Dave, Anish, and David R. Russell. “Drafting and Revision Using Word Processing by Undergraduate Student Writers: Changing Conceptions and Practices.” Research in the Teaching of English (May 2010). (pdf)
In Dave and Russell’s study, “an aggregate of 64.3% of students reported that their revision generally consisted of revising specific words or sentences and proofreading” (p. 417). This finding is consistent with other research on revision with computers and suggests, say Dave and Russell, that writing with computers doesn’t by itself facilitate more global and effective revision.
With respect to the tools for writing available to teachers and students in instructional situations, Dave and Russell argue that both writing pedagogy and the tools for supporting pedagogy are behind what social software and related technologies now make possible. One implication of this insight is that “perhaps the way to get students to do more global revision is to teach them to do it,” an insight reinforced by a study by Reynolds and Bonk (1996), who found that students “did more global revision after receiving metacognitive prompts on planning and revising” (Dave & Russell, 2010, p. 428).