The writing conference as a locus of emergent agency

Susan Strauss, Xuehua Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines writing conference discourse in one English as a Second Language (ESL) basic composition course. The study is based on a 25,000-word corpus of 10 writing conference interactions between the instructor and seven students. Through a microlevel analysis, the authors demonstrate how and to what degree the writing conference can serve as a locus of "emergent agency," with a particular focus on the second-language writer. The data exhibit patterns in the students' discourse such that earlier segments in the interactions tend to reflect uncertainty, confusion, negative self-evaluation, and negative other-evaluation. As the sessions progress, the authors note shifts in stance whereby students begin to propose candidate solutions to actual or perceived problems and evince more authorial direction. The authors demonstrate that the practice can serve as an effective pedagogical activity in which novice writers learn to navigate through challenges and obstacles associated with university-level reading and writing tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-396
Number of pages42
JournalWritten Communication
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006

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Students
writer
discourse
student
interaction
language
evaluation
instructor
candidacy
uncertainty
Chemical analysis
Locus
university
Discourse
Writer
Interaction
Uncertainty
Instructor
Evaluation
Stance

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

Strauss, Susan ; Xiang, Xuehua. / The writing conference as a locus of emergent agency. In: Written Communication. 2006 ; Vol. 23, No. 4. pp. 355-396.
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The writing conference as a locus of emergent agency. / Strauss, Susan; Xiang, Xuehua.

In: Written Communication, Vol. 23, No. 4, 01.10.2006, p. 355-396.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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