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Knowledge of language and text features for writing


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Last updated 26 October 2012 15:28 by NZTecAdmin

Because of their greater experience with reading and writing, more expert writers have a greater knowledge than beginner writers of the ways in which their choices of words, sentence structures, metaphors and other language features can be manipulated to reflect their own voice and to create a particular effect.

Development of expertise in using text types

As they develop expertise in the writing process, beginner writers have some general process knowledge,72while more expert writers have knowledge of the generic patterns of various text types that they bring to mind as they write. For example, more expert writers know that if they wish to persuade their readers, they can use argument text forms that have a conventional and predictable form.

They also use their knowledge about what features are associated with the particular type of text they want to write. They know there is a particular way to write an argument that is text different from the way to write a narrative text.73 Writers have gained this knowledge through reading and writing many examples of persuasive texts as well as through their experience of oral texts that are designed to persuade.

Writers use their knowledge of generic patterning at three levels:

  • to inform the overall structure of the text
  • to help shape the ideas in the text
  • to decide on the appropriate language items to use.

72 Perl, 1979; Raimes, 1985; Zamel, 1983.

73 Bereiter and Scardamalia, 1987b; Carter, 1990.

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