The Composing Process for Computer Conversation

Denise E. Murray*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Computer conversation provides a writing context in which both process and product are mediated via the computer terminal and the product is semipermanent. This 8-month study of the use of computer conversation by an IBM project manager and his colleagues identifies the cognitive and contextual strategies used to accommodate this particular task environment. When planning, writers chose among the available communication media, changed goals in a shifting rhetorical context, and organized parallel processes. When translating, they remembered the text constructed thus far and the knowledge shared with the reader and chose surface structures ad hoc to fit the technology. When reviewing, they revised with the goal of comprehensibility and evaluated writing-in-production against incoming information. This particular writing process illustrates the cognitive consequences of context for writing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-55
Number of pages21
JournalWritten Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


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