All writing is based in the knowledge and experiences of the writer. Writers develop their unique perspectives through a lifetime of sensations and perceptions. This interaction is obvious to writers and teachers, but it is seldom the focus of units purporting to teach the writing process. Units on writing frequently focus on the process of composition and its products. This focus on the writing rather than the writer misses an important aspect of the writing process. Writing is a form of cognition. It is a thought process. Thus a great deal could be gained from studying the psychological concepts that result in writing.
This psychological understanding of writing allows teachers to approach writing from a different angle. Specifically, this unit will be based in the content of sensation, perception and cognition with the goal of using focused writing instruction to help students understand both the psychology of writing and the writing process itself. There is a strong link between the three parts of the writing process (seeing, knowing, and writing) and these three psychological concepts. Furthermore, this link is reciprocal, allowing for a deeper understanding of the writing process and the subject matter.
While it is my intention to use this unit in my Advanced Placement Psychology class, the principles addressed here could also be applicable in writing courses, English courses, and even biology courses. Furthermore, the skills presented in this unit are applicable to any course in which students need to retain information quickly and efficiently or develop their writing skills.