Process Writing: Successful and Unsuccessful Writers; Discovering Writing Behaviours

By Baroudy, Ismail | International Journal of English Studies, July 1, 2008 | Go to article overview

Process Writing: Successful and Unsuccessful Writers; Discovering Writing Behaviours


Baroudy, Ismail, International Journal of English Studies


ABSTRACT

Successful and unsuccessful strategies practically complied with in the act of writing have been so far experimentally tapped and scholastically rehearsed by several authors. In this study, a complementary task using a questionnaire worked out to comprehensively specify and cover almost all types of writing behaviours has been inquisitively manipulated. By analysing and inspecting the findings elicited from student-writers' response sheets, successful and unsuccessful writing strategies are then contrastively identified, categorised and demonstrated. Based on the awareness accomplished, writing teachers' consciousness will be raised and boosted, thus, helping their poor student-writers justifiably quit their debilitative habits and adopt instead, facilitative ones, those competent writers implement while writing. In the questionnaire, the student-writers would reflect upon their creeping experience and pass informative judgements about their own strategies. Student-writers will respond to fact-finding statements regarding five writing components delineated as rehearsing, drafting, revising, student-writers' role and the role of instructional materials

KEYWORDS: Process & Product Writing, Paradigm Shift, Writing Behaviors, Competent and Incompetent Writer

I. PREVIEW

Research and experience show that teaching and learning ESL/EFL writing has been a sad failure. Almost no one, whether a teacher or a learner, is found quite satisfied with the type of teaching/learning experience undergone in second/foreign language settings. Additionally, the process/product dichotomy seems to have universally emerged to commence a new flourishing paradigm, but both writing teachers and student-writers seeking to fulfill the preset objectives eagerly strived for in L1 or L2 writing contexts are still deflected by fruitless procedural measures. Why my little Johnny still cannot write! As such, to help the writing enigma dispelled, the student's writing behaviours are pragmatically highlighted to discover, specify and classify the favourable writing behaviours that versus the unfavourable ones. Practically, the products of successful student-writers are reasonably resorted to, extracting out of them the favourable strategies the students exploited. These strategies are then accordingly worked out as guidelines that may practically serve in resolving the critical case of unproductive writing.

To accomplish the desired goal long awaited for, a purposive questionnaire is developed to effectively elicit a record of student-writers' responses revealing the successful and the unsuccessful strategies, specifically adopted and used by the student-writers in the act of writing. Based on such a questionnaire, student-writers, whether of process or product category, are distinctively identified. Besides, poor student-writers are individually distinguished by observing their writing behaviours; so that they can collectively or individually be treated having them give up their debilitating writing habits. This is supposed to be consistently actualized assisting the poor student-writers to adopt, instead, the facilitating habits. Having the answer sheets collected from student-writers attentively inspected, the research findings indicated that almost all successful student-writers behaviours and strategies consciously or unconsciously comply with process procedural requirements. Finally, the questionnaire which has been developed to specify and classify the writing behaviours demonstrated by successful and unsuccessful student-writers seems to have been pragmatically exploited by the trainees for self-discovery to examine and discover intrinsically themselves as practioners i.e. their individualised writing biases. This, of course, can be achieved by student-writers on having their composing preferences concretely observed while practically writing. The findings can be accordingly manipulated to have them compared with a typical response model provided in black-dotted slots in the appendix. …

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