Revolution Lullabye

February 17, 2008

Witte, Stephen P.

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Witte, Stephen P. “Pre-Text and Composing.” CCC 38:4 (Dec 1987): 397-425.

Witte argues that the writer’s pre-text, or mental construction of “text” prior to transcription, is such an important composing phenomenon that there must be more theoretical and empirical research in writing on it, specifically think-aloud protocols. From his own research on college freshmen’s pre-texts, he makes four observations about pre-text: pre-text directly affects the direction of the written text; pre-text can be stored in the writer’s memory and used in the text; revising pre-text uses the same strategies as revising written text; and pre-text is not a rigid step in the composing process but a necessary link between translating ideas to written text.


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