Writing tasks require countless composing decisions that are typically beyond the conscious grasp of student writers. Much of the skill of being “text-aware” is to understand that texts are composed of highly structured and often highly predictive composing decisions. However, such abstract decision-making underlying writing is hard to make tangible for student writers. We will demonstrate two TEL tools that are designed to help students notice and reflect on composition decisions in their writing and to become more self-aware and reflective writers: DocuScope Classroom is an online text visualization environment that helps students to see (a) how their writing strategies are used in their drafts and (b) how those strategies are similar and different from the writings of their classmates. OnTopic is a writing environment that helps students see the topical progression of their writing through the interactive visualization of local and global cohesion implemented by lexical overlaps.
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