13 Pages

prompt-in produce-and

Penrose (1992) validated this phenomenon in a study that "explore[d] the assumption that writing is a way to learn by examining the influence of task interpretation on writing and studying as learning aids" (p. 465). The subjects in Penrose's study, college freshmen, were given two texts to read, one a description of how hurricanes form and the other an extended definition of paternalism. Half the students were instructed to "write a report" about one of the texts; the other half were directed to "study for a test" on one of the passages, "using whatever study strategies they deemed appropriate" (p. 470). Among the many features Penrose analyzed in the students' think-aloud protocols and their actual texts, one "elaboration strategy" is noteworthy. This is the strategy of "extending source material," where the student "adds or constructs new meaning," including "substantive inferences, questions about content," and "prior knowledge connections" (p. 473). Penrose discovered that students working with both passages "extended" the source text when they were assigned when directed to "write a report" about it. However, they elaborated more on the paternalism text than on the hurricane passage. "The fact-laden hurricane passage encouraged a less constructive interpretation of the writing task," Penrose noted, "whereas the paternalism passage apparently offers more opportunities for constructive elaborating and/or more encouragement to do so" (p. 490).