How Do Reading and Writing Interact?

In “Toward a Composing Model of Reading” Tierney and Pearson argue that reading and writing go hand in hand, in that “both the readers and writer must adapt to their perceptions about their partner in negotiating what a text means.” I appreciated the piece for its discussion on the collaboration of how the process that the writer goes though involves thinking about how the reader will react, how they want the reader to react, and what is the point he/she is trying to get across, and additionally that the as the reader is reading, he/she is trying to understand what the writer is saying, where they are coming from, why they are saying what they are saying and how individual experiences come into play.

I found the section on how readers plan very fascinating because I think a lot of this is done subconsciously rather than actively engaging with their goal and the actual piece. Sometimes, as a reader, I just pick up a book to read because it looks interesting and I want to know what its about…but that doesn’t mean I am consciously categorizing the reasons I chose that specific book into procedural, substantive, or intentional goal. On the other hand, I do understand how writer’s goals are conscious and planned out – and they may appear half way though the piece…or maybe on the last line of the 6th page of your Shitty First Draft!

An interesting thought they touch upon is how readers should act as revisers as well. I didn’t agree with this at first because I think the revisions that the writers make are more utilized, however at the same time the revision process that the reader goes through, consciously or subconsciously, is important for themselves to recreate the feeling they have currently and to see how it changes in the future/when they reread the piece with more knowledge and insight- and sometimes even less! Tierney observed that students rarely pause to reflect on their ideas or figure out their perspective on a piece that they’re reading. I find this really interesting because I notice that I do this sometimes as well! I definitely want to try out revising while in the reader’s role!

I enjoy how Tierney and Pearson emphasize how reading and writing are intertwined processes and collaboration is necessary between the reader and writer in order to achieve the goal of the piece, whether it be actual feedback or on a more meta-level.

One thought to “How Do Reading and Writing Interact?”

  1. I definitely agree with being tripped up by the idea of revision when reading as well. When I read a newspaper article, or a “beach read,” or an email from my mom, I rarely “revise” my first take on the piece. That being said, I do think revision is important in the sense of re-visiting what you read and seeing how your thoughts and attitudes may have changed since you read it first. In that sense, reading is like writing because something can never be fully read and finished; you can always re-visit something and get more out of it.

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