In recent years, there has been a noted shift on the emphasis on the teaching of writing as attitudes on the role of writing in learning a second language have also changed. Resulting from this shift in interest was also the shift in the direction of composition researches. Before, researches were focused on the written products such as error analysis. However, starting from the 1970s, the nature of discourse as well as the writing process attracted interest among researches. Zamel (1983) posits:…”the teaching of composition should be informed by and based upon what writing actually entails…”
Several experts in the teaching of writing recognized that the investigation of students’ products tell very little of their instructional needs. Pearl (1980), Pianko (1978) Raimes (1985) and Zamel (1982 and 1983) are convinced that by understanding the process of composing, insights on how to teach it can be gained resulting to the shift from product to process.
It would certainly be useful for teachers to investigate the process of composing and to find out what it entails so that one can reflect on the problems writing may present. Consequently, teachers will be in a better position to decide the most effective activities in their classrooms. Hence, this study.
Specifically, this research sought to identify the composing processes of ESL learners exposed to process writing as manifested in the various phases of writing: prewriting, drafting/writing, revising/editing, writing final draft and publishing; determine the emerging composing patterns of the ESL learners; and compare the composing processes/patterns of the skilled and the less skilled writers.