• ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Results of a study into revision skills of 32 elementary school pupils (grades 5-6) are presented. A further analysis is given based upon concrete revisions these students have carried out and on their verbalizations during the process. The experimental task consisted of revising a given expository text supposedly written by a fellow student, but in fact composed on the basis of several texts written by students of the same age. Subjects were asked to think aloud and were specifically asked to evaluate each part of the text to be revised. When problems were detected a diagnosis and suggestions for improvement had to be given. Finally subjects dictated their revision to the experimenter.The analysis aims at the question what specific difficulties in the revision process might explain the virtual absence of revision activity at the level of communicative content in students' normal writing behaviour. Based upon a model of the revision process by Bereiter and Scardamalia (1987) some explanations are explored. This so-called CDO-model (Compare, Diagnose, Operate) suggests that writers go through a recursive process in which the three components are the most important cognitive steps.Although the results of the study show that most students do possess the necessary skills to carry out each of the steps (under experimental conditions designed to facilitate the revision process), it is also shown that the students still have an inadequate concept of the task. More specifically, their awareness of the consequences of changing parts of a text for surrounding parts is limited, and the students are not inclined to check these consequences mentally before carrying out a final revision. This explains why the students were rather successful in detecting problems in a text, diagnosing them and eliminating them, but at the same time introduced new problems (both at the level of communicative content and formal aspects of usage). Some implications for teaching writing at the elementary level are discussed.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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