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Title: Write between the lines: Electronic outlining and the organization of text ideas
Authors: De Smet, Milou
Brand-Gruwel, Saskia
Broekkamp, Hein
Kirschner, Paul A.
Keywords: Electronic outlining
Outline tool
Argumentative writing
Text organization
Student writing
Writing Process
Issue Date: 30-Jul-2012
Abstract: Writing is an important, complex skill which could be enhanced through the effective use of writing tools that are incorporated in word processors. The main objective of this study was to examine the effect of (repeated) electronic outlining on the quality of students’ writing products and perceived mental effort. The study also investigated how students appropriate and appreciate the outline tool. Data were collected from 58 ninth-grade students who wrote two argumentative texts about a topic they had previously discussed during several class sessions, meaning that ideas were generated and clustered beforehand. Students’ writing products were scored for Total Text Structure, Structure Presentation, and Hierarchical Elaboration of Arguments. Results reveal that first-time tool-use had no significant effect on students’ writing products and perceived mental effort. However, repeated use positively affected Structure Presentation and led to decreased perceived mental effort, but no significant effect was found on Total Text Structure and Hierarchical Elaboration of Arguments. Answers to a retrospective questionnaire showed that students quickly appropriated the tool with tool appreciation increasing with repeated use. This study suggests that in order to profit from electronic outlining, it is important to practice using the outline tool and to use it for complex tasks, requiring idea generation and organization.
Description: De Smet, M. J. R., Brand-Gruwel, S., Broekkamp, H., & Kirschner, P. A. (2012). Write between the lines: Electronic outlining and the organization of text ideas. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(6), 2107-2116. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2012.1006.1015
Appears in Collections:1. LC: Publications and Preprints

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