Psychological Reactions to Writing Revisions Essay

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present this article in a scholarly fashion, which lends credibility to the authors -- an issue that is extremely crucial considering their audience. While Germano et al. cite nearly no evidence for their argument, Lehr's article is packed with research regarding not only how students see revision and the writing process, but also about how teachers can address the problem. The information is specific, pointing to certain grade levels, activities, etc.

A closer look at these two articles, then, reveals that they have more similarities than differences. In fact, the only major difference between the two is the audience and factual information contained in the articles. In addition, these differences are warranted given the articles' different purposes. Germano et al.' s article can almost be seen as an extension of Lehr's -- encouraging professionals to take the same advice that they give their students. In fact, it is expressly because of their similarities and different audiences that readers can have a greater understanding of the writing process, especially revision, by analyzing them together. The fact that both articles suggest problems with student and professional revision stem from psychological and attitudinal reasons is of utmost importance. At first suggestion, it would seem odd that one scholar, let alone two, would identify psychology as the reason behind students and professionals' difficulty grasping the writing process. Still, the idea that writing and re-writing are punishment has been instilled in the American culture since its earliest days. A common punishment for students who misbehaved in class or did not have their work done was writing repeated lines on paper. Students have been forced to write book reports as punishment for not completing their work in class. Teachers who had back student drafts covered in red marks make students feel as if they are not good writers, even if the teacher comments that the students' ideas were interesting. While it is Lehr who focuses on the psychological aversion to revision based on the writing as punishment mentality, Germano et al. suggest that revision is psychologically attached to failure for professionals. Indeed, what professional does not loose heart when she receives a letter stating, "revise and resubmit" from a publisher? Thus, rewriting has more psychological connotations than any other step in the writing process!

Now that the authors have concluded upon a reason for both students and professionals' problems with revising, it is up to teachers, writers, and students to solve these issues. Both articles implied that the first step to overcoming the difficulties that all writers face in the revising process is to acknowledge those difficulties. Writers need to understand that their struggle with revision may be psychological, and teachers need to understand that this may be true of their students. Adopting an attitude that sees revision as writing, struggling with ideas, and honing them, much like the pre-writing process -- will be both crucial and ultimately beneficial to writers at any level who seek to undertake any form of writing, whether it be poetry, creative fiction, or academic research. Thus, the contributions made by both Germano et al. And Lehr to the understanding of the writing process and especially revision are important, accurate, and insightful.

But it is similarly important to divulge what they have omitted, and they have made a rather large omission. While revision and the restructuring of revision, as well as writers' attitudes toward the topic has been an area recently explored by writers and scholars, there are the few who can produce quality content with few revisions, sometimes with no revision. While this can be frustrating for the revising writer, it will be just as important for the scholar to study the writing process of this writer as it is for the scholar to study the revising writer. Thus, a comparison and contrast of both Germano et al. And Lehr's articles allow writers to understand the importance of revision as a field of study, even opening up more areas for that study.

Works Cited

Germano William et al. "Revision as Writing, Writing as Revision." Modern Language

Association. 2007. 15 May 2009.

Lehr, Fran. "Revision in the Writing Process." B. NET. n.d. 15 May 2009.


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