Monday, April 27, 2009

Procrastination is a Process Issue

So I'd like to go over the state of research in procrastination in writing over time.

The sixties seem to be the last decade devoid of procrastination research. However, this decade is far from being irrelevant. In the sixties, we are introduced to "process pedagogy," a way of teaching writing that emphasizes "process"--the steps writers go through as they produce a document--over "product"--the final document. A product-oriented pedagogy asks "What does good writing look like?" But with a process-oriented pedagogy, the question is, "How do I produce good writing?" The distinction here is that knowing what makes for a good product doesn't explain how one goes about producing it.

So why is process pedagogy relevant to my study of procrastination in writing? Because procrastination is not an element of the written product, it's an element of the writing process. Theoretically, a product-oriented pedagogy shouldn't care about procrastination. As long as the paper turns out okay, it doesn't really matter when it was started.

But in process pedagogy, writers are expected to go through certain steps in producing their work. These steps may not be hard and fast--we can divide simply into prewriting, drafting, and revising. But because of the time crunch in procrastination, some of these steps may be rushed or skipped.

I need to go back to some early process literature to see if anyone hints at issues of procrastination or time crunch.

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