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Wendy K. Jean Philippe


Professor Leslie Wolcott
ENC 1101-0M10
September 18, 2014
Writing Self Study
Learning about the writing process is a good way to develop the effectiveness of your
writing According to Paul Prior, tracing the writing process also means tracing the thoughts,
perceptions, feelings, and motives of the writer(s) as well as tracing exchanges between people
(Wardle, Downs, 2014, pg. 494). One of the ways to tackle this is through the use of think-aloud
protocols, where in which data analysis is organized through coding. This in turn shows
researchers a participants behavior sequence and pattern. Moreover, does the coding and data
analyzed from our think-aloud protocols determine if we will have success when it comes to
finalizing and composing a paper? Earlier studies from Sondra Perl seems to suggest that we
write how we write due to a recursive movement of talking, reading, and writing (Wardle,
Downs, 2014, pg. 628-632). To verify this finding, more relatable data is needed.
This paper delves into my encounters with the writing processes. More specifically, how
my behaviors and thoughts while reading Sondra Perls The Composing Processes of Unskilled
College Writers (Wardle, Downs, 2014, pg. 615-639) can shape or give an indication of how
consistent my final writings are. When I examined the data from my coding of the reading, I
discovered that questioning (Qu), commenting (Co), and assessing (As), had a pattern of
being together in each line of text that I was coding. I also observed that several times after a line
that had one of these previous codes, the next line of text that I coded would be a repeating
(Rep) or relating (Rel). So in general, any think-aloud protocols that consisted of me

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questioning, commenting, or assessing Perls article would sometimes be followed by me


relating to it and or rereading that part of her article later on. I think that these behaviors, before
the writing process, are what generally comes to mind when determining if a writer will be
skilled or not.
Furthermore, I think the dialogue we had in class for strategies for reading academic
texts have helped me prepare to have a clear mindset with minimal distractions as I read Perls
article. What struck me the most from this dialogue was the things that you do prior to and after
reading can play a major role in your enthusiasm for writing the real paper later on. For example,
prior to reading, I rested my mind without distractions from my electronic devices and noises.
That way, when I started reading, I wasnt as distracted because I was not thinking about things I
encountered on social media or topics irrelevant to the assignment. Thus, because of this pre
think-aloud protocol strategy, I can say that my coding data was mainly focused on the
assignment and not so much inconsistent with distractions.
All in all, my writing self-study and its results can help others improve on their own
writing because it show that there is a correlation between the pre-writing process and how it can
shape the outcome of the initial writing process. Consequently, good pre-writing process
strategies can lead to useful think-aloud protocols- which will then result in a more proficient
paper! Otherwise, bad pre-writing process strategies will most likely lead to useless think-aloud
protocols- which will put a strain on your paper!

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Works Cited
Prior, Paul. Tracing Process: How Texts Come Into Being. What Writing Does and How It
Does It. Ed. Charles Bazerman and Paul Prior. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2004.
167200. Print
Prior, Paul. Chapter 4/ Tracing Process: How Texts Come into Being. Writing
About Writing: A College Reader. 2nd ed. N.p.: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2014. 494. Print.
Perl, Sondra. The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers.
Research in the Teaching of English 13.4 (1979): 31736. Print.
Perl, Sondra. "Chapter 4/ The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers." Writing
About Writing: A College Reader. 2nd ed. N.p.: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2014. 628-32.
Print.
Perl, Sondra. "Chapter 4/ The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers." Writing
About Writing: A College Reader. 2nd ed. N.p.: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2014. 615-39.
Print.
Wolcott, Leslie. "Strategies for Reading Academic Texts." Aug.-Sept. 2014. Lecture.