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ERIC Number: EJ1180671
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1534-9322
The Burkean Parlor as Boundary Object: A Collaboration between First-Year Writing and the Library
Walsh, Lynda; Zytkoskee, Adrian M.; Ragains, Patrick; Slater, Heidi; Rachal, Michelle
Composition Studies, v46 n1 p103-123 Spr 2018
This article details a collaboration between the fyw program and the library at the University of Nevada, Reno. The departments share a goal of helping students develop better research-writing skills; however, institutional and disciplinary boundaries presented well-known challenges. To surmount these challenges, the cross-disciplinary team settled on the Burkean Parlor as a boundary object, which is a shared metaphor that scaffolds effective work among diverse communities. Once the metaphor was mobilized, the team realized it could also scaffold work across the boundaries between expert and novice writers and between facts and arguments in research writing. Accordingly, the team designed a curricular intervention around the Burkean Parlor metaphor and taught it collaboratively to a group of 900 second-semester first-year students while a roughly equally sized group served as a control. Students submitted pre- and post-surveys of their attitudes toward library research, and their final research papers were collected and rated on several criteria relating to rhetorical purpose and source use. The team found that the intervention group's research papers presented significantly better articulations of rhetorical purpose, and students reported increased confidence in their abilities to access and use library sources in research writing.
University of Cincinnati. Department of English, P.O. Box 210069, Cincinnati, OH 45221. Tel: 513-556-6519; Fax: 513-556-5960; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nevada (Reno)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A