NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ915056
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0889-6143
The Function of Talk in the Writing Conference: A Study of Tutorial Conversation
Davis, Kevin M.; Hayward, Nancy; Hunter, Kathleen R.; Wallace, David L.
Writing Center Journal, v30 n1 p27-35 2010
Tutoring and conferencing have assumed important instructional roles as composition theory and practice have shifted from product-centered to process-centered approaches. The benefits of conferencing (Reigstad), of peer tutoring (Bruffee), of professional tutoring (Franke), and of group collaboration (Nystrand) have been presented and supported. Research, however, has hardly begun to describe the nature of conversational interaction. Reigstad reports on an ethnographic study of conference approaches used by 10 professors who regularly used conferences in their writing classes. He identifies three conferencing styles: (1) teacher centered; (2) collaborative; and (3) student centered. Reigstad is careful to point out that all three types are equally effective and accepted. In other research, Gere and Abbott examine the language of peer writing groups to determine what group members talk about and to characterize their talk. The study indicates that most peer editing talk falls into two categories: (1) statements about content and the writing process; and (2) questions about content. In the present study, the authors extend Reigstad's research on conferencing styles to the writing center and compare writing center conversation to Gere and Abbot's description of writing group conversation. The study examined the oral interaction that occurred between undergraduate writers and graduate student tutors in the writing center at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. (Contains 3 tables.)
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
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania