• A relational approach to building knowledge through academic writing: facilitating and reflecting on peer writing tutorials

    Sherran Clarence (see profile)
    Writing centers
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    writing centres, peer tutoring, Legitimation code theory
    Permanent URL:
    In 1984, Stephen North wrote a paper in which he argued that writing centres need to focus on the writer, rather than more narrowly on the writing tasks students seek their help with. This now-famous paper in the writing centre field speaks about an approach to writing support and development that focuses on who is doing the writing, and what they are learning about writing both in the context of each task they are working on, and also more conceptually in terms of looking at their writing from a ‘macro’ level as well. North essentially contends that students will find growing as a writer and a thinker in higher education difficult if they are not enabled or encouraged to think about writing both conceptually and contextually. This chapter picks up on that argument to look at how this might be achieved in writing tutorials, where writing tutors sit outside of the disciplines, and act as students’ critical friends who prompt, question, guide and advise student writers, focusing ideally on both the writer and the writing. Using a tool drawn from Legitimation Code Theory, Semantics, which can be used to look at movement between conceptual and contextual learning and knowledge, and how to enable students to move more effectively between the two. Data drawn from writing tutors’ reports written following writing tutorials with undergraduate students, this paper applies Semantics to consider how tutors’ conversations with students about their writing move between the very local context of their essay and more conceptual notions of the forms and purposes of genres or parts of genres, like reports or essays. This chapter will conclude by arguing that equipping writing tutors with analytical tools, like Semantics, that can help them see what is contextual and what is conceptual in the writing they are working with, and move between the two in their conversations with students, can provide them with powerful tools for enabling a focus on the writer as well as the writing.
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Last Updated:
    5 years ago
    All Rights Reserved


    Item Name: pdf clarence_a-relational-approach-to-writing_pre-print.pdf
      Download View in browser
    Activity: Downloads: 129