Level Keyboarding the text

Research at this level of detail is not particularly relevant to this text. However, it is of interest in one respect. In the old days, people produced and kept early drafts of their work. It was possible, therefore, to see how — through the changes, deletions and revisions — a writer's thoughts changed and developed as the text was produced. Today, with word processing, it is extremely difficult to keep track of changes of this kind. It is now so easy to change a word or phrase without affecting the look of the manuscript, and early versions are deleted and changed online as the text develops. (Of course, some obsessive authors such as myself keep copies of initial and later versions, but it is hard to think of them as sequential, separate drafts, as was the case before . . .).

Nonetheless, some word processing systems do allow writers/readers to keep track of the changes made, and such changes have been subject to analysis (e.g. see Kollberg and Eklundh, 2001; Wengelin, 2007). Kollberg and Eklund, for instance, described a computer-based technique for analysing the text production and revision strategies of school-children and university students. Using keystroke analyses, these investigators were able to create a record of all the revisions made to a text while it was being written, as well as the order in which they were made. One can imagine that such records may be useful in, say, the study of literary criticism, or in relation to studies at Level 2.

0 0

Post a comment