National Writing Project

Looking for Sources of Coherence in a Fragmented World: Notes Toward a New Assessment Design

By: Kathleen Blake Yancey
Date: December 21, 2010

Summary: Kathleen Blake Yancey examines the similarities and differences between assessing coherence in print and in digital text and proposes a heuristic key to multiple patterns that both composers and readers can use to create coherence.


Excerpt from Article

The ultimate sources of coherence are always in relationship: A composition is an expression of relationships—between parts and parts, between parts and whole, between the visual and the verbal, between text and context, between reader and composer, between what is intended and what is unpacked, between hope and realization. And, ultimately, between human beings.

Digital compositions, then, bring us together in new ways and provide us with an opportunity to form new relationships—through multiple constituents of meaning and arrangement with each other—and perhaps to be more intentional in so doing.

About the Author Kathleen Blake Yancey is Pearce Professor of English at Clemson University and Director of the Roy and Marnie Pearce Center for Professional Communication. Most recently Yancey has co-edited Self-assessment and Development in Writing: A Collaborative Inquiry (2000).

Copyright © 2003 by Elsevier Inc. Posted with permission.
Yancey, Kathleen Blake. 2004, March. "Looking for sources of coherence in a fragmented world: Notes toward a new assessment design." Computers and Composition 21 (1): 89-102.

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