Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-6b989bf9dc-pkhfk Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-13T10:40:31.366Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false
This chapter is part of a book that is no longer available to purchase from Cambridge Core

22 - Professional Writing Expertise

from PART V.A - PROFESSIONAL DOMAINS

Ronald T. Kellogg
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Saint Louis University
K. Anders Ericsson
Affiliation:
Florida State University
Neil Charness
Affiliation:
Florida State University
Paul J. Feltovich
Affiliation:
University of West Florida
Robert R. Hoffman
Affiliation:
University of West Florida
Get access

Summary

Keywords: planning, translating, reviewing, deliberate practice, ten-year rule, flow states, working memory, long-term working memory, domain-specific knowledge, verbal ability, concrete language, strategies, rituals, work environment, work schedule.

Introduction

Writing extended texts for publication is a major cognitive challenge, even for professionals who compose for a living. Serious writing is at once a thinking task, a language task, and a memory task. A professional writer can hold multiple representations in mind while adeptly juggling the basic processes of planning ideas, generating sentences, and reviewing how well the process is going. This chapter will open with the question of how to define the concept of professional writing and an explanation of the demands that writing processes make on cognitive resources. The characteristics of professional-level writers and writing expertise are then enumerated and explored. In the final section, the acquisition of writing skill will be discussed, with comparisons and contrasts to other kinds of expertise highlighted. Much remains to be learned, but the lessons from the state-of-the-art research literature can be helpful to aspiring professional writers.

Defining Professional Writing

Defining expertise in writing is difficult because the task is ill structured (Simon, 1973) and because the types of texts generated by professionals are so varied. An expert in chess successfully checkmates the opponent, and the allowable moves in the game are defined clearly.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Adams, K. H. (1993). A history of professional writing instruction in American colleges. Dallas: Southern Methodist Press.Google Scholar
Amabile, T. M. (1985). Motivation and creativity: Effects of motivational orientation on creative writers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48, 393–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Asimov web site. (n.d.). Retrieved December 6, 2003 from http:www.asimovonline.com/.
Berninger, V. W., & Swanson, H. L. (1994). Modifying Hayes and Flower's model of skilled writing to explain beginning and developing writing. In Butterfield, E. C. (Ed.), Children's writing: Toward a process theory of the development of skilled writing (pp. 57–81). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
Bereiter, S., & Scardamalia, M. (1987). The psychology of written composition. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Bock, J. K., & Levelt, W. (1994). Language production: Grammatical encoding. In Gernsbacher, M. (Ed.), Handbook of psycholinguistics (pp. 945–984). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Boice, R. (1985). Cognitive components of blocking. Written Communication, 2, 91–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boice, R. (1994). How writers journey to comfort and fluency: A psychological adventure. Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
Boice, R. (1997). Which is more productive, writing in binge patterns of creative illness or in moderation? Written Communication, 14, 435–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boice, R., & Johnson, K. (1984). Perception and practice of writing for publication by faculty at a doctoral-granting university. Research in Higher Education, 21, 33–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bourdin, B., & Fayol, M. (1994). Is written language production more difficult than oral language production: A working memory approach. International Journal of Psychology, 29, 591–620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brand, A. G. (1989). The psychology of writing: The affective experience. New York: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
Brand, A. G., & Leckie, P. A. (1989). The emotions of professional writers. The Journal of Psychology, 122, 421–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bridwell-Bowles, L., Johnson, P., & Brehe, S. (1987). Composing and computers: Case studies of experienced writers. In Matsuhashi, A. (Ed.), Writing in real time: Modeling production processes (pp. 81–107). London: Longman.Google Scholar
Britton, B. K., & Tessor, A. (1982). Effects of prior knowledge on use of cognitive capacity in three complex cognitive tasks. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 21, 421–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Caramazza, A. (1991). Issues in reading, writing, and speaking: A neuropsychological perspective. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carter, M. (1996). What is advanced about advanced composition: A theory of expertise in writing. In Olson, G. A. & Drew, J. (Eds.), Landmark essays on advanced composition (pp. 71–80). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Chenoweth, N. A., & Hayes, J. R. (2001). The inner voice in writing. Written Communication, 20, 99–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Couture, B. (1992). Categorizing professional discourse: Engineering, administrative, technical/professional writing. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 6, 5–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Couture, B., & Rymer, J. (1993). Situational exigence: Composing processes on the job by writer's role and task value. In Spilka, R. (Ed.), Writing in the workplace: Now research perspectives (pp. 4–55). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.Google Scholar
Cowley, M. (Ed.) (1958). Writers at work: The Paris Review interviews (Vol. 1). New York: Viking Press.Google Scholar
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
Dowdy, D. (1984, March). The trying out of the essay: How six scientific essayists compose. Paper presented at the 35th annual meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. New York. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED243150)
Duffy, T., Curran, T., & Sass, D. (1983). Document design for technical job tasks: An evaluation. Human Factors, 25, 143–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Epel, N. (1993). Writers dreaming. New York: Carol Southern Books.Google Scholar
Ericsson, K. A., & Kintsch, W. (1995). Long-term working memory. Psychological Review, 102, 211–245.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ericsson, K. A., Krampe, R. T., & Tesch-Römer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review, 100, 363–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ericsson, K. A., & Smith, J. (Eds.) (1991). Toward a general theory of expertise: Prospects and limits. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Fitzgerald, J. (1987). Research on revision in writing. Review of Educational Research, 57, 481–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Flower, L. S., & Hayes, J. R. (1980). The dynamics of composing: Making plans and juggling constraints. In Gregg, L. W. & Steinberg, E. R. (Eds.), Cognitive processes in writing (pp. 31–50). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Flower, L. S., & Hayes, J. R. (1984). Images, plans, and prose: The representation of meaning in writing. Written Communication, 1, 120–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Geisler, C., Rogers, E. H., & Haller, C. R. (1998). Disciplining discourse: Discourse practice in the affilitated professions of software engineering design. Written Communication, 15, 3–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Givon, T. (1995). Coherence in the text and coherence in the mind. In Gernsbacher, M. A. & Givon, T. (Eds.), Coherence in spontaneous text (pp. 139–160). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Glynn, S. M., Britton, B. K., Muth, D., & Dogan, N. (1982). Writing and revising persuasive documents: Cognitive demands. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 557–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grobe, C. (1981). Syntactic maturity, mechanics, and vocabulary as predictors of quality ratings. Research in the Teaching of English, 15, 75–85.Google Scholar
Hartley, J. (2000). Legal ease and ‘legalese.’ Psychology, Crime, and Law, 6, 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hartley, J., & Branthwaite, A. (1989). The psychologist as wordsmith: A questionnaire study of the writing strategies of productive British psychologists. Higher Education, 18, 423–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hayes, J. R. (1985). Three problems in teaching general skills. In Chipman, S. F., Segal, J. W., & Glaser, R. (Eds.), Thinking and learning skills: Vol. 2. Research and open questions (pp. 391–405). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Hayes, J. R., & Flower, L. S. (1980). Identifying the organization of writing processes. In Gregg, L. W. & Steinberg, E. R. (Eds.), Cognitive processes in writing (pp. 3–30). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Hayes, J. R., Flower, L. S., Schriver, K. S., Stratman, J., & Carey, L. (1987). Cognitive approaches in revision. In Rosenberg, S. (Ed.), Advances in applied psycholinguistics: Vol. 2. Reading, writing, and language processing (pp. 176–240). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hayes, J. R., & Flower, L. S. (1986). Writing research and the writer. American Psychologist, 41, 1106–1113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Henry, J. (2000). Writing workplace cultures: An archeology of professional writing. Carbondale, IL: Southen Illinois University Press.Google Scholar
Hyland, K. (2001). Bringing in the reader: Addressee features in academic articles. Written Communication, 18, 549–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
John-Steiner, V. (1985). Notebooks of the mind: Explorations of thinking. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.Google Scholar
Kaufman, J. C., & Gentile, C. A. (2002). The will, The wit, The judgment: The importance of an early start in productive and successful creative writing. High Ability Studies, 13(2), 115–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kellogg, R. T. (1986). Writing method and productivity of science and engineering faculty. Research in Higher Education, 25, 147–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kellogg, R. T. (1988). Attentional overload and writing performance: Effects of rough draft and outline strategies. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 14, 355–365.Google Scholar
Kellogg, R. T. (1994). The psychology of writing. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Kellogg, R. T. (2001). Long-term working memory in text production. Memory & Cognition, 29, 43–52.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kintsch, W. (1998). Comprehension: A paradigm for cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Larsen, R. (1988). Flow and writing. In Csikszentmihalyi, M. & Csikszentmihalyi, I. S. (1988). Optimal experience: Psychological studies of flow in consciousness (pp. 150–171). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lee, K., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (1996). The development of external symbol systems: The child as notator. In Gelman, R. & Kit-Fong, T. (Eds.), Perceptual and cognitive development (185–211). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Lemay, J. A. L., & Zall, P. M. (Eds.) (1981). The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: A genetic text. Knoxville: Univerisity of Tennessee Press.Google Scholar
Amour, L. (1989). Education of a wandering man. New York: Bantam.Google Scholar
Madigan, R., Johnson, S., & Linton, P. (1995). The language of psychology: APA style as epistemology. American Psychologist, 50, 428–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mailer, N. (2003). The spooky art: Some thoughts on writing. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
MacKinnon, J. (1993). Becoming a rhetor: Developing writing ability in a mature, writing intensive organization. In Spilka, R. (Ed.), Writing in the workplace: New research perspectives (pp. 41–55). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.Google Scholar
McCutchen, D. (1984). Writing as a linguistic problem. Educational Psychologist, 19, 226–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McCutchen, D. (1996). A capacity theory of writing: Working memory in composition. Educational Psychology Review, 8, 299–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McCutchen, D. (2000). Knowledge, processing, and working memory: Implications for a theory of writing. Educational Psychologist, 35, 13–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Murray, D. M. (1978). Write before writing. College Composition and Communication, 29, 375–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Oates, J. C. (2003). The faith of a writer: Life, craft, and art. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
Paradis, J., Dobrin, D., & Miller, R. (1985). Writing at Exxon ITD: Notes on the writing environment of an R&D organization. In Odell, L. & Goswami, D. (Eds.), Writing in nonacademic settings (pp. 281–307). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
Pearson, M. (1998). Mr. Personalities: A conversation about the writing process with Mark Singer. Creative Nonfiction, 9, 118–125.Google Scholar
Perry, S. K. (1996). When time stops: How creative writers experience entry into the flow state. Dissertation Abstracts International, 58 (8), 4484B. (UMI No. 9805789)Google Scholar
Piirto, J. (2002). “My teeming brain”: Understanding creative writers. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.Google Scholar
Plimpton, G. (Ed.) (1963). Writers at work: The Paris Review interviews, second series. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
Plimpton, G. (Ed.) (1989). Women writers at work: The Paris Review interviews. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
Root, R. L. (1983). The composing processes of professional expository writers. Paper presented at the 34th annual meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Detroit. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED232157)
Rymer, J. (1988). Scientific composing processes: How eminent scientists write journal articles. In Jollife, D. A. (Ed.), Advances in writing research, Volume 2: Writing in academic disciplines (pp. 211–250). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.Google Scholar
Sadoski, M., & Paivio, A. (2001). Imagery and text: A dual coding theory of reading and writing. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Sadoski, M., Goetz, E. T., & Avila, E. (1995). Concreteness effects in text recall: Dual coding or context availability? Reading Research Quarterly, 30, 278–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (1991). Literate expertise. In Ericsson, K. A. & Smith, J. (Eds.), Toward a general theory of expertise: Prospects and limits (pp. 172–194). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Schere, J. J. (1998). Effect of engaging in creative activity on the mood of artists and writers: An empirical test of flow theory. (Doctoral Dissertation, The California School of Professional Psychology). Dissertation Abstracts International, 59 (06), 3074B.Google Scholar
Scinto, L. F. M. (1986). Written language and psychological development. Orlando: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Simon, H. A. (1973). The structure of ill-structured problems. Artificial Intelligence, 4, 181–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simon, H. A., & Chase, W. G. (1973). Skill in chess. American Scientist, 61, 394–403.Google Scholar
Stanovich, K. E., & Cunningham, A. E. (1993). Where does knowledge come from? Specific associations between print exposure and information acquisition. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85, 211–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tomlinson, B. (1986). Characters as co-authors: Segmenting the self, integrating the composing process. Written Communication, 3, 421–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Traxler, M. J., & Gernsbacher, M. A. (1992). Improving written communication through minimal feedback. Language and Cognitive Processes, 7, 1–22.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wishbow, N. A. (1988). Studies of creativity in poets. (Doctoral Dissertation, Carnegie Mellon University). Dissertation Abstracts International, 51, 0491A.Google Scholar
Witte, S. P. (1987). Pre-text and composing. College Composition and Communication, 38, 397–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zimmerman, B. J., & Risemberg, R. (1997). Becoming a self-regulated writer: A social cognitive perspective. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 22, 73–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×