2294-3307
Print ISSN: 2030-1006
Publications
Extended genre analysis: Overview of methodology.
Frequency of move realisations in student paper conclusions
Experts' vs. students' use of technical vs. non-technical keywords
The trend towards using English as an academic lingua franca has undoubtedly increased the awareness of a need for specific EAP writing instruction and inroads into researching student writing have been made. However, systematic improvements for a theory-informed teaching practice still require more detailed knowledge of the current state of student academic writing, which also takes into account local practices and requirements. Extended genre analysis provides such a means of researching student writing in specific settings. This is an innovative methodology which expands on English for Specific Purposes (ESP) genre analysis (cf. Bhatia, 1993, 2004; Swales, 1990, 2004) to systematically integrate corpus linguistic tools into the analysis and to take into account the special status of student genres. A special advantage of this methodology is that it can be applied easily and successfully to small-scale purpose-built corpora. This paper presents an application of extended genre analysis to a corpus of 55 student paper conclusions produced by non-native speakers in the initial phase of their studies. Findings suggest systematic differences in structure between student and expert genres, as well as a more complex set of differences in lexico-grammar, and especially the use of formulaic language, between research articles and non-native student papers. The implications of these findings as well as of the proposed methodology of corpus-based genre analysis for teaching practice are also discussed.
 
Based on explorations of the Michigan Corpus of Upper-level Student Papers (MICUSP), the present paper provides an introduction to the central techniques in corpus analysis, including the creation and examination of word lists, keyword lists, concordances, and cluster lists. It also presents a MICUSP-based case study of the demonstrative pronoun this and the distribution and use of its attended and unattended forms in different disciplinary subsets of the corpus. The paper aims to demonstrate how corpus linguistics and corpus methods can contribute to writing research and provide fruitful insights into student academic writing.
 
Raw number and normalized number of instances of verbs used in Database
This research examines the use of concordancing to create materials for teaching about the role of reporting verbs in academic papers. The appropriate use of reporting verbs is crucial both in establishing the writer’s own claims and situating these claims within previously published research. The paper uses a sample of articles from Science, a leading journal in the scientific community, to create two small corpora. Based on the frequency ranking of 27 examples of reporting verbs, a sample of 540 sentences was chosen for more careful analysis. For each reporting verb in this sample, a randomized sample of sentences was drawn. In addition, a third corpus was created from student papers to compare the student use of reporting verbs to that of published writers. Each sentence in the randomized sample was coded into six possible categories that were based on syntactic form and rhetorical purpose. An analysis of these categories is presented in the second part of this paper. The results of this research were used to design a database of sentences that could be used to create teaching materials for an academic writing course and also be accessed through the Internet (Bloch, 2009).
 
This study aimed to assess the extent to which the acquisition of number agreement in written French is influenced by the cognitive cost of processing demands associated with (a) the handwriting activity itself, (b) the lexical spelling complexity of the words and (c) the complexity of the sentences to be written. Children from grades 5 and 6 were asked to write dictated sentences in various conditions: they were either asked to write whole sentences, or to write only a word (noun, adjective or verb) within a sentence, or to only complete the endings of words within a sentence. Results showed that children are sensitive to these three factors: (1) children correctly marked more agreements when they were required to complete the endings of words than when they were required to write whole words; (2) children correctly marked more agreements for simple nouns, adjectives and verbs than for complex ones; (3) children were more successful at agreeing the verb when the sentence structure was simple than when it was complex. More precisely, low-level spelling children were more sensitive to these three factors than high-level spelling children. The study shows that the way children made nouns, verbs or adjectives agreements depends on the cost of simultaneous processing demands such as the handwriting activity, the lexical spelling complexity of the words or the sentence complexity.
 
Areas of BOLD activation on 2-back versus 0-back contrast for only good spellers (Group map calculated from FSL's higher level FLAME software) (SOG=Superior Occipital Gyrus; MOG=Middle Orbital Gyrus; CUN=cuneus; PRC=precuneus). 
Areas of BOLD activation on 2-back versus 0-back contrast for only disabled spellers (Group map calculated from FSL's higher level FLAME software) (SOG=Superior Occipital Gyrus; MOG=Middle Orbital Gyrus; CUN=cuneus; PRC=precuneus). 
Cluster List for Good Spellers during 2-Back versus 0-Back Contrast 
Regions where BOLD activation for 2-back versus 0-back contrast is greater for disabled spellers than for good spellers (Group difference map calculated from FSL's higher level FLAME software). (MFG=Middle Frontal Gyrus; SFG-Superior Frontal Gyrus) 
Children (aged 10 to 12) with spelling disability (related to dyslexia) or with good spelling ability performed 2 fMRI nonverbal working memory tasks of comparable difficulty across groups in and out of the scanner-judging whether a pictured sea creature appeared two trials earlier (2-back) or was a target whale (0-back).The 2-back versus 0-back contrast captures ability of working memory to track changes over time. On this contrast, the good spellers and disabled spellers showed significant BOLD activation in many and generally the same brain regions. On group map comparisons, the good spellers never activated more than the disabled spellers, but the disabled spellers activated more than the good spellers in selected brain regions. Of most interest, 2 clusters of BOLD activation (distributed across brain regions) were observed in good spellers but 5 clusters were observed in disabled spellers. Within these clusters the good and disabled spellers differed in three regions (bilateral medial superior frontal gyrus, orbital middle frontal gyrus, and anterior cingulated), which are associated with cognition, executive functions, and working memory and were correlated with a behavioral spelling measure. Thus working memory is best described as a distributed architecture rather than a single mechanism; and good and poor spellers engage working memory architecture differently. We propose that spelling is an executive function for translating cognition into language (sounds and morphemes) and then into visual symbols rather than a mere transcription skill for translating words in memory into written symbols in external memory.
 
Participant Characteristics
Descriptive Statistics for Treatment and Comparison Groups for Self-Efficacy
A significant percentage of students who attend secondary schools in the United States do not acquire the basic writing skills required to gain admission to four-year colleges and universities. In the present study, participants were 41 low-income, multi-ethnic 12th-grade students, 19 of whom received instruction on specific genre features for writing college admission essays. The other 22 12th-grade students formed the comparison group and received instruction as usual in their regular English class (mostly on literary analysis). The students who received instruction on genre features of the college admission essay scored higher on a rubric-based rating of the pre and post test essay writing and on writing self-efficacy surveys associated with the genre. Findings yielded from this study point to the merit of using a features-based genre instructional approach to teaching college admission essays to low-income, multi-ethnic high school students.
 
Our aim in this study was to test two programmes designed to lead preschool children to use conventional letters to spell the initial consonants of words. These programmes differed in terms of the characteristics of the vowels that followed those consonants. The participants were 45 five-year-old Portuguese children whose spelling was pre-syllabic - they used strings of random letters in their spelling, making no attempt to match the oral to the written language. They were divided into two experimental and a control group. Their age, level of intelligence, and phonological awareness were controlled. Their spelling was assessed in a pre- and a post-test. In-between, children from the experimental groups participated in two programmes where they had to think about the relationships between the initial consonant and the corresponding phoneme in different words: In Experimental Group 1, the initial consonants were followed by an open vowel, and in Experimental Group 2, these same consonants were followed by a closed vowel. The control group classified geometric shapes. Experimental Group 1 achieved better results than Experimental Group 2 following open vowels, being more able to generalize the phonological procedures to sounds that were not taught during the programmes. Both experimental groups used conventional letters to represent several phonemes in the post-test whereas the control group continued to produce pre-syllabic spellings.
 
Pearson's Correlations among text measures and word spelling task at the end of 1st year
Differences between groups. Medias and SD's in T-Unit, SCI and Length
The present longitudinal study aims to explore possible syntactic complexity differences between oral and written story retellings produced by Spanish speaking children at the end of the 1st and 2nd grades of primary education. It is assumed that differences between oral and written modalities can be found due in part to the cognitive demands of low level writing skills. Indeed, it has been observed that written texts produced by children are shorter and of lower quality than oral ones (Berninger, et al., , 1992; Berninger & Swanson,1994). However, how the transcription skills might constrain the syntactic complexity of children’s written texts is not well established.The children (N=163) that participated in this study were attending three different schools located in Córdoba Province, Argentina. The children were examined at the end of the 1st and 2nd year of primary education. The oral and written retellings were analyzed using Length, T- unit number and Syntactic Complexity Index (SCI) (Hunt, 1965; 1970). The analysis of children’s productions showed differences between grades and modalities. The differences between modalities were found in text Length and T-unit, but not in SCI. These results suggest that transcription skills do not affect syntactic performance. Nevertheless, a more detailed analysis revealed differences between groups. Possible restrictions of the original text on children’s performance were also observed. The implications and the scope of the SCI and units used for the analysis are furthered discussed.
 
Score by purpose for writing by year of schooling.  
Score for dimensions of writing by year of schooling.  
The data base of writing examined serves a dual purpose. Here it is used as a research tool and the writing performance from the large, nationally representative sample (N = 20,947) of students (years 4 to 12) interrogated to examine patterns of performance in writing. However, the data base was designed to underpin a software tool for diagnostic assessment of writing. Viewing writing as accomplishing social communicative goals, performance was considered in terms of seven main purposes the writer may seek to achieve. Tasks related to each purpose were encapsulated in 60 writing prompts that included stimulus material. Participants produced one writing sample; the design ensured appropriate representation across writing purposes. Samples were scored using criteria differentiated according to purpose and curriculum level of schooling and acceptable reliability obtained. Analyses indicate that growth was most marked between years 8 and 10, arguably, as opportunity to write increases and writing is linked to learning in content areas. Variability in performance is relatively low at primary school and high at secondary school. Students at any level did not write equally well for different purposes. Mean scores across purposes at primary school were relatively similar with to instruct and to explain highest. By years 11-12 there is a considerable gap between the highest scores (for narrate and report) and the lowest, recount, reflecting likely opportunities to practice writing for different purposes. Although girls performed better than boys, the difference in mean scores narrows by years 11-12.
 
This article presents the results of a pilot study examining the use of first-person pronouns, certain adjectives and grading adverbs in a corpus of 51 French psychology student papers written in English as a second language. These results were compared to a corpus of published psychology articles and to a sub-corpus of psychology student texts from the British Academic Written English corpus (BAWE). Strategic use of pairs of evaluative words was found in the students’ texts but not in the published texts. However, the variables of native language and level of field expertise cannot explain all of the variance observed. Future work will improve the validity of the findings by using larger corpora of student and published texts.
 
The decomposition of e-rater into features and microfeatures. Adapted from Evaluating the Construct Coverage of the E-rater Scoring Engine , by T. Quinlan, D. Higgins, & S. Wolff, 2009. 
A particular application of corpus analysis, automated essay scoring (AES) can reveal much about students’ writing skills. In this article we present research undertaken at Educational Testing Service (ETS) as part of its ongoing commitment to developing effective AES systems. AES systems have certain advantages. They can: (a) produce scores similar to those assigned trained human raters, (b) provide a single consistent metric for scoring, and (c) automate linguistic analyses. However, to understand student writing, we may need to look beyond the final essay in various ways, to consider both the process and the product. By broadening our definition of corpora, to capture the dynamics of written composition, it may become possible to identify profiles of writing behavior.
 
Instructors' religious affiliation
Pearl Mac grades by religious affiliation
In the United States, composition researchers have consistently depicted First-Year Composition (FYC) teachers' responses to students' faith-based writing in terms of a conflict narrative. According to Goodburn (1998), Lindholm (2000), Perkins (2001), and Vander Lei and Fitzgerald (2007), FYC teachers hold strict secular expectations and reject the religious identity and expression of their fundamentalist Christian students. This study explores this conflict narrative by analyzing how 24 FYC teachers in the Midwestern United States describe their own religious identities as well as those of their institutions and respond to two faith-based student texts. The study results challenge simplistic depictions of the conflict narrative. The religious affiliations of the FYC teachers coincide with national averages and neither relate to how teachers described the religious environment of their institutions nor the grades the teachers gave the faith-based texts. Furthermore, rhetorical variables such as genre and audience awareness affect teachers' responses to faith-based writing. Composition researchers, this study concludes, need to complicate how they depict situations in which students express their religious identity within secular post-secondary institutions.
 
Writing skills typically develop over a course of more than two decades as a child matures and learns the craft of composition through late adolescence and into early adulthood. The novice writer progresses from a stage of knowledge-telling to a stage of knowledgetransforming characteristic of adult writers. Professional writers advance further to an expert stage of knowledge-crafting in which representations of the author's planned content, the text itself, and the prospective reader's interpretation of the text are routinely manipulated in working memory. Knowledge-transforming, and especially knowledge-crafting, arguably occur only when sufficient executive attention is available to provide a high degree of cognitive control over the maintenance of multiple representations of the text as well as planning conceptual content, generating text, and reviewing content and text. Because executive attention is limited in capacity, such control depends on reducing the working memory demands of these writing processes through maturation and learning. It is suggested that students might best learn writing skills through cognitive apprenticeship training programs that emphasize deliberate practice.
 
Error analysis involves detecting and correcting discrepancies between the 'text produced so far' (TPSF) and the writer's mental representation of what the text should be. While many factors determine the choice of strategy, cognitive effort is a major contributor to this choice. This research shows how cognitive effort during error analysis affects strategy choice and success as measured by a series of online text production measures. We hypothesize that error correction with speech recognition software differs from error correction with keyboard for two reasons. Speech produces auditory commands and, consequently, different error types. The study reported on here measured the effects of (1) mode of presentation (auditory or visual-tactile), (2) error span, whether the error spans more or less than two characters, and (3) lexicality, whether the text error comprises an existing word. A multilevel analysis was conducted to take into account the hierarchical nature of these data. For each variable (interference reaction time, preparation time, production time, immediacy of error correction, and accuracy of error correction), multilevel regression models are presented. As such, we take into account possible disturbing person characteristics while testing the effect of the different conditions and error types at the sentence level.The results show that writers delay error correction more often when the TPSF is read out aloud first. The auditory property of speech seems to free resources for the primary task of writing, i.e. text production. Moreover, the results show that large errors in the TPSF require more cognitive effort, and are solved with a higher accuracy than small errors. The latter also holds for the correction of small errors that result in non-existing words.
 
The aim of this study was primarily to investigate the effects of morphological strategies training on students with and without spelling difficulties in English as a foreign language (EFL), but also to assess the feasibility of morphological strategies training in a classroom context. The intervention was piloted in the sixth grade of a Greek primary school: 23 Greek-speaking students, aged 11-12, were assigned to the treatment group receiving explicit teaching on inflectional and derivational morphemic patterns of English words. The control group, composed of 25 Greek-speaking students of the same age, attending a different classroom of the same school, was taught English spelling in a conventional (visual-memory based) way. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were employed to gain insights: a pre- and post-test, an observation schedule, a student questionnaire and a teacher interview. The pre- and post-test results indicated that the metamorphological training yielded specific effects on targeted morpheme patterns. The same results were obtained from a sub-group of nine poor spellers in the treatment group, compared to a sub-group of six poor spellers in the control one. The observation data revealed that the metamorphological training promoted students' active participation and the questionnaire data indicated that students got satisfaction from their training. Finally, interview data highlighted that teachers considered the intervention as a feasible way of improving students' morphological processing skills in spelling.
 
Writing can be a tool for communicating and learning in content area subjects. This pretest-posttest quasi-experiment examined the effects of instruction in a content area writing framework on students’ text quality and ability to use writing to learn. It also examined the effects of possible moderator variables (gender, previous writing achievement) and mediator variables (genre knowledge, approach to writing). A multilevel analysis was conducted with students nested within classes. Instruction significantly increased argument genre knowledge and explanation text quality, but not argument text quality, explanation genre knowledge, or learning during writing. Gender predicted previous writing achievement and posttest argument text quality, but did not interact significantly with instruction. Previous writing achievement strongly affected several posttest measures, but did not interact significantly with instruction. A path analysis supported the theory that instruction affects genre knowledge, which affects text quality, which predicts learning during writing.
 
Nowadays, university students do not necessarily acquire their typing skills through systematic touch-typing training, like professional typists. But then, how are the resulting typing skills structured? To reveal the composition of today’s typical typing skills, 32 university students performed on three writing tasks: copying from memory, copying from text, and generating from memory.Variables of keyboard operation that presumably reflect typing abilities and strategies, were recorded with ScriptLog, a keystroke logging software; these include typing speed, keyboard efficiency, and keyboard activity beyond keypresses that become visible in the final text. Factor analyses reveal three components of typing behavior per task. Their clearest interpretations relate to keyboard activity/efficiency and typing speed. Across tasks, typing speed is the strongest individually stable facet of keyboard operation. In summary, university students’ keyboard behavior is a multi-faceted skill rather than the mere mastery of a touch-typing method.
 
IntelliGent™ System for proactive information retrieval
-Mean Text Length and Mean Quality Ratings for each of the search conditions and subtasks. Standard deviations appear in parenthesis.
With the use of the computers, the task of writing is intertwined with the task of searching for information that can be relevant for the document that is being written, however very little research has been done to understand how the two tasks intertwine. In this paper we present an initial attempt to develop a model of writing and information seeking with computers and to develop helpful software that can improve the quality of the information searched and the written paper. Proactive Recommendation System (PRS) can relieve authors from explicit searching by means of automatically searching, retrieving and recommending information relevant to the text currently being written, and therefore PRS can be helpful to writers. However it is also possible that there are some moments during writing in which presenting proactive information can be an interruption rather than a help. In our research, we have used the PRS IntelliGent™ to investigate its impact in the different stages of writing. We found that when IntelliGent™ offers relevant information the time to task completion is shorter and the quality of the written product increases compared with the control situations in which writers have to look actively for information. We discuss these findings in the context of developing models and tools that integrate searching and writing processes when using computers as the writing environment.
 
Three interrelated capacities in learning-to-write.  
Lesson design model for the L1-curriculum: Designing interrelated roles or functions.  
Elke Van Steendam, Anne Toorenaar,Journal of Writing Research 1(1), 53-83In this paper we discuss the role of observation in learning to write. We argue that the acquisition of skill in such a complex domain as writing relies on observation, the classical imitatio. An important phase in learning to write, at all ages, is learning to write by observing and evaluating relevant processes: writing processes, reading processes or communication processes between writers and readers.First, we present two practical cases: writing lessons in which observation and inquiry are amongst other key elements and where students participate in a community of learners. Then, we review research that may inspire and substantiate proposals for implementing observation as a learning activity in writing education. Two types of studies are discussed: studies in which learners acquire strategies by observing and evaluating writing and reading processes of peers, as a prewriting instructional activity, and studies in which learners are stimulated to 'pre-test' and then revise their first draft, as a post writing instructional activity. The paper closes with some recommendations for further research.
 
Average total score of first draft by initial evaluator (with SE bars) 
Average number of words per review by reviewing dimension and by type of evaluator (with SE bars) 
Average number of comments by comment type and by type of evaluator (with SE bars) 
Average number of revisions by type of revisions and by type of evaluator 
Average total score of final draft by initial evaluator (with SE bars) 
In undergraduate natural science courses, two types of evaluators are commonly used to assess student writing: graduate-student teaching assistants (TAs) or peers. The current study examines how well these approaches to evaluation support student writing. These differences between the two possible evaluators are likely to affect multiple aspects of the writing process: first draft quality, amount and types of feedback provided, amount and types of revisions, and final draft quality. Therefore, we examined how these aspects of the writing process were affected when undergraduate students wrote papers to be evaluated by a group of peers versus their TA. Several interesting results were found. First, the quality of the students' first draft was greater when they were writing for their peers than when writing for their TA. In terms of feedback, students provided longer comments, and they also focused more on the prose than the TAs. Finally, more revisions were made if the students received feedback from their peers-especially prose revisions. Despite all of the benefits seen with peers as evaluators, there was only a moderate difference in final draft quality. This result indicates that while peer-review is helpful, there continues to be a need for research regarding how to enhance the benefits.
 
Correlations between Teacher Ratings and Coh-Metrix Variables 
Correlations between Teacher Ratings and LIWC Variables 
Writing is a necessary skill for success in the classroom and the workplace; yet, many students are failing to develop sufficient skills in this area. One potential problem may stem from a misalignment between students' and teachers' criteria for quality writing. According to the evaluative misalignment hypothesis, students assess their own writing using a different set of criteria from their teachers. In this study, the authors utilize automated textual analyses to examine potential misalignments between students' and teachers' evaluation criteria for writing quality. Specifically, the computational tools Coh-Metrix and Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) are used to examine the relationship between linguistic features and student and teacher ratings of students' prompt-based essays. The study included 126 students who wrote timed, SAT-style essays and assessed their own writing on a scale of 1-6. Teachers also evaluated the essays using the SAT rubric on a scale of 1-6. The results yielded empirical evidence for student-teacher misalignment and advanced our understanding of the nature of students' misalignments. Specifically, teachers were attuned to the linguistic features of the essays at both surface and deep levels of text, whereas students' ratings were related to fewer overall textual features and most closely associated with surface-level features. © Earli, This article is published under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported license.
 
A model of how working memory, as conceived by Baddeley (1986), supports the planning of ideas, translating ideas into written sentences, and reviewing the ideas and text already produced was proposed by Kellogg (1996). A progress report based on research from the past 17 years shows strong support for the core assumption that planning, translating, and reviewing are all dependent on the central executive. Similarly, the translation of ideas into a sentence does in fact require also verbal working memory, but the claim that editing makes no demands on the phonological loop is tenuous. As predicted by the model, planning also engages the viisuo-spatial sketchpad. However, it turns out to do so only in planning with concrete concepts that elicit mental imagery. Abstract concepts do not require visuo-spatial resources, a point not anticipated by the original model. Moreover, it is unclear the extent to which planning involves spatial as opposed to visual working memory. Contrary to Baddeley's original model, these are now known to be independent stores of working memory; the specific role of the spatial store in writing is uncertain based on the existing literature. The implications of this body of research for the instruction of writing are considered in the final section of the paper.
 
In this book, the authors adopt a multidisciplinary perspective, which combines linguistic, textual genetic and psycholinguistic theories and methods to analyse the textualisation process, that is, the way a text is constructed. They focus their work on the linguistic exploration of bursts of written language (i.e., the sequences of texts that are produced between two pauses), which are considered as performance units. Their analyses are based on real time recording of the writing process with keystroke logging tools which constitutes two corpora, the first involves social reports about children-at-risk, produced by professional writers, and the second consists of academic reports written by students for a Discourse Analysis course. The first chapter presents some of the theoretical issues which grounds the Authors’ perspective. The second chapter introduces the criteria used for bursts categorisation and their theoretical basis. In the third and fourth chapter, data are analysed with a large description of bursts categories. The fifth chapter questions bursts as possible routinised, prefabricated performance units, and explores the differences between production and revision bursts.
 
The book “Writing motivation research, measurement and pedagogy”, written by Muhammad M. M. Abdel Latif (2021) and published by Routledge, summarises and integrates literature on the role of motivation in writing over the last four decades. This book emerges out of the author’s experience and interest in writing motivation research—including a doctoral thesis on writing self-efficacy and apprehension—and out of his experience in teaching writing courses at the university level. Throughout six chapters, the author delves into research focused on eight main writing motivation constructs: writing apprehension, attitude, anxiety, self-efficacy, self-concept, achievement goals, perceived value of writing, and motivational regulation. Specifically, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 are devoted to the conceptualization and measurement of writing motivation constructs. Chapter 3 focuses on the correlates and sources of students’ writing motivation. Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 describe the effectiveness of different instructional practices and provide clear guidelines on how to motivate students to write. Finally, Chapter 6 presents directions to advance writing motivation research, measurement, and pedagogy. The book closes with a glossary of writing motivation constructs and other relevant concepts. The contents of all six chapters are reviewed below.
 
The mnemonic TRACE for the five-step writing strategy 
Descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations) for pretests and posttests for the 
Statistics (regression coefficients, standard errors (SE), test statistics and significance value) 
This study extends previous research on observational learning in writing. It was our objective to enhance students’ motivation and learning in an academic writing course on research synthesis writing. Participants were 162 first-year college students who had no experience with the writing task. Based on Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory we developed two videos. In the first video a manager (prestige model) elaborated on how synthesizing information is important in professional life. In the second video a peer model demonstrated a five-step writing strategy for writing up a research synthesis. We compared two versions of this video. In the explicit-strategy-instruction-video we added visual cues to channel learners’ attention to critical features of the demonstrated task using an acronym in which each letter represented a step of the model’s strategy. In the implicit-strategy-instruction-video these cues were absent. The effects of the videos were tested using a 2x2 factorial between-subjects design with video of the prestige model (yes/no) and type of instructional video (implicit versus explicit strategy instruction) as factors. Four post-test measures were obtained: task value, self-efficacy beliefs, task knowledge and writing performances. Path analyses revealed that the prestige model did not affect students’ task value. Peer-mediated explicit strategy instruction had no effect on self-efficacy, but a strong effect on task knowledge. Task knowledge – in turn – was found to be predictive of writing performance.
 
Written communication is an important skill across academia, the workplace, and civic participation. Effective writing incorporates instantiations of particular text structures-rhetorical moves-that communicate intent to the reader. These rhetorical moves are important across a range of academic styles of writing, including essays and research abstracts, as well as in forms of writing in which one reflects on learning gained through experience. However, learning how to effectively instantiate and use these rhetorical moves is a challenge. Moreover, educators often struggle to provide feedback supporting this learning, particularly at scale. Where effective support is provided, the techniques can be hard to share beyond single implementation sites. We address these challenges through the open-source AcaWriter tool, which provides feedback on rhetorical moves, with a design that allows feedback customization for specific contexts. We introduce three example implementations in which we have customized the tool and evaluated it with regard to user perceptions, and its impact on student writing. We discuss the tool's general theoretical background and provide a detailed technical account. We conclude with four recommendations that emphasize the potential of collaborative approaches in building, sharing and evaluating writing tools in research and practice.
 
In this study we investigated which instructional method is suitable for university students to learn how to write an academic text. We have compared observational learning with learning by doing, and we have explored the effects of writing preference (planning versus revising) on academic writing performance. In an experiment 145 undergraduate students were assigned to either an observational learning or learning-by-doing condition. In observational learning participants learned by observing a weak and strong models' writing processes. In learning by doing they learned by performing writing tasks. Prior to the sessions participants were labeled as either planners or revisers based on a writing style questionnaire. The effects of the sessions were analyzed with a 2x2 between-subjects design with instructional method (observational learning, learning by doing) and writing preference (plan, revise) as factors. To measure academic writing performance the participants wrote an introduction to an empirical research paper. We found no main effects for instructional method and writing preference. Simple effect analyses did reveal that revisers benefitted somewhat more from observational learning than planners. Planners performed equally well in observational learning and learning by doing. However, planners who learned by doing did seem to outperform revisers who learned by doing. Our study suggests that observational learning presents interesting opportunities for academic writing courses. However, more research on the interplay between writing strategy and instructional method is called for.
 
Structure of the Metacognitive Strategy Knowledge Test on Self-Regulated Academic
Path model of the relationships between metacognitive strategy knowledge, metacognitive strategy use, and achievement. Standardized β coefficients are shown; *** = p < .001; ** = p < .01; * = p < .05. 
Means and standard deviations and item-total correlations for all pair comparisons
Writing is a complex, recursive, and strategic process that requires metacognitive competencies. Skillful writers have a high level of metacognitive strategy knowledge (MSK) and use strategies effectively. MSK about writing describes a person’s verbalizable knowledge and awareness of memory, comprehension, and higher order processes that underlie skillful writing. Measurement instruments assessing students’ MSK about academic writing in higher education that can be used for group settings and large samples are lacking. The aim of this article is to describe the development of a new MSK test instrument. The MSK test consists of three different writing scenarios related to the three self-regulated writing phases: planning prior to composing full text, monitoring the writing during composition, and subsequent revision. The findings of a pre-study (N = 51) and two studies (N = 23; N = 113) showed that the new MSK test is economical in use, is reliable and has high content validity. Further, the findings demonstrated external validity of the new instrument in terms of relationships with students’ metacognitive strategy use and writing performance. Implications for future research and educational practice are discussed.
 
Top five systems involved in revision activity for each dataset
Breakdown of interpersonal revisions in JD3
To date, research into functional descriptions of unfolding language has been almost entirely focused on speech. And whilst writing research has examined the revision of language units, it has backgrounded how these revisions contribute to the unfolding of a text's meanings. Therefore, using Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) as an underlying framework, and keystroke logging software (Inputlog) as a data collection tool, this paper takes a first step toward a dynamic description of written text in terms of the language structures, functions, and systemic choices found in the written revisions of two 2nd year UK undergraduates. More specifically, in detailed textual analysis of four unfolding, digitally composed text, whose end products totalled approximately 1700 words, this paper focuses on the revisions made during consecutive writing sessions, which lasted anything from 8mins to 8hrs 37mins and totalled 56hrs 18mins of recordings. The findings suggest that certain language choices may play a key role when it comes to shaping academic essays, and it is proposed that this new model of analysis can provide an additional perspective on writing behaviour in terms of how meaning-making practices unfold in real time.
 
This article proposes novel methods for computational rhetorical analysis to analyze the use of citations in a corpus of academic texts. Guided by rhetorical genre theory, our analysis converts texts to graph-theoretic graphs in an attempt to isolate and amplify the predicted patterns of recurring moves that are associated with stable genres of academic writing. We find that our computational method shows promise for reliably detecting and classifying citation moves similar to the results achieved by qualitative researchers coding by hand as done by Karatsolis (this issue). Further, using pairwise comparisons between advisor and advisee texts, valuable applications emerge for automated computational analysis as formative feedback in a mentoring situation.
 
Top-cited authors
Deborah Mccutchen
  • University of Washington Seattle
Gert Rijlaarsdam
  • University of Amsterdam
Tanja Janssen
  • University of Amsterdam
Huub van den Bergh
  • Utrecht University
Mariet Raedts
  • University of Antwerp