This questionnaire describes the different ways that college students go about writing essays and papers. There are no right or wrong answers because there are many different ways that work for different students. Just think about what you usually do and respond. The goal is to better understand how students feel about writing and how they complete writing tasks, so that writing instructors can design their courses with students’ skills and needs in mind.
Answer A True of B False for each statement. Indicate your answers on the answer sheet provided using a #2 pencil.
When writing an essay, I stick to the rules.
I set aside specific time to do written assignments.
I re-examine and restate my thoughts in revision.
If the assignment calls for 1000 words, I try to write just about that many.
I use a lot of definitions and examples to make things clear.
Writing makes me feel good.
I closely examine what the essay calls for.
Revision is a one time process at the end.
There is one best way to write a written assignment.
I try to entertain, inform, or impress my audience.
I tend to give a lot of description and detail.
I keep my theme or topic clearly in mind as I write.
Low 0-10 Moderate 11-18 High 19 +
Elaborative strategy is marked by a search for personal meaning in writing and by a tendency to view writing as symbolic. Common strategies include metaphor, analogy, visualization and a holistic conception of the writing process. Elaborative writers think about their writing when not directly engaged in it. They invest themselves in writing and derive personal meaning from their work. Their motivation is affective and they like to write to please an audience. They excel at narrative writing and at accommodating audience.
Low 0-3 Moderate 4 – 9 High l0+
Low Self Efficacy describes a writing approach based on fear and doubt of skills or abilities. Writing is seen as a painful undertaking and not as related to self expression. Learning the rules is viewed as key to success. Low Self Efficacy has few strategies and writers scoring high on this scale do not see themselves as in control of producing a credible outcome. Choices are not apparent and fear is high.
Low 0-6 Moderate 7-10 High 11+
Reflective Revision describes a writing orientation based on a sophisticated understanding of the revision process as a remaking and clarification of thinking. Writing is considered an emergent process driven by intentions and aimed at supporting a thesis.
It is a highly sophisticated approach. These writers excel at academic writing as well as at argumentation and analysis.
Low 0-5 Moderate 6-10 High 11+
Spontaneous-Impulsive describes a writing strategy based on an off-the-cuff or unplanned strategy. Writing is viewed as a one step procedure, devoid of personal meaning. Conceptions or writing and revision are superficial or linear although these writers see themselves as highly competent.
Low 0-3 Moderate 4-8 High 9+
The procedural approach to writing describes a method oriented style based on strict adherence to the rules with a minimal amount of involvement. The style is technical and eth goal is just to answer the question rather than to self-express. This strategy does not go beyond the bounds of the assignment. The focus is on mechanics rather than meaning. Writing assignments are just a demand to be met.
Lavelle, E. (2006). Approaches to writing. In D. Gailbraith, M. Torrance, & L. van Waes
(Eds.), Recent developments in writing process research, Vol.2, Methods and Applications. Netherlands: Kluwer.
Lavelle, E. (2006) Teachers’ self-efficacy for writing. Electronic Journal of Research in