Research on Writing: Process, Genres and Writing Skills Development

Submitted by: Luís Barbeiro
Abstract: Research on writing and on approaches to writing at school has involved different aspects and methodologies, as shown in meta-analyses conducted by several authors (Rijlaarsdam et al., 1996a, 1996b), Hyland, 2016a, 2016b; Camps, 2005; Bazerman, 2008; Plane et al., 2017, among others).
The text, the writer and the context have, at different moments, all been at the forefront of research, influencing school practice with regard to the definition of approaches to writing and to the construction of strategies designed to promote writingskills.
The focus on text goes back centuries, being associated with an old tradition that considers literary texts as artistic "products" or "monuments", and as models for writing practices at school.
The focus on the writing process and the cognitive operations it involves emerged in reaction to that view and has recently been playing an important role in the definition of schools’ approaches to writing, restoring certain connections between the teaching of writing and the teaching of Rhetoric.
The growing awareness of writing’s social function within a community has laid down a new research track that is having impact on the definition of novel teaching strategies that emphasize the role of the context, considered not only as a space of participation and intervention through the use of writing but also as a dimension that models the characteristics of texts according to the functions they are expected to perform within the community that uses them. Taking these three research paths into account, the aim of the workshop “Research on Writing: Process, Genres and Writing Skills Development” is to discuss the issues raised by the trainees’ research projects.
The overall framework of the workshop includes the presentation, by the trainers, of the general guidelines of these three perspectives with reference to theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches, also considering how the perspectives contribute to research on writing and help define effective pedagogical interventions. This presentation will provide a context for the analysis of the trainees’ ongoing research projects and will serve as a background for a discussion of the methodological issues emerging from the poster presentation session about those projects.

Keywords: text, writer, context, writing teaching and learning

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Rijlaarsdam, G., Bergh, H., & Couzijn, M. (Eds.) (1996b). Effective Teaching and Learning of Writing. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.