Green Squiggly Lines:

Writing Without Fear circa 1982: Word Processing

Framing word processors within a process-based approach to writing instruction, John C. Bean (1983) developed the link between ease of revision and students' progress from beginning to experienced writers. Bean claimed that

while the computer cannot cure directly students' psychological and cognitive blocks to revision, it can eliminate mechanical difficulties that hinder beginning writers, particularly the cramped illegibility of many students' handwritten drafts and their lack of time for extensive recopying. Once these difficulties are eliminated, students are better able to practice the composing process used by experienced writers. (p. 146)

The connections that Daiute and Bean made between the use of word processors and more thorough revisions were not, however, supported by all researchers working on the effects of word processors on student writing. In "The Word Processor and Revision Strategies," Richard M. Collier (1983) argued that word processors did not necessarily increase the overall effectiveness of students' revising strategies. According to Collier, the thorough revisions called for by the process movement would not be accomplished by simply introducing word processors. Pedagogical reforms were also necessary. Despite his more ambiguous response to the use of word processors, Collier did see the word processor as having "some advantages over the traditional method of transferring text from one handwritten page to another," and he could find no "detrimental effects on revising strategies" based on the groups of students he observed (p. 153).