FIU Christofs Behaviour Compares to Novice Writers in Various Ways Discussion


Chapter 10: Christof the Wordsmith

Christof has recently started college and is having the familiar student experience of getting overwhelmed with the amount of writing he must do. He has become disheartened at his own ability and is convinced that he is bad writer.

To his surprise, after it was graded, the paper came back with another poor result. He still made some spelling and grammar mistakes, but he also received comments that said the writing “did not convey a clear argument”. His professor added that “certain paragraphs were unclear or did not flow together.”

At this point, Christof is sure he does not have the intelligence to write well in college.

TASK: Thinking about Language Production, answer the following questions about Christof. As always, bold a concept or relevant phrase in your responses.

  1. Think about the following questions related to Christof’s writing experience. Write a paragraph addressing all of the following:
    • According to the research discussed on writing, how does Christof’s behavior compare to what novice writers typically do?
    • There are different stages of writing. In which stage of writing was Christof implementing changes in?
    • What did he do during this stage? What should he have done to perform better?
  2. What makes writing cognitively challenging? Describe mental processes related to the task.
  3. Christof is frustrated he missed many spelling errors in his paper.
    • Give a cognitive explanation for why he may have missed those errors in his paper.
    • What can he do to improve his ability to catch those mistakes next time?
  4. Bonus (0.5 pts): A common mistakes people make when writing is a homophone replacement error. This occurs when we substitute words like their for there, or right for
    • How can you cognitively explain why we make replacement error?
    • Hint: think about how we accessed the word we choose to write down.

Overall Hint: Remember that language is tied to other processed; it is a higher-level ability. You may want to think about some concepts or terms discussed in Chapters 2, 4, & 9.

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