Writing is Applied Metacognition
Rather surprisingly, in the extensive research on writing, a definition of the writing process is rarely provided. Numerous investigations have been conducted concerning the various components of writing, the influences on writing, and what experts do that novices do not do when writing, but a definition of the writing process is seldom mentioned and often simply implied. Considering that a goal of science is to obtain understanding of the phenomena under investigation, the omission of an explicit definition in the literature is almost disturbing. Stephen Witte (1992) suggested that questions about the nature of writing are not usually discussed because no theory bridges gaps among textual, cognitive, and social dimensions of writing, and because of the uncertainties that enshroud writing as a process or product. Roy Harris (2000) admits that the “bare idea of writing” is not a popular topic “because there are so many vested interests concerned to promote ideas of writing that are far from bare” (p. 8). However, he goes on to say that the intellectual pursuit to reconstruct the “bare idea of writing” might be worth pursuing.