Visualizing Revision: Leveraging Student-Generated Between-Draft Diagramming Data in Support of Academic Writing Development

Justin Olmanson, Katrina Kennett, Alecia Magnifico, Sarah McCarthey, Duane Searsmith, Bill Cope, Mary Kalantzis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Once writers complete a first draft, they are often encouraged to evaluate their writing and prioritize what to revise. Yet, this process can be both daunting and difficult. This study looks at how students used a semantic concept mapping tool to re-present the content and organization of their initial draft of an informational text. We examine the processes of students at two different schools as they remediated their own texts and how those processes impacted the development of their rhetorical, conceptual, and communicative capacities. Our analysis suggests that students creating visualizations of their completed first drafts scaffolded self-evaluation. The mapping tool aided visualization by converting compositions into discrete persistent visual data elements that represented concepts and connections. This often led to students’ meta-awareness of what was missing or misaligned in their draft. Our findings have implications for how students approach, educators perceive, and designers support the drafting and revision process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-123
Number of pages25
JournalTechnology, Knowledge and Learning
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016



  • Academic literacy
  • Informative writing
  • Metacognition
  • Rereading
  • Revision
  • Technology
  • Writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications

Cite this