A study to compare the effects of three different methods of reading copy when proofreading straight paragraph copy materials by first-year typewriting students Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/02871020k

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  • An experimental study was conducted with beginning typewriting students to investigate the effects of two variables in proofreading straight copy paragraph materials in the independent method of proofreading. One was the influence of repetition which was examined through the use of three different methods of reading. The second was the effect of the use of paper of different colours as background context defined as illuminating, neutral, or unilluminating in terms of whether colour was an aid or hindrance to readability. A comparison of the level of inaccuracy in proofreading was made between seven types of errors. These include: 1. Doubling of small words or of syllables within a word 2. Omission of a letter within a word 3. Omission of one of a pair of doubled letters 4. Transposition of letters within a word 5. Spacing errors 6. Substitution of words 7. Transpositions of words The influence of error location was investigated through an analysis of the mean percentage inaccuracy score by vertical and horizontal quartiles. Method Two independent groups composed of 172 and 171 subjects were randomly selected from beginning typewriting classes in two urban school districts. Each group wrote three criterion tests in which 14 errors (2 each of 7 error types selected) were loaded. One group wrote tests printed on white paper, defined as neutral, while the other completed tests printed on paper of colours defined as illuminating, unilluminating, and neutral respectively. These tests were equivalent in readability level and error load to each other, and to the materials used in beginning typewriting classes. The effect of repetition was investigated by asking subjects to proofread with 0, 1, and 2 repetitions on three tests that were administered on three successive days. Performance was measured in terms of time, total errors, number of errors by type, and the mean percentage of errors by location. The significance of the differences between means was determined through an analysis of variance and F tests at the one and five percent levels. Findings 1. Colour does not affect the proofreading time rate. The use of white or neutral paper produces a higher accuracy level in proofreading over coloured paper in terms of total errors, mean errors by type, and mean percentage of errors by vertical and horizontal location. 2. The proofreading rate recorded in relation to the frequency of repetition in reading was 1.03 minutes per 100 words for 0 repetition, 1.05 minutes for 1 repetition, and 1.33 minutes for 2 repetitions. One repetition yielded the highest level of accuracy in terms of total errors, error type, and vertical and horizontal location of errors. 3. The inaccuracy level recorded in terms of mean total errors was 39%, 30%, and 31% for 0, 1, and 2 repetitions respectively, indicating that a single reading is insufficient and a third reading does not assist a reader in finding errors that were undetected with 1 repetition. 4. The rank order of inaccuracy of the seven types of errors are: 1. transposition of words within a sentence 2. spacing errors - omission and extra spaces 3. substitution of one small word for another 4. omission of one of a pair of doubled letters 5. omission of a letter within a word 6. doubling of small words or of syllables within a word 7. transpositions of letters within a word 5. Errors located on the left half of the page and on the bottom half of the page are more difficult to detect.
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