Modelling Written Communication

A New Systems Approach to Modelling in the Social Sciences

  • Deirdre Pratt

Part of the Methodos Series book series (METH, volume 8)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Deirdre Pratt
    Pages 1-14
  3. Deirdre Pratt
    Pages 15-35
  4. Deirdre Pratt
    Pages 37-63
  5. Deirdre Pratt
    Pages 65-82
  6. Deirdre Pratt
    Pages 83-115
  7. Deirdre Pratt
    Pages 117-145
  8. Deirdre Pratt
    Pages 147-170
  9. Deirdre Pratt
    Pages 171-191
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 193-225

About this book


This book offers an alternative view to current postmodern approaches to composition. It takes a critical realist stance to arrive at the “essence” of written communication with the aim of informing a practical application: a computerised  writing tutor. Following Robert Franck’s seminal work on modelling, a theoretical model of writing was first formulated, consisting of an architecture of functions which constitute the prerequisites for effective communication. Next, an applied model - a composing algorithm with an input option - was developed, showing composing to be a systemic social process with intra- and extra-systemic variation. The algorithm provided the design template for a writing tutor program which models for the learner both the systemic and the socially situated nature of writing. This book establishes composing as a communicative interaction, and shows the essential dynamism of writing, while offering an exemplar of a systems approach to modelling in the social sciences.


Algorithmic structure Applied model of writing Communicative functions Effective communication Idiosyncratic nature Robert Franck Writing Tutor Program

Authors and affiliations

  • Deirdre Pratt
    • 1
  1. 1.DurbanSouth Africa

Bibliographic information