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ERIC Number: EJ920498
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0889-6143
Representing Audiences in Writing Center Consultation: A Discourse Analysis
Brown, Robert
Writing Center Journal, v30 n2 p72-99 2010
One of the virtues of writing centers is that they compensate for the alienation of writing. If the canonical literate encounter is one where writer and reader meet only through the medium of the text, then the writing center consultation restores immediacy to written communication. Like an author-attended rehearsal, writing center consultation gives writers an opportunity to preview their work before a private audience prior to sending it out into the world on its own. This article reports the results of a qualitative discourse analysis undertaken to answer the following question: how do tutors represent audiences to their clients in carrying out the work of consultation? To answer this question the author devised a method of analysis for ascertaining both the "form" and "function" of this phenomenon: (1) to identify the forms in which tutors represent audiences to their clients; and (2) to describe the communicative functions that these representations serve in context. His method draws on the work of sociologist and communication theorist Erving Goffman, who analyzed "the structural underpinnings" of social interaction in an essay entitled "Footing". In this article, the author addresses the character of tutor talk and demonstrates that representing audiences is not only characteristic of tutor talk but also instrumental to achieving its aims. (Contains 1 figure and 1 note.)
Writing Center Journal. 011 Memorial Hall University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19718. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A