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ERIC Number: EJ915055
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0889-6143
Introduction to "The Function of Talk in the Writing Conference: A Study of Tutorial Conversation"
Pemberton, Michael A.
Writing Center Journal, v30 n1 p23-26 2010
"The Function of Talk in the Writing Conference: A Study of Tutorial Conversation" is, the author thinks, an excellent example of what a well-designed analytical study of conversational narratives can reveal. People in this field have long made the claim--anecdotally, for the most part--that writing center tutors occupy a liminal space between teacher and peer. This article works to define that space, describe its features, observe its operations in an authentic environment, and provide some concrete evidence to demonstrate the truth of that claim. By comparing the features of tutorial conversations to typical teaching and non-teaching conversational patterns, Davis et al. are able to conclude that "tutors were not functioning exclusively either as peers or as teachers, but as a combination of the two. That's a valuable piece of information to know, and it's all the more valuable in these days of "objective" measurement and assessment to have some empirical evidence to back it up.
Writing Center Journal. 011 Memorial Hall University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19718. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A