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What Writers Know: The Language, Process, and Structure of Written Discourse Hardcover – 18 Mar 1982


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About the Author

Martin Nystrand (Ph.D., Northwestern University) is LOUISE DURHAM MEAD PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on the dialogic organization of discourse in both writing and classroom discourse. His writing research examines how writing-reader interaction shapes the writer s writing process and development: The Structure of Written Communication: Studies in Reciprocity Between Writers and Readers (Academic Press, 1986). His classroom discourse research, in collaboration with Adam Gamoran, probes the role of classroom interaction in student learning and was the first empirical study to document the role of open classroom discussion in student learning: Opening Dialogue: Understanding the Dynamics of Language and Learning in the English Classroom (Teachers College Press, 1997). His study, Questions in Time: Investigating the Structure and Dynamics of Unfolding Classroom Discourse (with L. Wu, A. Gamoran, S. Zeiser, D. Long, Discourse Processes, 35 (2003), 135-196) is the first-ever use of event-history analysis to investigate classroom discourse. Nystrand is a former director of the National Research Center on English Learning & Achievement (CELA), editor of Written Communication, and president of both the National Conference on Research in Language and Literacy (NCRLL) and the American Education Research Association (AERA) Special Interest Group (SIG) for Writing Research. At Wisconsin, he has also been a Vilas Associate and, since 1994, a member of the Teaching Academy. He teaches undergraduate courses in composition and English education and graduate courses and seminars in Composition and Rhetoric, a program he chairs. His most recent book, coedited with John Duffy, is Towards a Rhetoric of Everyday Life: New Directions in Research on Writing, Text, and Discourse (University of Wisconsin Press, 2003). He is currently working on The Semiotics of Influence, a sociocultural history of composition studies investigating the history and social context of empirical writing research as it unfolded in North America during the 1970s & 80s.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miscellaneous reviews 25 Jan. 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"Stimulating, provocative, wide-ranging. Nystrand appropriately describes this as `an ideas book' and readers hungry for insights into the processes of writing are provided with a feast. . . . The fourteen chapters will serve varying functions as appetizers for main courses. . . . Nystrand's book is full of good things, especially delicacies to be savored slowly, contemplatively. This is the sort of picnic to which Nystrand invites you. If your appetite has been whetted, if you want to know more about written discourse, then you are not likely to be disappointed by this miscellany of recent advances in what is known about what writers know" (Patricia Wright in Applied Psycholinguistics, 1985, 6, 354-356).
"Nystrand's book reads well and is fresh, interesting, and important step in the study of writing. He and his contributors provide information that will be valuable for a range of readers, particularly graduate students seeking to understand not only current thinking but also the historical antecedents of certain approaches and perspectives.
"This book is an important contribution to the field because it helps us recognize the value of a multidisciplinary approach to writing research. It broaches the kinds of questions that, in my estimation, will ultimately lead to the construction of a theory of literacy, and it encourages us to pursue our own lines of inquiry with a greater sense of the whole" (from R. Horowitz, "Toward a Theory of Literacy," The Harvard Educational Review, 1984, 54, pp. 88-97).
"What Writers Know lends cohesion to a number of diverse approaches, including valuable treatments of children's writing development and simulations of human writing behaviour with computer generated writing" (Alan Hegarty in The Australian Journal of Psychology, 1984, 36, 127-128).
"Nearly all of the fourteen essayists have something to say to business and professional writers. . . . The tempting promises in the preface and in Nystrand's opening essay are reasonably well fulfilled in the essays which follow. . . . I commend . . . the essays to the attention of anyone who wants to help minister to the theory needs of our disciplines" (Robert D. Gieselman in The Journal of Business Communication, 1985, 22, 70-71).
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