Written Documents in the Workplace is divided into three parts, the first of which provides a linguistic definition of professional documents, describing their different types and genres. This definition necessarily takes into account both the formal characteristics of these types of document (e.g. nature of linguistic units involved) and their functional goals (the way these linguistic units are used to fulfill the text's communicative aim). The second part focuses on the mental mechanisms involved in written production in the workplace. One of the aims of a professional writer is to compose a text which can be understood. Text composition involves specific processes and strategies that can be enhanced. This last aspect leads us to devote the third and final section to the comprehension of written documents in the workplace. Awareness of the strategies implemented by different readers (with more or less domain expertise) in order to understand technical and professional documents can enhance the latter's readability.
This book provides a detailed overview of current or recent research exploring a wide range of ideas, theories, and practices around written text production. European researchers from a broad range of disciplines brought together under the European Research Network on Learning to Write Effectively were instructed to contribute short papers summarising their current activity. The papers are grouped around the four main themes. The first deals with issues around the development of basic ("low-level") writing skills, mainly in the early years of education. The second section focuses directly on issues around the teaching and learning of writing. This is divided into five parts that describe: evaluations of different forms of writing instruction, research exploring the processes by which writers learn, methods of text assessment in educational contexts, research exploring the effects of various learner and teacher variables on the development of writing skill, and conceptions of and variation in educational text genres. The third section reports research exploring effective document design. The final section has a main focus on tools for exploring the writing process.