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Writing is a complex activity which draws on the writer's linguistic, social, and problem
solving skills. My research explores all of these aspects of writing processes through a
combination of methodologies, including thinking aloud protocols, expert-novice
comparisons, experimental studies of comprehension and perception, and naturalistic
observation. One line of research has been directed at the development and testing of a
model of the cognitive processes involved in writing. This research has led to increased
understanding of such topics as: What is the nature of planning in writing? How are
sentences composed? What processes are involved in revision? Why do people
experience difficulty in writing clearly about topics on which they are expert? A second
line of research concerns the way in which writing assignments are carried out in natural
or non-laboratory-settings. This line of research has led to increased understanding of
differences in the way experts and novices approach school writing tasks and to
increased understanding of how a teacher's teaching methods influence student effort
in writing.

I am also conducting a third line of research on the role of knowledge in creative
activities. This research has revealed that even the most talented creators such as
Mozart and Picasso required years of preparation in their fields before they began to
produce high quality work.


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