PSYC313 - Literature Review Reading

Essential reading for PSYC313's lecture of planning and writing a literature review. Wk1, 2/2.


Torrance & Robinson (1994) Academic Writing Strate

The study aims to identify the main types of academic writing strategies from a questionnaire on students writing habits, experiences and productivity. The questionnaire will then be analysed using a cluster analysis to identify the main writing styles.

The cluster analysis identified three main types:

  • Planners: planned extensively, made few revisions of drafts, more productive, found academic writing easier & one of the most effective strategies.
  • Revisers: developed content and structure throughout writing, preferred not to plan in advance, less productive than planners, made many drafts, adopted strategies appropriate to the task at hand.
  • Mixed strategy:planned ahead and made revisions throughout, tendency to plan ideas (content) but not structure, more drafts than revisers, less productive than planners, more likely to worry about the writing task, found writing more difficult

Implications: may inform academic tutors to advise students that they can also adopt the reviser strategy if it fits their cognitive style, alongside the highly advocated planner style

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Torrance, Thomas & Robinson (2000) Ind. Diffs. in

Aim of the research was to identify the main methods of working for academic writing, based on analysis of questionnaires regarding students writing on an end of term paper.

Four main methods of working:

  • Minimal drafting: one or at most two drafts produce, produced poor results
  • Outline & Develop: content developed/planned beforehand and throughout, produced poor results & time consuming
  • Detailed planning: detailed plan produced and content developed throughou, produced better quality essays
  • Think-then-do: no written outline produced, produced better quality essays

Methods of working were consistent within individuals and across-time, suggesting that individuals do not adopt different methods of writing strategies, but maintain the same one, even if ineffective.

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