NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ779604
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 53
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0741-0883
The Social Life of an Essay: Standardizing Forces in Writing
Sheehy, Margaret
Written Communication, v20 n3 p333-385 2003
Standardization discourse is dominantly linked to tests; yet standardization occurs in practices of everyday social life, too. This research seeks to understand standardization processes involved in the writing done by a class of seventh grade students, half of whom did not do well in school or on tests. Acting as participant observer in a classroom where a civics project resulted in the writing of an essay, the author collected audiotaped classroom and group discussions, student writing, field notes, and texts (a history booklet, a neighborhood-planning book, two videos, census data) students drew from to write a speech which their language arts teacher taught as an essay. One essay/speech was delivered to the school board. The author examined the exchange of ideas, across the 8-week project, to consider how standardization as a process of production, consumption, and distribution played in students' writing. The author found that standardizing forces involved direct teaching, genre memory, and several strategies employed to bring cohesion and unity to diverse ideas.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 7
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A