Written Communication

Published by SAGE Publications
Print ISSN: 0741-0883
Publications
Researchers studying science communication often examine how texts addressed to different audiences contribute to the formation of knowledge on a given issue. This article examines how arguments on scientific issues travel from text to text by considering how certain figures of speech persist from version to version. It uses a specialized genre of articles appearing in Science and Nature that introduces research reports appearing later in the issue. These pieces refer explicitly to a research report in the same issue, and in addition to their own agendas, re-present the researchers' claims and supporting evidence. To investigate how the core of an argument survives, the expression claims and lines of support in epitomizing figures are compared. The articles sampled suggest that the figure antithesis, embodying single-difference arguments, often persists from version to version. But in the process of perfecting a figured expression, arguments may be subtly changed in subsequent versions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
This article explores the purpose and methods of teaching the personal narrative in foreign language classrooms. The authors present a cross-cultural comparison of the history, purpose, and form of autobiography in 1st-language contexts in the US and Japan; a review of the place of personal narrative in 2nd- and foreign-language composition theory and practice; the results from survey research involving 160 Japanese freshman students about high school writing instruction in English; and a rationale and methodology for teaching personal narrative to Japanese college students of English. The 5-paragraph, thesis-driven personal essay presented in English as a 2nd language/English as a foreign language textbooks is critiqued, with recommendations for a more organic form synthesizing story and essay, as in J. Barrington's concept (1997) of "scene, summary and musing." The limitations of peer editing are discussed, and the bundan writing workshop is described as an effective alternative. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Recently, scholars have suggested that “second-language writers” are made up of two distinct groups: Generation 1.5 (long-term U.S.-resident language learners) and more traditional L2 students (e.g., international or recently arrived immigrants). To investigate that claim, this study compares the first-year composition writing of Generation 1.5 students to the writing of their classmates to determine whether textual markers distinguish demographically identified groups. Results indicate no significant textual differences between Generation 1.5 and L1 (English as a first language) students but do indicate significant differences between Generation 1.5 and L2 students, suggesting that Generation 1.5 writers (broadly defined) may not be second-language writers.
 
Most rhetorical history has concerned itself with the theory of argumentative discourse as it developed from classical to modern times. This essay traces a parallel but much less investigated strand of rhetorical history: the theory and practice of explanation. The slow growth of a body of knowledge about how information could best be communicated without necessary reference to overt persuasion is followed from Aristotle's Rhetoric through the beginnings of a theory of written discourse in the American nineteenth century. A later continuation of this essay will trace explanatory rhetoric into modern times.
 
Using archival admissions records and case histories of patients at a British asylum from the 1860s to the 1870s, the authors examine the medical certification process leading to the asylum confinement of individuals judged to be “of unsound mind.” These institutional texts are, the authors suggest, “occult genres” that function as complex acts of argumentation, whose illocutionary force depends on the success of their felicity conditions. Through the lens of Austin’s concept of “uptake,” the authors analyze the role of medical certification in the admissions history of two patients at Ticehurst House Asylum in the 1860s-1870s. The authors contend that historical genre analysis plays an important role in the rhetoric of medicine and health, shedding light on the performative power of medical certification, an act essential to the practice of psychiatry.
 
Problem Category and Description
Age Category and Description
Methodology Category and Description
Problems Addressed in Writing Research Articles, 1999 to 2004
This study charts the terrain of research on writing during the 6-year period from 1999 to 2004, asking "What are current trends and foci in research on writing?" In examining a cross-section of writing research, the authors focus on four issues: (a) What are the general problems being investigated by contemporary writing researchers? Which of the various problems dominate recent writing research, and which are not as prominent? (b) What population age groups are prominent in recent writing research? (c) What is the relationship between population age groups and problems under investigation? and (d) What methodologies are being used in research on writing? Based on a body of refereed journal articles (n = 1,502) reporting studies about writing and composition instruction that were located using three databases, the authors characterize various lines of inquiry currently undertaken. Social context and writing practices, bi-or multi-lingualism and writing, and writing instruction are the most actively studied problems during this period, whereas writing and technologies, writing assessment and evaluation, and relationships among literacy modalities are the least studied problems. Undergraduate, adult, and other postsecondary populations are the most prominently studied population age group, whereas preschool-aged children and middle and high school students are least studied. Research on instruction within the preschool through 12th grade (P-12) age group is prominent, whereas research on genre, assessment, and bi- or multilingualism is scarce within this population. The majority of articles employ interpretive methods. This indicator of current writing research should be useful to researchers, policymakers, and funding agencies, as well as to writing teachers and teacher educators. (Contains 6 tables and 3 notes.)
 
One writer's organization of the report.
Two ways of organizing the comparisons.
Writers construct meaning when they compose texts, and readers construct meaning when they understand and interpret texts. Building meaning through reading entails organizing, selecting, and connecting. Readers use previously acquired knowledge to operate on textual clues, organizing mental representations that include material they select from the text and connect with material they generate. This constructivist characterization of the reading process extends also to literate acts in which people are writers as well as readers: those acts in which they compose texts by drawing from textual sources. To meet their discourse goals, writers perform textual transformations associated with the operations of organizing, selecting, and connecting as they appropriate source material for uses in different communicative contexts. They dismantle source texts and reconfigure content they select from these sources, and they interweave the source material with content they generate from stored knowledge. Various transformations occur through reading and writing, and writers need to think about tasks in ways that will transform extant texts. (Two figures are included; 106 references are attached.) (Author/RS)
 
iTV screen with SMS message  
Distribution of message lengths (in tens of characters) by gender  
Instances of use of shortening types
Instances of use of other insertion types
This study analyzes gender variation in nonstandard typography--specifically, abbreviations and insertions--in mobile phone text messages (SMS) posted to a public Italian interactive television (iTV) program. All broadcast SMS were collected for a period of 2 days from the Web archive for the iTV program, and the frequency and distribution of abbreviations and insertions, as well as overall message lengths, were analyzed according to sender gender. The results reveal that females posted more and longer SMS and followed more, and more varied, nonstandard typographic practices, contrary to previous gender-related findings in the sociolinguistics and computer-mediated communication literatures. A theoretically grounded explanation for these findings is developed in terms of the localized norms of a heterosexual market--and an implicit dating market--in Italian iTV SMS. (Contains 4 tables, 2 figures and 17 notes.)
 
This article reports on forensic letters written by physicians specializing in identifying children who have experienced maltreatment. These writers face an extraordinary exigence in that they must provide an opinion as to whether a child has experienced abuse without specifically diagnosing abuse and thus crossing into a legal domain. Their credibility was also at issue because, in this jurisdiction, child abuse identification was not recognized as a medical subspecialty and because the status of expert witnesses is currently being challenged. Through an analysis of 72 forensic letters combined with interview data from six letter writers and five letter readers, we determined that these writers used linguistic and rhetorical strategies that allowed these letters to function as boundary objects or objects that traverse several communities of practice. The most salient strategy was the use of evaluative lexis—adjectives and adverbs which allowed for a range of interpretations and constrained those interpretations at the same time.
 
Authorial newness or innovation has become a subject of growing interest in the sociology of science. We review some of this literature and elaborate constituents of a theory of authorial novelty. We also discuss some parameters that account for the changing assumptions of novelty across disciplinary communities. Finally, we show that many of the insights required in a parameterized theory of newness have not yet made their way into theories of rhetoric or written composition.
 
Darin's ranch.  
This research analyzed the composing processes of two high school students designing horse ranch plans for a course in equine management and production. The investigation focused on understanding the problems driving the design process, the tools through which the students inscribed and encoded meaning in their compositions, and the integration, representation, and mediation of their emerging identities through the design process. The analysis revealed that the students solved problems suggested by the particular culture surrounding the production of a specific breed of horse and constructed unique problems based on their knowledge of horses and ranch facilities. The tools through which they constructed these texts suggested both the cultural dimensions and narrative inscriptions of their designs. The culturally mediated narratives in particular contributed to students’ construction of identities, especially with respect to their orientation as members of the managerial (Darin) and working (Riley) classes.
 
Overview of Two Projects: Student Writing and Professional Academic Writing 
Three Ways of Viewing Talk Around Academic Texts 
This article critically explores the value of ethnography for enhancing context-sensitive approaches to the study of academic writing. Drawing on data from two longitudinal studies, student writing in the United Kingdom and professional academic writing in Hungary, Slovakia, Spain, and Portugal, the author illustrates the different contributions ethnography can make to researching academic writing, depending on the level at which it is construed, as method, methodology, or "deep theorizing." In discussing the third level of ethnography, the author draws on recent debates around linguistic ethnography to explore how ethnography as deep theorizing can contribute to refining social practice accounts of academic writing through the specific notions of indexicality and orientation. By working through three levels of ethnography, her aim is to signal the ontological gap between text and context in academic writing research and to open up debate about how this gap can be narrowed.
 
Types of Organizational and Stance Markers (n = 51) Essays M (SD) Minimum Maximum 
Results From Principal Component Analysis for Lexico-Grammatical Intricacy 
Beyond mechanics and spelling conventions, academic writing requires progressive mastery of advanced language forms and functions. Pedagogically useful tools to assess such language features in adolescents’ writing, however, are not yet available. This study examines language predictors of writing quality in 51 persuasive essays produced by high school students attending a linguistically and ethnically diverse inner-city school in the Northeastern United States. Essays were scored for writing quality by a group of teachers, transcribed and analyzed to generate automated lexical and grammatical measures, and coded for discourse-level elements by researchers who were blind to essays’ writing quality scores. Regression analyses revealed that beyond the contribution of length and lexico-grammatical intricacy, the frequency of organizational markers and one particular type of epistemic stance marker (i.e., epistemic hedges) significantly predicted persuasive essays’ writing quality. Findings shed light on discourse elements relevant for the design of pedagogically informative assessment tools.
 
This article proposes a novel approach to the investigation of student academic writing. It applies theories of metacognition and self-regulated learning to understand how beginning academic writers develop the ability to participate in the communicative practices of academic written communication and develop rhetorical consciousness. The study investigates how this awareness changes over time and how it relates to students’ perceptions of the writing task, metacognitive awareness of strategic choices, and evaluation of their writing. Through a constructivist grounded theory approach, journals collected throughout a semester from students of beginning academic composition were analyzed to determine qualitative changes. The data suggest a link between task perception and students’ conditional metacognitive awareness —their understanding of how to adapt writing strategies to specific rhetorical requirements of the task and why—and performance evaluation. Metacognitive awareness also seems to have a reciprocal relationship with self-regulation and students’ development of individual writing approaches.
 
This empirical study surveyed academic staff at a Swedish university about their experiences and perceptions of the use of English in their academic fields. The objective was to examine how the influence of English in disciplinary domains might affect the viability of Swedish in the academic sphere and to investigate how it might disadvantage Swedish scholars. The data findings were analyzed quantitatively and are complemented with a qualitative content analysis, outlining perception and attitude patterns in the responses. Findings suggest power asymmetry between English and Swedish, as the data contain indications of perceived unequal opportunities between native and nonnative speakers in the international academic community. Swedish scholars highlighted the nuanced expressions of academic discourse found in social science writing as creating particular difficulty when writing in English.
 
Brokers Involved in Academic Text Production: Textual Practices and Orientations
Scholars around the world are under increasing pressure to publish their research in the medium of English. However, little empirical research has explored how the global premium of English influences the academic text production of scholars working outside of English-speaking countries. This article draws on a longitudinal text-oriented ethnographic study of psychology scholars in Hungary, Slovakia, Spain and Portugal to follow the trajectories of texts from local research and writing contexts to English-medium publications. Our findings indicate that a significant number of mediators, ‘literacy brokers’, who are involved in the production of such texts, influence the texts in different and important ways. We illustrate in broad terms the nature and extent of literacy brokering in English-medium publications and characterize and exemplify brokers’ different orientations. We explore what kind of brokering is evident in the production of a specific group of English-medium publications- articles written and published in English medium inyternational journals-by focising on three text histories. We conclude by discussing what a focus on brokering can tell us can tell us about practices surrounding academic knowledge production.
 
Hedging refers to linguistic strategies that qualify categorical commitment to express possibility rather than certainly. In scientific writing, hedging is central to effective argument: Hedging is arhetoricalmeansofgainingreaderacceptanceofclaims,allowing writers to convey their attitude to the truthof their statements and to anticipate possible objections. Because hedges allow writers to express claims with precision, caution, and modesty, they are a significant resource for academics. However, little is known about the way hedging is typically expressed in particular domains or the particular functions it serves in different genres. This article identifies the major forms, functions, and distribution of hedges in a corpus of 26 molecular biology research articles and describes the importance of hedging in this genre.
 
Documents a seven-year-old child's early activities as a writer from the perspective of (1) intentionality, (2) conditions and production, (3) learning strategies, (4) composing patterns in other semiotic activities, (5) availability, and (6) literacy community, and attempts to analyze those activities through narrative, explication and argument. (NH)
 
This article tracks the socialization of a Chinese intern into a Hong Kong PR company and considers the factors that enabled her to move toward acquiring the discourse of the profession. Taking a case study approach, the research is based on a detailed daily journal written by the intern during her internship, and two interviews. Over the 3-month period of the internship, her written discourse changed considerably, revealing the extent of her socialization into the organization. Specifically, the intern’s writing changed from detailed general descriptions of her activity to discourse resembling that of PR practitioners. The study demonstrates the power of the workplace as a context for learning, yet data show that the academy, by providing tools for understanding and reflecting on organizational culture, also has a role to play in socialization processes.
 
Writing performance of a complex recommendation report produced by student teams for an actual client during a 15-week semester was compared in a writing-intensive Agronomy 356 course and in paired Agronomy 356/ English 309 courses. The longitudinal study investigated differences that existed between reports produced for each learning environment in terms of argument effectiveness, document usability, and professionalism. Three agronomy and three professional communication raters ranked the 12 lengthy reports in the sample. The study found that all top-rated reports were generated in the paired courses and all lowest-rated reports were generated in the stand-alone agronomy course. Four pedagogical factors appear influential in this result: working in dual problem-solving spaces, pushing the boundaries on problem solving, incorporating workplace realities, and using just-in-time teaching.
 
This study examines the relationship between patterns of cognitive self-regulatory activities and the quality of texts produced by adolescent struggling writers (N = 51). A think-aloud study was conducted involving analyses of self-regulatory activities concerning planning, formulating, monitoring, revising, and evaluating. The study shows that the writing processes of adolescent struggling writers have much in common with “knowledge telling” as defined by Bereiter and Scardamalia (1987). Nevertheless, there are interesting differences among the individual patterns. First, it appears that adolescent struggling writers who put more effort in planning and formulation succeed in writing better texts than do their peers. Furthermore, self-regulation of these better-achieving writers is quite varied in comparison to the others. Therefore, it seems that within this group of struggling writers, self-regulation does make a difference for the quality of texts produced. Consequently, some recommendations can be made for the stimulation of diverse self-regulatory activities in writing education for this special group of students.
 
This study considers how adolescents compose historical arguments, and it identifies theoretically grounded predictors of the quality of their essays. Using data from a larger study on the effects of a federally funded Teaching American History grant on student learning, we analyzed students’ written responses to document-based questions at the 8th grade (n = 44) and the 11th (n = 47). We report how students use evidence (a hallmark of historical thinking), how students structure their historical arguments, and what kinds of argumentative strategies they use when writing about historical controversies. In general, better writers cite more evidence in their arguments than weaker writers, and older students demonstrate how to situate evidence in ways that are consistent with the discipline. Both the structure of students’ arguments and their use of evidence were predictive of the overall quality of their essays. Finally, students’ use of argumentation strategies revealed patterns relevant to the historical topic and sources in question, as well as to differences related to writing skill. In our sample, better writers used strategies based on facts and evidence from the documents more so than weaker writers and demonstrated the capacity to contextualize and corroborate evidence in their arguments.
 
Research by linguists and educators confirms the observation that aspects of the African-American experience are reflected in the grammatical, phonological, lexical, and stylistic features of African-American English and in the patterns of language use, including narrative, found in African-American speech communities. This study goes beyond prior research to investigate and characterize what Hymes refers to as the preferred patterns for the “organization of experience” among African-American adolescents. The results of the study revealed that, although subjects from several ethnic backgrounds stated a preference for using vernacular-based organizational patterns in informal oral exposition, African-American adolescents, in contrast to a group of Hispanic-American, Asian-American, and European-American adolescents, reported a strong preference for using vernacular-based patterns in academic writing tasks as they got older. These findings suggest that the organization of expository discourse is affected by cultural preference and years of schooling and that preference for organizational patterns can be viewed as an obstacle to or as a resource in successful literacy-related experiences. Peer Reviewed http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/68647/2/10.1177_0741088392009004003.pdf
 
Scholars of adult basic literacy curricular materials have argued that the skill-based, deficit-oriented approach of many such materials denies the interests and motivations of adult learners. Exploring why these kinds of curricular materials are prevalent in adult basic literacy education, this article focuses on the case of ProLiteracy, a nongovernmental adult basic literacy organization that grew out of missionary Frank Laubach's work in the 1930s to convert illiterate adults to Christianity and a belief in American-style capitalism. This article argues that the legacy of Laubach's evangelism continues to affect adult literacy instruction in the United States today, through the content of many of the materials in the ProLiteracy catalogue, as well as through the volunteer-based one-to-one tutoring model's positioning of low-literacy adults. (Contains 1 table, 4 figures and 9 notes.)
 
Writing scholars interested in stakeholder attitudes need ways to reconstruct them from archives because (a) interview/survey studies are not always feasible (particularly in historical work) and (b) the question/answer format of these studies may exclude key attitudes that emerge in unprompted expressions of opinion. Accordingly, this article argues for filter theory-a pragmatic model of interpretive attitudes-as an effective hermeneutic for archival reception studies. Complementing a previous study of administrative attitudes about the Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project, the present study applies filter theory to a sample of ranchers' written opinions about the Project. The main findings are as follows: Ranchers and administrators differentially value resident rights versus Project goals; ranchers warrant resistance to the Project based on these misaligned attitudes; nonetheless, both groups value the ideal of a balanced environment and evidence collected on the ground. These findings suggest the need to redefine rhetorical resistance and common ground as arguments warranted by mis/alignments between groups' interpretive attitudes. They also indicate revisions to initial recommendations for extending rhetorical common ground in the Project.
 
This article explores the indexicality (the ideological process that links language and identity) of “standard” edited American English and the ideologies (specifically, standard language ideology and Whiteness) that work to create and justify common patterns that associate privileged White students with written standardness and that disassociate underrepresented—especially African American—students from “standard” edited American English. Drawing on interviews with composition instructors about their readings of anonymous student texts, the author argues that indexicality and standardness are mutually informative: The non/standard features of student texts operate as indexicals for student-author identities just as perceived student-author identities influence the reading of a text as non/standard. Ultimately, this article offers inroads to challenging destructive and enduring indexical patterns that offer unearned privilege to some students at the expense of others and, in the process, perpetuate race- and class-based privilege.AQ Note that APA style capitalizes Black and White.
 
Many researchers in composition instruction assume that free and journal writing exclusively and necessarily produce “meaningful” writing. This is not substantiated in their limited case study research, or in the research of anyone else. We need to establish a precise definition of “meaningful” writing, determine its place in the curriculum, and determine better means of designing instruction that produces writing that is both meaningful and of high quality. The meta-analysis of Hillocks (1984) indicates that structured composition assignments produce better writing than nondirectional writing experiences. This article explores the reasons for this, and establishes hypotheses based on these reasons for developing a theory of composition instruction. The hypotheses support a need for structured instruction, rather than student-generated direction.
 
Writing apprehension (WA) has been identified as an important construct for understanding the factors that influence student development of writing skills. Although the 1975 Daly and Miller scale has dominated the WA investigation, psychometric research has been limited to the identification of question groupings within the measure. All but the 1983 study by Boozer, Lally, and Stacks have presented the WA questions in the order specified on the original scale even though no theoretical basis for the ordering was provided. It is possible that items presented in the same order may consistently produce similar factors because an ordering effect exists rather than separate dimensions. The current study employs factor analysis and comparability analysis to investigate the impact of item order on the number of factors and the underlying factor structure stability of the WA construct. Results indicate that the randomized item factor structure was comparable with the original item order factor structure.
 
Three studies examined the “myside bias” in reasoning, evaluating written arguments, and writing argumentative essays. Previous research suggests that some people possess a fact-based argumentation schema and some people have a balanced argumentation schema. I developed reliable Likert scale instruments (1-7 rating) for these constructs and conducted an evaluation of instrument validity and reliability. A myside bias in argumentative essays was predicted by the fact-based and balanced argumentation schema instruments using these individual-difference measures. Strength of opinion predicted the myside bias in generating reasons but not in writing argumentative essays. There was a weak but significant correlation between the myside bias in generating reasons and writing argumentative essays. In evaluating written arguments, the fact-based schema instrument predicted agreement and quality ratings for claims supported by factual but not nonfactual reasons. Ratings of the quality of rebutted arguments were predicted by the measures of individual differences in argumentation schemata.
 
Sample of Episode Index From One Session of an Instructional Unit on Argumentative Writing.
Descriptive Statistics for Coded Instructional Elements Related to the Teaching of Argumentative Writing for Sampled Instruction Across 31 Teachers' Instructional Chains.
Regression Analyses for Coded Instructional Elements (Level 4 and Level 5) Predicting Students' Argumentative Posttest Scores.
We propose “instructional chaining” as an analytic method for capturing and describing key instructional episodes enacted by expert writing teachers to foster the recontextualization over time of the social practices of argumentative writing through process-oriented instructional approaches. The article locates instructional chaining within a sociocultural framework and argues for conceptualizing learning to write as the recontextualization of social practices of writing in classroom settings. To illustrate the use of instructional chaining to study the effects of teaching on learning argumentative writing, we describe the processes employed to construct an instructional chain for a unit of literary argumentation in a 12th grade English language arts classroom. We conclude with a discussion of two potential uses of instructional chains as units of analysis for both quantitative and qualitative analyses to study patterns of teaching and learning across many classrooms.
 
Students are expected to come into the current college classroom already possessing certain skills including the ability to write at the appropriate academic level regardless of discipline and the ability to create well-structured arguments. Research indicates, however, that most students entering college are underprepared in both areas. One strategy that may help students write at a more academic level is teaching students to focus on spending their time on revision. In the current study, we examine two potential sources of difficulty in the revision of argumentative essays: a poorly developed argument schema and a poorly developed global revision task schema. We created and tested the effectiveness of two written tutorials designed to provide college students information to saturate their knowledge base as well as provide them with procedural tasks to complete. We found that without instruction, students focused their revisions on making local wording changes that did not qualitatively improve their essays. An argument tutorial helped students make higher level global changes, include more argument content, and improve the structure of the essay. A global revision tutorial also helped students make more substantive structural changes. Thus, both tutorials helped students improve their revisions, and the tutorials were completed independently by the students successfully.
 
This study examines how Japanese students perceive the qualities of written arguments that were constructed to have different forms. Based on the theoretical dimensions of verbal communication styles that Gudykunst and Ting-Toomey (1988) proposed, the research questions asked whether the respondents would perceive direct arguments to be of higher quality than indirect arguments. They also asked whether they would perceive elaborate arguments to be of higher quality than succinct arguments. Japanese college students voluntarily responded to a questionnaire. The results revealed that they gave higher ratings to direct arguments than to indirect arguments for both of the two indicators, and higher ratings to elaborate arguments than to succinct arguments for two indicators out of the three. The results were discussed and implications were offered.
 
Many authorities have come to recognize the critical importance of the Greek notion of kairos (right timing and due measure) in contemporary rhetoric. But Aristotelian scholars have generally ignored or demeaned Aristotle's use of kairos in his rhetoric, often contrasting it especially to Plato's full treatment in the Phaedrus. This lack of attention has been partially due to faulty indexes or concordances, which have recently been corrected both by Wartelle and programs like PERSEUS and IBICUS. Secondly, no one has hitherto attempted to go beyond the root kair- and examine the concept as expressed in other terms. This article will attempt to meet both of these concerns. It will first examine carefully the 16 references to kairos in the Rhetoric and show that the term is an integral element in Aristotle's own act of writing, in his concept of the pathetic argument, and in his handling of maxims and integration. There are also important passages using kairos in his treatment of style, often in conjunction with his use of the notion of propriety or fitness (to prepon). Possibly the two most important indirect uses of the concept of kairos can be seen in his definition of rhetoric and in his treatment of equity in both the Rhetoric and in the Nicomachean Ethics, probably the two most important treatments of the concept in antiquity.
 
Many authorities have come to recognize the critical importance of the Greek notion of kairos (right timing and due measure) in contemporary rhetoric. But Aristotelian scholars have generally ignored or demeaned Aristotle's use of kairos in his rhetoric, often contrasting it especially to Plato's full treatment in the Phaedrus. This lack of attention has been partially due to faulty indexes or concordances, which have recently been corrected by Wartelle and programs like PERSEUS and IBICUS. Secondly, no one has hitherto attempted to go beyond the root kair- and examine the concept as expressed in other terms. This article will attempt to meet both of these concerns. It will first examine care-fully the 16 references to kairos in the Rhetoric and show that the term is an integral element in Aristotle's own act of writing, in his concept of the pathetic argument, and in his handling of maxims and integration. There are also important passages using kairos in his treatment of style, often in conjunction with his use of the notion of propriety or fitness (to prepon). Possibly the two most important indirect uses of the concept of kairos can be seen in Aristotle's definition of rhetoric and in his treatment of equity in both the Rhetoric and the Nichomachean Ethics, probably the two most important treatments of the concept in antiquity.
 
Means and Standard Deviations for Self-Perception Ratings on Questions of Difficulty, Satisfaction, and Anxiety in First Language (Spanish) and Second Language (English) Scientific Writing (n = 141)
This article provides quantitative data to establish the relative, perceived burden of writing research articles in English as a second language. Previous qualitative research has shown that scientists writing English in a second language face difficulties but has not established parameters for the degree of this difficulty. A total of 141 Mexican, Spanish-speaking scientists from a range of scientific disciplines participated in a survey which directly compared writing scientific research articles in Spanish and English as a second language. The survey questions defined burden in relation to perceived difficulty, dissatisfaction, and anxiety. The results revealed that the experience of writing a scientific research article in English as a second language is significantly different than the experience writing in a first language and that this writing process was perceived as 24% more difficult and generated 11% more dissatisfaction and 21% more anxiety. The findings suggest that the use of English as a second language is the cause of this increased burden.
 
Holistic reading is widely used to assess the proficiency of non-native-speaking (NNS) writers. However, ESL professionals, who have been profoundly influenced by the notion that attention to the NNS author's message is an integral part of teaching the writing process, have questioned how well native-speaking (NS) raters comprehend NNS texts, given that the task of decoding NNS prose is even further complicated by the time constraints of the holistic scoring process itself. This article describes a study that investigated the extent to which NS holistic raters comprehend NNS texts. After rating several practice compositions, subjects rated one of two qualitatively distinct essays, and then wrote recall protocols to test their comprehension. Data analysis revealed that readers of the better written text recalled significantly more than did readers of the less well written text, indicating that NS holistic raters attend to meaning when evaluating NNS writing proficiency.
 
Based on eighth-grade writing assessment data from the 1998 (N = 20,586) and 2007 (N = 139,900) National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), this study examines the relationships among students’ writing attitudes, learning-related behaviors, and gender in relation to writing performance. Overall, the effects of attitudes were slightly larger than the effects of learning behaviors on writing performance, and gender differences were more prominent in attitudes than learning behaviors related to writing. Perhaps the most surprising finding from the 2007 NAEP data was that females with the most negative attitudes toward writing outperformed males with the most positive attitudes (i.e., writing scores based on two measures of attitudes: females, 157 and 161; males, 151 and 149). Overall, a similar pattern was observed with learning behaviors and gender differences in writing scores. Furthermore, medium effect sizes of gender difference in writing scores (females scoring substantially higher than males) were present even though the students reported to be at the same level in terms of writing attitudes and learning behaviors. The present study demonstrates that gender disparity in students’ writing performance is persistent and strong; it cannot be explained by gender differences in attitudes or behavior alone or in attitudes and behavior combined.
 
Michael's photograph of the entryway to his apartment complex taken for the Building Speaks project
Saima's photograph of her best friend's bedroom window
In this article, the authors engage the theoretical lens of multimodality in rethinking the practices and processes of composing in classrooms. Specifically, they focus on how learning new composing practices led some fifth-grade students to author new literate identities—what they call authorial stances—in their classroom community. Their analysis adds to the current research on the production and analysis of multimodal texts through an analysis of the interrelationships between multimodal composing processes and the development of literate identities. They found that by extending the composing process beyond print modalities students’ composing shifted in significant ways to reflect the circulating nature of literacies and texts and increased the modes of participation and engagement within the classroom curriculum.These findings are based on an ethnographic study of a multimodal storytelling project in a fifth-grade urban classroom.
 
This article reports on a digital ethnography that examines writing, authorship, and self-publication in an online niche market. Drawing on interview and web data collected over 3 years, it focuses on the writing practices that have supported the production, distribution, and sanction of 13 ebooks self-published by online poker players. The article advances an understanding of authorship as sustained interaction among writers and readers as the work of publishing becomes absorbed into online networks as literate activity. In lieu of the capital investment of publishers that produces the materiality of the book, participants in these spaces have manufactured valued texts through collective literacy practices, coming to a loose consensus on what constitutes a book, and working together to enable proprietorship over texts, even amid environments of mass collaboration.
 
In this article, the author offers some personal reflections on the origins and continued development of his thinking about the nature of writing and the relationship between writing and cognition. He recounts how his early efforts to understand the unique effects of writing on cognition, which he claimed were different from the effects of speech on cognition, culminated in his controversial theory of “autonomous texts”: namely, that whereas in speech one listens primarily for a speaker's intentions (i.e., what is meant), writing elicits a form of understanding that seeks a more literal interpretation of sentence meaning (i.e., what is actually said). The author acknowledges the merit of several criticisms of his early claims, but defends his core thesis that writing both enables and encourages writers and readers to say and think things differently than does speech; writing entails a unique mode of understanding that divorces form from meaning. He revises his earlier contention that literacy represents a form of cultural progress toward a more cautious view of writing as an instrument of increasing cultural specialization. Finally, the author outlines several unresolved issues that serve to focus his continued efforts at understanding how writing affects cognition.
 
An important element of written and other technological forms of communication is that they accommodate ''distance'' between sender and receiver in a way proximate communication does not. Despite its importance, the notion of distance has remained pretty much undeveloped in theories of written communication, and the reference points for developing it have remained scattered across various, often noninteractive, literatures such as social theory, network theory, knowledge representation, and postmodernism. synthesizing across these diverse literatures, we formulate a set of concepts and axioms that lays down some baselines for the general communication context, proximate or at a distance. Our baseline concepts include, among others, relative similarity, signature, reach, and concurrency. We then move beyond these baselines to concepts and axioms that accommodate the specialized distance characteristics of written (also print and electronic) communication These concepts include asynchronicity, durability, and multiplicity We conclude by discussing how these concepts and axioms matter to (a) the theoretical modeling of proximate and written systems of communication (including print and electronic systems); and (b) the educational challenge of teaching communication at a distance in the proximate space of the writing classroom.
 
The three authors writing on Bakhtin’s essay, “Dialogic Origin and Dialogic Pedagogy of Grammar”—Farmer, Halasek, and Williams—respond to one another, and Bazerman provides a summative comment in the paragraphs that follow. The responses explore further some of Bakhtin’s thoughts concerning rhetoric and its relation to stylistics and his use of the concept of hero as a grammatical category. The discussion of Bakhtin leads to more general questions of the relation between spontaneous utterance and situationality and the implications for the possibility of a systematic grammar of style. Nonetheless, the commentators agree on Bakhtin’s explicit pedagogy and the interanimation of everyday speech with literary examples. The editor’s final comment notes a tension that informs all these responses, that is, between explicit teaching, on one hand, and avoiding formulaic writing, on the other. Bakhtin’s changing view of the relation of dialectics and dialogue is discussed as well.
 
In teaching and researching English for Law, considerable effort has been put into the fine-grained description of legal genres and accounts of associated legal literacy practices. Much of this work has been carried out in the academic context, focusing especially on genres encountered by undergraduate law students. The range of genres which must be taught in professional legal writing and drafting courses is comparatively underresearched in the applied linguistics literature. This article explores one such underresearched genre, the barrister’s opinion. The article reports the findings of a genre analysis (Bhatia, 1993; Swales, 1990), drawing on the written opinions of five Hong Kong barristers, individual interviews with the barristers, and data from background information questionnaires.The study adopts a multi-perspective approach to genre analysis, drawing on the accounts of specialist informants to explain the genre as socially situated rhetorical action. Thus, the genre is analyzed in terms of its intertextual and interdiscursive writing context, generic move structure, and lexico-grammatical textualization. It is suggested that the findings may usefully be applied to the teaching of legal writing and drafting in a variety of contexts.
 
This article discusses challenges involved in contrastive discourse analysis that emerged while carrying out a follow-up study into a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) program in Spain. Reversing the focus on English of much contrastive rhetoric work, the study investigates the effect of second-language-English on first-language-Spanish writing. The motivation for this focus and the choice of tools from Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) for genre and clause analysis are discussed. Reflecting on the difficulties involved in contrastive discourse analysis, in particular the challenges of comparing texts, it is suggested that contrastive work benefits from a more differentiating analytical method and a more dynamic conception of language. The implications of an influence from English are also considered, with the theses of hybridity and of homogeneity contributing to indicate a role for language awareness work in schools.
 
New media are having a significant impact on science communication, both on the way scientists communicate with peers and on the dissemination of science to the lay public. Science blogs, in particular, provide an open space for science communication, where a diverse audience (with different degrees of expertise) may have access to science information intended both for nonspecialist readers and for experts. The purpose of this article is to analyze the strategies used by bloggers to communicate and recontextualize scientific discourse in the realm of science blogs. These strategies involve adjusting information to the readers’ knowledge and information needs, deploying linguistic features typical of personal, informal, and dialogic interaction to create intimacy and proximity, engaging in critical analysis of the recontextualized research and focusing on its relevance, and using explicit and personal expressions of evaluation. The article shows that, given the diverse audience of science posts, bloggers display a blending of discursive practices from different discourses and harness the affordances of new media to achieve their rhetorical purposes.
 
Writing in chalk on the board in teaching mathematics: (a) Language of instruction is Spanish (the teacher's L1); (b) Language of instruction is Swedish (the teacher's L1); (c) Language of instruction is Hebrew (the teacher's L3); (d) Language of instruction Spanish (the teacher's L4)
A page from an experienced professor's lecture notes Note: The professor's L1 is Russian; L2 is English. Language of instruction is Hebrew (L3).
Summary of Participants' Characteristics
Overview of Data by Source
This article reports on an international study of the teaching of undergraduate mathematics in seven countries. Informed by rhetorical genre theory, activity theory, and the notion of Communities of Practice, this study explores a pedagogical genre at play in university mathematics lecture classrooms. The genre is mediational in that it is a tool employed in the activity of teaching. The data consist of audio/video-recorded lectures, observational notes, semistructured interviews, and written artifacts collected from 50 participants who differed in linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds; teaching experience; and languages of instruction. The study suggests that chalk talk, namely, writing out a mathematical narrative on the board while talking aloud, is the central pedagogical genre of the undergraduate mathematics lecture classroom. Pervasive pedagogical genres, like chalk talk, which develop within global disciplinary communities of practice, appear to override local differences across contexts of instruction. Better understanding these genres may lead to new insights regarding academic literacies and teaching.
 
While transnationalism has emerged as a growing area of interest in Writing Studies, the field has not fully examined how migrants’ movement across national borders shapes their literacy practices. This article offers one answer to this question by reporting on an ethnographic study of the transnational religious literacies of a community of undocumented Brazilian immigrants in a former mill town in Massachusetts. A grounded theory analysis of (a) participants’ accounts of their literacy experiences before and after migration, (b) their writing, and (c) ethnographic observations reveals the following: As participants crossed a border and were excluded from state documentary projects, they began to write within other literacy institutions, namely, transnational churches, that have historically documented subjects and whose reach extends across national borders. The author concludes that as the field of Writing Studies continues to explore transnational literacies, it would do well to take into account the materiality of national borders, which can shape possibilities for written communication in a global context.
 
This article traces the historical and conceptual development of what is known as activity theory, from Vygotsky and Luria, to A. N. Leont’ev, to Engeström, in order to illustrate what I see as two problems with the activity theoretic approach, especially as manifest in the work of Leont’ev and Engeström: what I call the boundary and/or focus problem and the unit-of-analysis problem. In the second half of the article, I explore the social semiotic of an everyday artifact, the “speed bump,” and introduce a discovery heuristic for examining how this artifact functions mediationally in human activity. In so doing, I have tried to discover activity through principled analysis, rather than assuming activity or activity system a priori.
 
Means and SDs for children with SLI and their vocabulary (VC) and chronological age (CA) matches on spelling and phonology raw scores M (SD).
Mean (SD) for text measures for children with SLI and their vocabulary (VC) and chronological age (CA) matches.
Summary of fi nal model of multiple regression analysis for writing scores (total WOLD analytic raw score) for pupils with SLI and their vocabulary-matched peers. Variable B Standard error B Beta T p
Writers typically produce their writing in bursts. In this article, the authors examine written language bursts in a sample of 33 children aged 11 years with specific language impairment. Comparisons of the children with specific language impairment with an age-matched group of typically developing children (n = 33) and a group of younger, language skill–matched children (n = 33) revealed the role of writing bursts as a key factor in differentiating writing competence. All the children produced the same number of writing bursts in a timed writing task. Children with specific language impairment produced a shorter number of words in each burst than did the age-matched group but the same as the language skill–matched group. For all groups, spelling accuracy and handwriting speed were significant predictors of burst length and text quality. The frequency of pauses at misspellings was related to shorter bursts. These results offer support to Hayes’s model of text generation; namely, burst length is constrained by language and transcription skills.
 
This article for the Emhart Corporation, a large multinational manufacturer, addresses the growing misunderstanding of the press by big business in terms that a businessperson can understand. We draw parallels between the functional operations of business and a metropolitan newspaper. It is not surprising that the often feared and mistrusted reporter and editor have their counterparts in the typical business organization.
 
Top-cited authors
John Richard Hayes
  • Carnegie Mellon University
Glynda A. Hull
  • University of California, Berkeley
Theresa Lillis
  • The Open University (UK)
Mark Evan Nelson
  • Kanda University of International Studies
Danielle McNamara
  • Arizona State University