Unskilled College Writers

Blog ยป Unskilled College Writers

Posted on 19 Apr 2013 01:12

Perl's approach to analyzing her subjects' writing processes is reminiscent of linguistics research; she breaks the process of composing down into its component operations, and uses them as a way of documenting what is partly a cognitive, creative process and partly something that can be measured using, for example, word count. This is an interesting way of standardizing what is otherwise a very personal, individualized process. This sort of irreducible element - rather like a periodic table of writing - makes it possible to break down writing into stages, and examine each sentence on its own for various mannerisms and time spent on it and so on and so forth.

She also examines subjects separately, in writing sessions and interviews, and publishes the details of one such subject in a case study. Perl uses the specifics of his method and the data she accumulates about him to demonstrate the efficacy of her standardization and method, before expanding her data analysis to her other subjects. She examines her data from a sociological standpoint, generally, but she applies the same linguistic lens, particularly because of her research proposal. "Unskilled" is fairly arbitrary and certainly subjective, and she does her best to remove her personal bias by using the very impersonal principles of breaking down her subject to its component molecules, so to speak.

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