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Supervision at the outline stage: introducing and encountering issues of sustainable development through academic writing assignments

Journal article
Authors Ann-Marie Eriksson
Åsa Mäkitalo
Published in Text & Talk
Volume 35
Issue 2
Pages 123-153
ISSN 1860-7330
Publication year 2015
Published at The Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction, and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS)
Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Pages 123-153
Language en
Links doi.org/10.1515/text-2014-0032
Keywords writing process, higher education, mediation, genre, discourse, communication
Subject categories Pedagogical Work, Learning, Educational Sciences

Abstract

Universities are responsible for introducing students to disciplinary fields and their knowledge traditions. A common way to cater for processes of this kind is to organize students' work through the production of text in a genre common in their field. Previous research has pointed to the challenges involved as students appropriate disciplinary ways of reasoning through writing, yet further attention needs to be directed to the communicative challenges involved at the very beginning of the process. Based on 14 video-recorded face to face encounters between environmental experts and individual MSc Engineering students, this study focuses on supervision at the outline stage of producing a report, and explores it as a communicative practice. The results from our study show how the students' outline documents functioned as resources for separating the performing of a study from the crafting of its textual presentation. The results also illuminate, in detail, how access points to disciplinary reasoning and arguing were introduced through verbal discourse.

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