Reading and Writing

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 835–851 | Cite as

Looking at the keyboard or the monitor: relationship with text production processes

  • Roger JohanssonEmail author
  • Åsa Wengelin
  • Victoria Johansson
  • Kenneth Holmqvist


In this paper we explored text production differences in an expository text production task between writers who looked mainly at the keyboard and writers who looked mainly at the monitor. Eye-tracking technology and keystroke-logging were combined to systematically describe and define these two groups in respect of the complex interplay between text production and the reading of one’s own emerging text. Findings showed that monitor gazers typed significantly faster and were more productive writers. They also read their own text more, and they frequently read in parallel with writing. Analysis of fixation durations suggests that more cognitive processing is in use during reading in parallel with writing than during reading in pauses. Keyboard gazers used the left and right cursor keys significantly more. We suggest that this is because they revised their texts in a much more serial mode than monitor gazers. Finally, analysis of the characteristics of the final texts showed no differences between the groups.


Reading during writing Typing Visual attention Keystroke-logging Eye-tracking 



This research was funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet 2004–2687). Thanks to Bodil Andersson, Jana Holsanova, Sofia Söderberg and Sylvia Tufvesson for data collection and important input on the design of the data collection as well as the analyses; to Johan Dahl and Henrik Karlsson for programming help; to Sepp Kollmorgen for developing the reading filter; and to Sven Strömqvist for being the driving force behind the technology development that made the data collection possible. Finally, thanks to anonymous reviewers for commenting on and thus improving the text, and to Johan Segerbäck for proof reading the text and improving our English.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Johansson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Åsa Wengelin
    • 1
  • Victoria Johansson
    • 1
  • Kenneth Holmqvist
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Languages and LiteratureLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Humanities LaboratoryLund UniversityLundSweden

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