Writing Fluency and Digital Source Use in Authentic Academic Writing
This paper presents a case study that uses keystroke logging to explore writing fluency and digital source use during an authentic academic writing process in a novice student of data science through the lens of the Simple View of Writing. The study found that the writing of the literature review lasted for 11 hours distributed over 12 sessions. The sessions were thematically divided into four well-defined units with only minor overlaps that could be explained by the design of the task and that may reflect the non-linear and recursive implementation of writing processes at the text production, transcription and monitoring level. The findings suggested that the writer’s fluency, as measured by pauses, revisions and production rate, as well as digital source use reflect the cognitive effort involved in academic writing. The combined pause and revision data indicated a flexible writing profile depending on the complexity of the task at hand and on any approaching deadline for submission of a draft and receipt of feedback. The student demonstrated an effective source use in writing both for informative purposes in the results section and for argumentative purposes in the introduction and discussion. The findings may inform the teaching and learning of academic writing in terms of time allocation for the associated tasks and pedagogical support that addresses crucial language and genre knowledge as well as facilitates the text production and efficient source use.
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