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ERIC Number: EJ915044
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-0889-6143
Examining Our Lore: A Survey of Students' and Tutors' Satisfaction with Writing Center Conferences
Thompson, Isabelle; Whyte, Alyson; Shannon, David; Muse, Amanda; Miller, Kristen; Chappell, Milla; Whigham, Abby
Writing Center Journal, v29 n1 p78-105 2009
During their rapid growth in the 1970s and 1980s, writing centers came to depend on "lore," what Stephen North defines as "knowledge about what to do," based on practice and inherited by one generation of practitioners from the previous one. This lore has been codified as "cherished beliefs," "default(s)," or the "bible." Codified writing center lore covers a number of issues; however, its mandates about tutors' roles as collaborators in conferences may have the most important effect on how well writing centers serve students. Inspired by previously conducted empirical studies, the survey the authors report here brings together lore about tutors' roles as collaborators in writing center conferences and assesses the influence of these mandates on tutors' and students' satisfaction. Conducted in the Auburn University English Center, the survey analyzed tutors' and students' responses from more than 4,000 conferences conducted during the 2005-06 academic year. Overall, the analyses of survey responses contradict lore mandates forbidding tutor directiveness and support empirical research findings showing that tutors are unable to avoid directiveness and that this directiveness is often appreciated by students (Clark, "Perspectives" 42; Thonus, "Triangulation" 74). (Contains 3 tables and 1 note.)
Writing Center Journal. 011 Memorial Hall University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19718. 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