Background: The online management of writing processes is an important factor related to the composition of high-quality texts. In the present study we analysed the time that upper-primary students devoted to writing processes, the distribution of those processes during composition and the contribution of both aspects to text quality.
Method: 120 upper-primary students were asked to write an argumentative text in pairs under thinking aloud conditions. Verbalizations were analysed considering different writing processes and sub-processes.
Results: Upper-primary students rarely used planning and revising processes. Planning, which basically involved content generation, was mostly activated at the beginning of the writing task. Revision, which mainly included reading, appeared at the end. The time devoted to writing processes or the time at which they were activated had no effect on text quality.
Conclusions: Not only did upper-primary students make little use of planning and revising processes, it was also ineffective. Thus, there is a need to provide them with high-quality instruction in school from early on.