The Planning Strategies of a Publishing Writer

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“Decisions & Revisions: The Planning Strategies of a Publishing Writer” Berkenkotter & Murray Summary
* Berkenkotter’s research was designed to test the idea that researchers can study writing in a “laboratory” environment (as Perl did, and as Berkenkotter herself did in earlier research) * She studies Murray, a “publishing” writer, in both a lab & a natural setting, & makes startling discoveries about his differing abilities in eachallows her to make important claims about how different environments can affect a writer’s processes * Unlike Perl, who focuses on the unskilled writer Tony, Berkenkotter conducts research on professional writer Donald Murray * She writes that she “wanted to learn more about the planning & revising strategies of a highly skilled & verbal writer, to discover how these strategies could be most usefully analyzed, & to determine how an understanding of this writer’s processes would contribute to what we have already discovered about how skilled writers plan & revise” * Like Perl, Berkenkotter devised a code that examined Murray’s planning, evaluating, revising, & editing strategies * In analyzing her data, Berkenkotter, like Perl, concludes that the writing process is recursive * Discovers that the setting & task can seriously impact the writer’s performance * Ex: Murray was unable to write in a short time on an assigned topicsomething that most students are required to do on a regular basis * Murray spent much more time planning & evaluating, rather than revising & editing * Morale: Composing is more than the physical act of writing Take Home Points

1. Many students confuse editing & revision. Reading Berkenkotter & Murray can help clarify the differences between them 2. A writer’s environment & task significantly impact writing processes & the effectiveness of the final text 3. Identifying problems that writers experience in...
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