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ERIC Number: EJ1014394
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 36
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0889-6143
Motivational Scaffolding, Politeness, and Writing Center Tutoring
Mackiewicz, Jo; Thompson, Isabelle
Writing Center Journal, v33 n1 p38-73 2013
Writing center tutors know that improving writing skills requires sustained effort over a long period of time. They also know that motivation--the drive to actively invest in sustained effort toward a goal--is essential for writing improvement. Because motivation can direct attention toward particular tasks and increase both effort and persistence, it can lead to improved performance and so is important for learning. Although motivation is a complex phenomenon with affective, perceptual, and cognitive components, the authors of this article focus on on how tutors attend to the affective component. Specifically, like many studies of educational settings (e.g., Kerssen-Griep, Hess, and Trees; Legg and Wilson; Wilson), they investigate how tutors enhance students' motivation to learn by generating rapport and solidarity with them. First they review research about motivation, scaffolding, and politeness theory. Then, based on this research, they draw upon two tutoring sessions to illustrate tutors' enhancement of students' motivation through encouraging solidarity and rapport in writing center conferences. Although all aspects of the writing center context may influence a tutor's ability to develop rapport and solidarity with a student, here the authors focus on tutors' available linguistic resources. The goal of this article is to provide a theoretical foundation contributing to both research and practice in writing centers by describing and showing some examples of tutors' possible language choices that may enhance students' motivation and active participation in writing center conferences. (Contains 1 table.)
Writing Center Journal. 011 Memorial Hall University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19718. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A