Sunday, February 28, 2016

What about Second Drafts?

Another strange result from a psychological study: Typing too fast can interfere with your thinking. Can it? Of course it can! It seems true that "People who type quickly may use the first word that comes to hand. Slowing down allows the mind more time to find the right word. This could be why forcing yourself to slow down a little improves the sophistication of vocabulary used." And this Website that comments on the study finds: "Slowing down your writing could help writing quality no matter what input method is used, the authors think."

Well, it could. But editing and producing a second, third, and fourth draft certainly will help "writing quality," or perhaps better the quality of what is written. The authors of the study (which I could not read, as it is behind a pay wall) might have more seriously considered the possibility of a preliminary draft, or the attempt to get down one's thoughts as quickly as possible with a view to later editing and re-editing. It seems from the summary that they were mainly interested in one-draft writing which is to be discouraged.[1]

1. I may be unfair to the authors of the study, as I don't know whether the PsyBlog entry ssummarizes the results correctly. For one idea about preliminary drafts (called "shitty first draft"), see here.

1 comment:

Jordan T-H said...

This is some pretty solid science with three experiments behind it. They were out to look at just what typing speed had to do with writing, and found some interesting results. It was a nice package. I don't doubt their writing lab is going to run more experiments, but this is just a nice package. There's a neat book you might like that has a couple (much older) studies related to variations in writing mediums and constraints: