October 23, 2005

Writing: Texts, Processes and Practices

Candlin, C.N. & K. Hyland. 1999. Writing: Texts, Processes and Practices. Essex: Addison Wesley Longman Limited.

texts are multidimensional constructs requiring multiple perspectives for their understanding. writing is more than the generation of text-linguistic product.

writing as text is thus not usefully seperated from writing as process and interpretation, and neither can easily be divorced from the specific local circumstances in which writing takes place nor from the broader institutional and socio-historical context which inform those particlar occasions of writing.

my wordings:
TEXTUAL APPROACH sees textual variation and similarity in terms of lexico-grammatical and discursice patterining, as particular genres.

INTERACTIVE APPROACH sees text as a product of interaction between writer and readers. therefore, some perspectives taken into account are:

  1. face (Brown and Levinson, 1987)
  2. implicature and the maxims of interpretation and politeness (Grice, 1975, Leech)
  3. mechanisms for conveying newness of information and appealing to shared knowledge (Prince, 1992)
  4. predictive models of discourse coherence based on schemata and scripts (Schank and Abelson, 1977, van Dijk and kintsch, 1983).

constitutes local context

SOCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL PRACTICES sees discursive conventions as authorised and valued by social groups and, institutional sites, or discourse communities. This approach considers the overall framework of social meanings and socially based ideological schemata inscribed in its creation and interpretation.

Bhatia, V.K. "Integrating products, processes, purposes and participants in professional writing"


Bhatia differentiates between professional writing and academic writing. Academic writing is:

  • often undertaken in the context of classroom
  • meant to serve a given set of communicative purposes, for a specified single readership

Professional writing:
a complex, dynamic and multifunctional activity

generic integrity
genre has generic integrity which is often perceived in applied genre literature in terms of typical lexico-grammatical and discourse patterns, simply because these are the most obvious surface-level linguistic features of textual genres.

Bathia (1993) generic integrity is a reflection of the form-function relationship that so often characterises a generic construct. On the one hand, this relationship between formal and functional aspects of language use reflects a specific cognitive structuring to the genre, on the other hand, it also reflects the communicative purpose(s) that the genre tends to seve.

Indicators of generic integrity:

  1. the rhetorical context in which the genre is situated
  2. the communicative purpose(s)
  3. cognitive structure that it is meant to represent

learning to write professional genre is more like being initiated into professional or disciplinary practices than like learning to write in the academy. It is not simple a matter of learning the language, or even learning the rules of the game, it is more like acquiring rules of the game in order to be able to exploit and manipulate them to fulfil professional and disciplinary goals within well-defined and established contexts.

my general comment on Bhatia's article: i don't like the way he writes his essay. it's just too complicated and not reader-friendly. but perhaps, because I don't like the subject.

Myers, Greg. "Interaction in writing: principles and problems"
mostly sees a text as interaction between writer and reader conforming to cooperative principles, politeness.

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