ERIC Number: ED270815
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Academic Discourse Communities, Invention, and Learning to Write.
Reither, James A.
An academic discipline is created and embodied in discourse, which functions on two dimensions: the global, disciplinary level suggested by T. Kuhn and others, and the local, institutional level, such as the workshop or laboratory where practitioners carry on the discipline's day-to-day business of research, teaching, and writing. The discipline authorizes the activities of the workshop, and in so doing both drives and constrains it. The workshop, on the other hand, feeds and shapes the discipline. Thus the relationship between the discipline and the workshop is reciprocal. In the workshop, practitioners function as investigators or gatherers and as members of the discipline they function as reporters or negotiators of the results of inquiry. Workshop language tends to be explanatory, private, and opinionated, rather than presentational, public, reasoned, and altruistic. In most composition texts, invention is viewed as a private--rather than social--act, but information, ideas, and arguments result from interaction with peers in workshops and with the literature of the discipline. Furthermore, learning to write means discovering that written texts are conversational utterances and understanding the power of written texts to develop new knowledge, to change others' behavior and beliefs, and to establish social-professional relationships in situations where learning and intellectual identity matter. (SRT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (37th, New Orleans, LA, March 13-15, 1986).