Writing Apprehension and Anti-Writing a Naturalistic Study of Composing Strategies Used by College Freshmen

A study of the influence of writing apprehension on individual composing strategies, particularly in the planning component of the process. Two groups of freshmen composition students (high-apprehensives and low-apprehensives) served as subjects. The study reveals that apprehension associated with the forging of ideas elongates planning, while apprehension associated with the fear of evaluation results in postponement and compression of planning. The period of avoiding writing to nurture ideas is "anti-writing". Previous research suggests that alleviating writing apprehension is a necessity, but this study demonstrates that apprehension associated with planning -- anti-writing -- is very valuable.


"Linda Bannister's Writing Apprehension and Anti-Writing is an important early piece of composing process research that, fortunately, is now being made available by the Mellen Press.. . . . she complicates easy notions about the relationship of apprehension to the quality of writing, about the place of pausing in effective planning, and about the ways planning might be conceptualized ... presents some of the most sensible observations about writing apprehension that I have ever read, and offers us the potentially rich concept of anti-writing -- a concept that could provide rich leads to further theoretical and empirical investigation." - Mike Rose, UCLA Writing Programs