Re: Do I REALLY have to understand the material?

Subject: Re: Do I REALLY have to understand the material?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2002 10:40:31 -0700

Andrew Plato wrote:

If you look at a project as a
whole, time should be divided up as such:

5% Setting up templates, style guides, single-sourcing, fonts, etc. 35% Learning the technologies, products, and services.
25% Physically sitting at a computer and typing in text. 30%% Editing, tweaking, refining
5% Publishing, printing, PDFing, etc.

Interestingly enough, your percentages are similar to those give by academic researchers. When I was teaching first year composition at university, I remember reading the results of a survey of professional writers, which suggested that the average breakdown of time was:

30% preparation (setting up, learning)
20% writing
50% editing (editing, publishing)

Obviously, there's some variation from person to person, but, as I worked with students, I found that the breakdown among effective writers wasn't that different from these averages.

I used to give a lecture based on this study, and encourage students to analyze their own work habits, compare them to these averages, and find the best combination that worked for them. On class evaluations, it was by far the most often complimented part of the course - even though I always gave the lecture early in the semester.

I'd give the source of the survey, but it's been six years since I taught, but my memory is hazy and I'm too lazy to sort through my files to find the exact source.If anyone can give me the exact citation, I'd be interested.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

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Do I REALLY have to understand the material?: From: Andrew Plato

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