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Language and the Art of Writing

Description: I start writing by conjuring up an image in my mind. Sometimes it will be something that I have thought about for a while, sometimes it will be something that I sit around attempting to create. Either way, it is simply the idea that I need in order to get started. People will say, "Just sit down and write" which I can do, but it does not mean I will end up anywhere worthwhile. In my writing I need a focus. I need an idea or just one image to get me writing and I can base an entire story off of that one image. I think the reason this works for me is because in my mind it is an illustration and always something that is vibrant and unique. I want the image to stand out and to mean something because I feel that it comes to me for a specific reason, I just have to piece it all together and let the characters and plot unfold for themselves. People often say this, that the characters end up running the story. I think this is true, but in my case my stories are not so driven by character or plot as they are by language. A language driven piece can be a difficult thing to manipulate because it needs to have some direction and some purpose other than just being pleasing to the ear/mind/reader. And what is the point of a language driven piece?
Access: Restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Damask, Tarah
Partner: UNT Libraries

From Boyd City to the Big City and Beyond: Six Stories with a Critical Introduction

Description: The critical introduction to this collection of short fiction argues that writing is reading and that reading is writing. The argument draws descriptions of writing as reading from such diverse sources as Sherwood Anderson, Roland Barthes, Neil Simon, J. Hillis Miller and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, as well as from the author's own experience. Descriptions of reading from phenomenological and subjective criticism, including the theories of Georges Poulet, Wolfgang Iser, Stanley Fish and David Bleich, affirm the creative role of the reader, show that the reader, in fact, writes the text in the process of reading. The introduction concludes that reader, writer and text are all constructs of language, that both reading and writing are, ultimately and primarily, thought.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Barringer, Bobby D. (Bobby Dewayne)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effect of Teacher Participation iIn Writing Assignments on Children's Attitudes Towards Writing and on Children's Abilities to Write

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine whether students' attitudes towards writing and their abilities to write were affected by their teacher's participation in their writing assignments. The null hypotheses that no significant differences would be found were supported. The control group and two experimental groups were all composed of fourth, fifth, and sixth graders from a racially mixed elementary school in a large metropolitan school district. The two experimental groups received identical instruction in writing skills except that the teacher wrote with one group and not with the other. The attitude scale, constructed for this experiment, proved to be statistically invalid and unreliable.
Date: August 1982
Creator: McIntosh, Margaret E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Relationship Centrality and Expressive Writing: Understanding Post-breakup Distress

Description: When a romantic relationship ends in dissolution, the ex-partners may experience distress similar to post-traumatic stress or complex grief (i.e., dysphoric mood, feelings of loss, intrusive memories, negative rumination regarding the relationship, and a loss of self-esteem). Interventions designed to reduce post-breakup distress have historically attempted to foster integration of the breakup into the self-narrative through techniques such as expressive writing. Recent research indicates centrality, or heightened integration of an event or concept into an individual’s identity, predicts heightened levels of distress in the case of negative life events, including romantic relationship dissolution. Given the role romantic relationships themselves play in identity formation, exploration is warranted of the potential distress resulting from over-identification with a romantic relationship itself, or relationship centrality, after a breakup has occurred. Furthermore, if an individual has overly-integrated a relationship into their identity, the effectiveness of interventions focusing on further integration of the breakup is called into question. This study explored the centrality of participants’ previous romantic relationships, the distress resulting from the dissolution of those relationships, and the role of expressive writing as a distress reduction tool when centrality is taken into account.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Nowlin, Rachel B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Conditions for Teaching Writing: Exploring Two Cases of Seventh Grade Expository Writing Instruction

Description: This qualitative two-case study draws from the intersection of three theoretical perspectives: sociocultural theory, transactional theory, and complex systems theory. Guided by two research questions, this qualitative study explored the conditions two seventh grade English language arts teachers set for teaching expository writing and their implications. Deductive coding based on seven a priori patterns of powerful writing instruction (empathy, inquiry, dialogue, authenticity, apprenticeship, re-visioning, and deep content learning) revealed six conditions for teaching expository writing. Inductive pattern analysis of these conditions revealed three emergent themes: reinforcing structures, mediating transactions, and balancing tensions. These findings suggest that teaching expository writing is a complex system filled with dialectical relationships. As interdependent pairs, these relationships encompass the entire system of expository writing instruction, including the structural and transactional aspects of teaching and learning to write. The overlapping conditions and themes demonstrate that expository writing appears ambiguous at times; however, routine, yet responsive instruction, framed by apprenticeship and a balance of reading and writing activities designed to inspire self-discovery are fundamental to the process of teaching expository writing. The final chapter includes instructional implications and a discussion about the significance of setting conditions for generative literacy learning. Recommendations for future research include writing research based on complexity theory, connections between expository writing and empathy, and critical thinking relative to critical action.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Slay, Laura Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Validation Study of a Writing Skills Test for Police Recruit Applicants

Description: This study evaluated the effectiveness of a direct test of higher-order and lower-order writing abilities needed for police report writing. This test was specifically designed to address report writing deficiencies experienced by police in the training academy. Descriptive statistics were examined, and relationships between this test and writing ability dimensions included on a separate, indirect, multiple choice test were investigated. Direct and indirect scores were correlated with training academy performance. Because both tests assessed higher-order and lower-order writing abilities, comparisons were made to determine which type of test was most appropriate for assessing the different types of writing skills. Results indicated that the direct test was a valid predictor of academy performance. Direct methods of measurement were found to be better than indirect methods for assessing higher-order writing skills. For lower-order writing skills, the indirect method appeared to be a better measure than the direct method.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Stolp, Shelly J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Written Production of Four Kindergarten Children in a Whole Language Classroom: Frequency, Function, and Form

Description: The problem of this study was to describe, analyze, and compare the effects of learning centers and curricular themes upon the writing production of four children within a kindergarten classroom which followed the whole language approach. This study was conducted in a public school. Four subjects were identified from the administration of the Book Handling Knowledge Task. Using the qualitative research method of case studies, the teacher-researcher kept observational notes concerning the writing behavior of the subjects. The written compositions of the subjects were collected daily throughout the school year and were assigned a context, learning center and curricular theme. The compositions were then coded as to writing frequency, function, and form. The following findings resulted from the study: writing occurred most frequently in the art center followed by dramatic play, language, sand, science, social studies, "other," eyes and hands, mathematics, and library-listening; writing occurred most frequently during the curricular theme of Christmas followed by self-concept, shapes and colors, farm animals, Thanksgiving, Winter, transportation, nursery rhymes, patriotic, Valentine, food and nutrition, Halloween, Spring, wild animals, community helpers, gingerbread man, Summer, Easter, and pets; all five functions of language were used in the art center, four in the language, dramatic play, social studies, and "other" centers, and three in all other centers; all five functions were used during the Valentine curricular theme, four during self-concept, transportation, Spring, and farm animals, three during food and nutrition, and nursery rhymes, two during eleven other curricular themes, and only one during Easter and pets; and gains were made in form by the end of the study. Writing was often in the last stage of spelling development and more print concepts were in evidence. The conclusions made were that some learning centers and curricular themes prompt more frequent writing and the use of more language …
Date: August 1985
Creator: Medearis, Linda L. (Linda Lee)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Relationships Among Writing Quality, Attitudes Toward Writing, and Attitudes Toward Computers in a Computer-Mediated Technical Writing Class for English as a Foreign Language Students

Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of word processor use by foreign college writers and their attitudes toward writing, writing revision practices, writing quality, attitudes toward the use of computers, and time spent on computers. The results indicate that students' attitudes toward writing and their perceptions of computer usefulness significantly affected their writing quality. Students with more positive attitudes toward writing and the usefulness of computers tended to produce better quality writing. In addition, the findings indicate that students' writing revision practices significantly affected their attitudes toward writing. Students who revised their writing more frequently tended to have better attitudes toward writing than those who did not. In contrast, students' levels of computer anxiety, computer confidence, computer liking and their writing revision practices did not significantly affect the quality of their writing. Furthermore, the amount of time that students spent on computers did not significantly affect their attitudes toward using computers in writing.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Thaipakdee, Supaporn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Journal of Advanced Composition, Volume 4, 1983

Description: The Journal of Advanced Composition contains a collection of papers regarding writing and rhetoric: "The JAC is a forum for theory, research and pedagogy regarding (1) those writing courses beyond the freshman courses, excluding technical and creative writing, (2) writing in courses which are not themselves writing courses, particularly in the liberal arts and sciences, and (3) work in theory, research or pedagogy which is advanced or progressive and will shed light on the field as a whole while at the same time providing insights for advanced composition" (volume 1, number 1).
Date: 1987
Creator: Lally, Tim D. P.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An exercise in story repair: A guided written disclosure protocol for fostering narrative completeness of traumatic memories.

Description: The present study sought to build on the large body of past research into written disclosure of traumatic memories. This research has consistently found that participants who write about their traumatic experiences realize long-term physiological and psychological health benefits. More recently, it has been found that those participants who realize the most benefits are those who progressively include more elements of a good narrative, or story, in their writing about a traumatic experience over several sessions. Therefore, research has begun to examine the role of language and the structure of language in the health benefits gained from written disclosure of traumatic memories. A guided written disclosure protocol was designed for the present study, which sought to aid participants in supplying an increasing amount of narrative structure to their written disclosures of a single traumatic experience. Participants (N = 30) completed several measures of psychological and physiological health prior to and one month after completing the guided written disclosure protocol. Analyses revealed that participants who completed all four writing sessions showed statistically significant reductions in symptoms of general psychological distress, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and intrusive and avoidant symptoms related to the traumatic experience. No significant self-reported physiological health benefits were found. The clinical and research implications of these findings are discussed.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Tomczyk, Daniel A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

NNS Use of Adverbs in Academic Writing

Description: Recent studies have begun to redefine the idea of accuracy in second language acquisition to include not only grammatical correctness, but also native-like selection. This is an exploratory study aimed at identifying areas of nonnative-like selection of adverbs, such as sentence position, semantic category preferences, frequency of use and breadth of word choice. Using corpus-linguistic methods it compares the writing of nonnative English speakers at an intermediate and advanced level to both American college students’ writing and published academic writing. It also conducts in-depth case studies of three of the most commonly used adverbs. It finds that while advanced students are grammatically accurate, there are still several ways in which their use of adverbs differs from that of native speakers.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Heidler, Linda E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring Thai EFL University Students' Awareness of Their Knowledge, Use, and Control of Strategies in Reading and Writing

Description: The purpose of this research was to conduct case studies to explore and describe Thai university students' awareness and application of cognitive and metacognitive strategies when reading and writing in English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL). Four participants, including two high and two low English language proficiency learners, were selected from 14 students enrolled in a five-week course called English for Social Sciences offered at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand in 2005. The major sources of data for the analyses included the transcripts of the participants' pair discussions, think-aloud protocols, interviews, and daily journal entries. In addition, field work observations, reading and writing strategy checklists, participants' written work, and the comparison of the pretest and posttest results were also instrumental to the analyses. The interpretive approach of content analysis was employed for these four case studies. Findings were initially derived from the single-case analyses, and then from cross-case analyses. Major findings revealed that strategic knowledge enhanced these English-as-a-foreign- language (EFL) learners' proficiency in English reading and writing. However, applying elaborative strategies for higher-level reading was challenging for most of the participants. Two crucial factors that impeded their development were the learners' uncertain procedural and conditional knowledge of strategy uses and their limited English language proficiency due to limited exposure to the second language (L2). The teacher's explanations and modeling of strategies, the participants' opportunities to discuss strategy use with peers, and extensive practice positively enhanced their development. Additionally, the learners' schema and knowledge of text structures played significant roles in their development of the two skills. These English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) learners also developed metacognitive awareness and strategy applications, but not to the level that always enhanced effective regulation and control of their reading and writing behaviors. Combining reading and writing in English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) instruction promoted the learners' awareness of the relationships of certain strategies for …
Date: December 2006
Creator: Tapinta, Pataraporn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ability Grouping in College Beginning Media Writing Classes

Description: The problem with which this investigation is concerned is that students of unequal writing ability are frequently placed in the same beginning media writing classes in college journalism. It is difficult for a teacher to be effective when the ability of the students ranges from those who cannot write clear complete sentences to others whose work already appears in newspapers and magazines. The purpose of this study is to determine whether students who are ability grouped into slow—average and advanced groups do the same, better, or worse than heterogeneously grouped students. In the spring semester of 1987, students in Journalism 1345, Media Writing laboratory, at the University of Texas at Arlington, were given a pretest to determine how well they wrote a simple news story and a simple feature story. On the basis of that test, which was graded by three raters, the students were placed in two separate ability groups in three classes. The fourth class contained students with heterogeneous abilities who were not placed in groups. At the end of the semester a posttest was given in news and feature writing. A two-way analysis of variance was used to analyze the posttest scores of sixty-seven students. There was no significant difference in the posttest scores of students who were grouped homogeneously and those who were grouped heterogeneously. The difference in the scores of heterogeneously grouped advanced students and homogeneously grouped advanced students was not significantly different from the difference between the posttest scores of heterogeneously grouped slow-average students and homogeneously grouped slow-average students.
Date: December 1987
Creator: Haber, Marian Wynne
Partner: UNT Libraries

Do College Students with ADHD have Expressive Writing Difficulties as Do Children with ADHD?

Description: This study analyzed the expressive writing of college students. Twenty-two ADHD students and 22 controls were asked to write a story based on a picture story and a personal challenge. The texts were compared based on several qualitative and quantitative parameters. The results show that students in both groups presented similar text quality. Out of six qualitative parameters only one was statistically different between the two groups: ADHD students performed worse in adequacy, but only in the picture task. Students writings were also investigated using corpus based analysis. This analysis showed that ADHD students used less unusually frequent words in the picture story but more in the challenge task. Taken together the findings indicate no significant difference in expressive writing between ADHD and non ADHD college students. An explanation to this result is that college students with ADHD may have passed the filter of prior education.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Mantecon, Hripsime Der-Galustian
Partner: UNT Libraries

[Man writing in a journal]

Description: Photograph of a man writing in a journal outside. The man sits on the left side of the image at the base of a large tree and is focusing closely on what he writes. Fencing is seen on the right side of the image behind the tree, and two buildings and additional trees are seen in the background.
Date: [1939..1989]
Creator: Clark, Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections

If I Could Live Next Door for a Day

Description: If I Could Live Next Door for a Day is a collection of short stories with the recurrent theme of taking life for granted. "Climbing the Fence" is a story about a sexually unfulfilled woman who has an unfulfilling affair. In "Chained Melody" a condescending young man learns about life in and out of jail. "An Educated Man" shows the inferiority of one man in the presence of others he considers more important. A deluded school counselor brings a jealous boy and his younger brother together in "Piggie and Pete," while another young man in "The Good Boy" tries to break away from his mother. Finally, a woman learns about herself and the world around her when she wins a large sum of money in "What About Ten-Fold?"
Date: May 1993
Creator: Yoke, Tad M. (Tad Mitchell)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Art of Writing Scientific Reports

Description: As the purpose of the report is to transmit as smoothly and as easily as possible, certain facts and ideas, to the average person likely to read it, it should be written in a full and simple enough manner to be comprehended by the least tutored, and still not be boring to the more learned readers.
Date: March 1921
Creator: Norton, F. H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 19, Number 1, 1999

Description: JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory contains a collection of papers regarding writing and rhetoric: "The JAC is a forum for theory, research and pedagogy regarding (1) those writing courses beyond the freshman courses, excluding technical and creative writing, (2) writing in courses which are not themselves writing courses, particularly in the liberal arts and sciences, and (3) work in theory, research or pedagogy which is advanced or progressive and will shed light on the field as a whole while at the same time providing insights for advanced composition" (volume 1, number 1).
Date: 1999
Creator: Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition (U.S.)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Self-Assessment of Literacy Growth in Young Children

Description: In this study, 78 kindergarten and first-grade children were interviewed about their writing to identify indicators of self-assessment. Writing samples for each participant were saved over a three month period, then compared and discussed by the child. Results indicated that these young children did engage in self:-assessment behaviors. The classroom teachers were asked to place the participants in their classes along a writing continuum known as a Writing Band. Graphs were presented to show the writing levels of the children by classroom. In addition, each classroom was surveyed to document events which promote literacy development within the framework of an integrated curriculum. Writing samples for each child were collected and kept in a portfolio. Participants were interviewed regarding the contents of the portfolio. Children in two of the kindergarten classes were interviewed using 5 samples collected over a 2 1/2 month time period, and all other participants were interviewed using 6 writing samples collected over a 3 month period. Findings indicated that not only did these young children recognize growth in their writing, but they also assessed that growth based on outward, physical features of their writing. The writing ability of each child at the beginning of the study did not appear to affect the child's ability to self-assess writing growth. Children on the first 4 Writing Bands, A, B, C, and D self-assessed using similar criteria. Additional findings suggested that many of these young children knew there was a thought process involved with choosing topics to be written about. The results of this study suggested implications for continued investigations into using self-assessment with young children. For example, it was proposed that varying the learning environment may change the criteria that children use for self-assessment. Further research was recommended that would identify student and teacher behaviors that enhance self-assessment.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Miels, Jill C.
Partner: UNT Libraries
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