Digital Writing, Word Processors and Operations in Texts: How Student Writers Use Digital Resources in Academic Writing Processes
This study explores the use of digital technologies in the writing of an academic assignment. Fine-grained studies on student writing processes are scarce in previous research. In relation to the increasing demands on students’ writing, as well as the debate on students’ poor writing (Malmström, 2017), these issues are important to address. In this study, screen captures of five students’ essay processes are analyzed. The results show that students handle text at different levels: they make use of one or more word processors, arrange texts spatially on screens and use resources to operate directly in texts. Above all these actions seem to meet the need to move and navigate within one’s own text, an aspect that could be especially important in relation to the academic genre and for handling texts as artifacts in activity (Castelló & Iñesta, 2012; Prior, 2006). The results of the study point to the importance of making digital writing practices visible, especially those that could create possibilities to intertwine digital texts, thereby enhancing potentials for academic writing and meaning-making.