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Methods in Writing Process Research

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Edited By Dagmar Knorr, Carmen Heine and Jan Engberg

Methods for studying writing processes have significantly developed over the last two decades. The rapid development of software tools which support the collection together with the display and analysis of writing process data and new input from various neighboring disciplines contribute to an increasingly detailed knowledge acquisition about the complex cognitive processes of writing. This volume, which focuses on research methods, mixed methods designs, conceptual considerations of writing process research, interdisciplinary research influences and the application of research methods in educational settings, provides an insight into the current status of the methodological development of writing process research in Europe.
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Methods in writing process research: Introduction and overview

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Research methods are at the core of assumptions, hypotheses, research questions, and research interests in writing research projects, regardless of researchers’ personal preferences, underlying research decisions, theories, situational circumstances, obstacles and hindrances, etc. Hence, research methods are, without doubt, a principal variable of any approach taken to investigate the production of text and its outcomes.

The major methodological advances of recent years have changed, re-focused and significantly influenced writing process research across Europe. The development of modern writing process tools on the one hand and the acquisition of qualitative and quantitative methods originating from neighboring disciplines, adapted to suit the needs of writing process research on the other, have brought about new techniques to track, investigate and value writing processes and products. Key logging, screen capturing, eye tracking and other process tools, as well as accompanying possibilities to obtain, measure, analyze, compare, assess and, as a consequence, teach, enrich the field of writing process research.

As the field broadens and opens up for transdisciplinary views, process and product phenomena are researched into from more diverse and multiple angles than previously possible. This gives rise to new methodological and theoretical approaches to research and their practical implementation and validation in the writing domains.

The X. prowitec-Symposion “Methods in Writing Process Research”, hosted by the writing center “Schreibwerkstatt Mehrsprachigkeit” at Hamburg University, 14.-15.02.2013 in Hamburg, which also marked the 20th anniversary of the German Association for Professional Communication in Education, Industry and Technology, prowitec e.V., acknowledged...

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