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Writer's block is more than a mere matter of discomfort and missed dead-lines; sustained experiences of writer's block may influence academic success and career choices. Writers in the business world, profes-sional writers, and students all have known this most common and least studied problem with the composing process. Mike Rose, however, sees it as a limitable problem that can be precisely analyzed and remedied through instruc-tion and tutorial programs.

Rose defines writer's block as "an in-ability to begin or continue writing for reasons other than a lack of skill or com-mitment," which is measured by "pas-sage of time with limited productive involvement in the writing task." He applies insights of cognitive psychology to reveal dimensions of the problem never before examined.

In his three-faceted approach, Rose de-velops and administers a questionnaire to identify writers experiencing both high and low degrees of blocking; through stimulated recall he examines the composing processes of these writers; and he proposes a cognitive conceptualization of writer's block and of the composing process.

In drawing up his model, Rose delin-eates many cognitive errors that cause blocking, such as inflexible rules or con-flicting planning strategies. He also dis-cusses the practices and strategies that promote effective composition.

The reissue of this classic study of writer's block includes a new preface by the author that advocates more mixed-methods research in rhetoric and composition, details how he conducted his writer's block study, and discusses how his approach to a study like this would be different if conducted today.

  • ISBN13: 9780809329236
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Pubilcation Year: 2009
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 00132
SeriesStudies in Writing and Rhetoric
Publication DateAugust 1, 2009
Primary CategoryLanguage Arts & Disciplines/Composition & Creative Writing - General

Writer's Block: The Cognitive Dimension

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