Meet the author: Brittany Halley

2021-03-09

When interviewed about her YSW article,“Materiality Matters: How Human Bodies and Writing Technologies Impact the Composing Process,” Brittany Halley (she/her) provided an informative, behind-the-scenes look at her writing process. Halley is an Ohio State English major, with a focus on Writing, Rhetoric, and Literacy, as well as a minor in Scandanavian Studies. 

She looked at the effects that different levels of comfort, distractions, and technology have on an author’s writing and writing process. “[It started as] a small assignment for a writing, rhetoric, and literacy class,” Halley explained, when asked how she came up with the project. From there, however, she was driven by her interest in humans and the human experience. Halley’s study used multiple empirical research methods for studying writing,  including screen recording and retrospective “think-aloud”tactics, and inductive analysis methods, to compare the experience of writing with a tablet and stylus with the experience of writing on a computer.

Going into the study , Halley thought that a phone and stylus would be the best combination for writing because of its free flow nature, but she discovered that the computer provided the best experience. “It sounds obvious, but how often are you experiencing writer's block and you’re uncomfortable with the tech or your seat?” asked Halley, when explaining her most important findings from her research. 

This article is Halley’s first publication. She hopes her study helps “fill in the gap in literature” about writing technologies and individuals’ experiences with those technologies. This is what inspired her to submit her paper to Young Scholars in Writing

For Halley, “time” was one of the biggest challenges she faced when conducting research and publishing her study. She became very focused on coding her data and had to shift her focus to provide adequate time for all of her goals. 

Halley’s work on her article didn’t end when she submitted it. Working with Young Scholars in Writing proved very beneficial to Halley. “I got a whole bunch out of that,” she said, when asked about her experience writing for the journal. “Being able to recognize the organization, make it flow, [having] the benefit of a second set of eyes, getting to work with people in the field to be able to fill in the gaps on the material.” 

Halley offered some advice when asked what she would tell undergraduates interested in submitting to Young Scholars in Writing. “Find something that you’re interested in, and can be immersed in. If you’re not immersed in what you're researching, you won't enjoy it.” She went on to praise the experience of writing for the journal, which started as a simple assignment, but turned into a more substantial experience for her. “The Young Scholars in Writing process is super enjoyable and an enriching experience, if anyone can do it they totally should!”

Blog post by: Students in Dr. Emily Murphy Cope’s Fall 2020 Digital Writing course (WRT320 at York College of Pennsylvania). 

Edited by: Beck Liberatore, YSW Intern and senior at York College of PA, expected to graduate in May 2021. Liberatore has a major in Professional Writing and a minor in Women's and Gender Studies.