KEVIN CAWLEY, Fordham University


Adults writing at work were studied to describe their purposes and processes. The participants were a college administrator, a counselor and a psychologist. The data included work-related transcriptions of verbalized thinking during the writing, longhand notes and drafts of the participants and final typed copies of the documents produced during a 3 week collecting period. Interviews provided more information on the writing processes of these informants. All writing was directed to real audience and invested with real purposes. Writing tasks were the actual work responsibilities of the 3 participants. The major hypotheses resulting from this study were: (a) writers internalize planning for familiar tasks and the sense of familiar audience is part of their tacit schema for each writing task; (b) writers in the workplace seldom revise written products that they consider Final Drafts and work-related writing is frequently a starting point for discussion rather than an end point; (c) pausing in silence and verbal reflecting are important features of writer processes in the workplace; (d) writers in the workplace differ in kinds of tasks and audiences but reveal similar patterns with regard to planning behaviors. The investigator suggested that continued research in writing should be an outgrowth of concern for the improvement of writing instruction. The following issues should receive further attention: (a) the effect of instruction in the strategies for recognizing what is useful data for composing, (b) the effect of prescribed format on ease of composing, (c) the effect of writers being conscious of their own processes, (d) the effect of allowing writers to determine when a piece is to be considered Final Draft, (e) the effect of real purpose and audience incorporated into instruction in writing.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

CAWLEY, KEVIN, "PLANNING AND PRODUCING WRITING IN THE WORKPLACE" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8423118.