ERIC Number: ED347541
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar-30
Reference Count: N/A
Untapped Resources: "Styling" in Black Students' Writing for Black Audiences.
Redd, Teresa M.
Two studies compared the impact of black and white audiences on black students' writing style. In the first study, eight students in an all-black intermediate composition class completed one argumentative draft addressed to black opponents and one addressed to white opponents on two different topics. The essays were examined for stylistic features of black discourse, including exaggerated language, mimicry, aphorisms, word play, and image-making. Results of the first study indicated significant evidence of "styling" in the students' drafts for black audiences. A follow-up study incorporated questionnaires, discourse-based interviews, counterbalanced audience assignment, and independent coding. Fifteen students in a similar class completed similar writing assignments. Results indicated that: (1) of the eight types of "styling," only image-making appeared far more often in the students' writing for blacks; and (2) three students "styled" more often in their writing for blacks, one "styled" for whites only, and four other students "styled" for whites and blacks. Findings suggest that assignments for a black audience can elicit "styling" that may be absent or rare in writing for a white audience, but the effect is limited. Findings also suggest that teachers of black students should become aware of the African American tradition so that s/he can make students who "style" aware of what they are doing and show them how to do it more effectively. (Thirty-four references, one table of data, the instructions to students for writing the essays, questionnaires, instructions for coders, and the coding guide are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing Contexts; Writing Style
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).