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Crafting claims about sustainability assessment: The situated practice of guiding university students into producing and presenting conclusions

Journal article
Authors Ann-Marie Eriksson
Published in Linguistics and Education
Volume 30
Issue June
Pages 97-113
ISSN 0898-5898
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 97-113
Language en
Keywords Higher education, academic writing, interaction, communication, discourse, disciplinarity
Subject categories Pedagogical Work, Pedagogy, Educational Sciences


Following sociocultural and dialogical traditions, this empirical study investigates the textual presentation of conclusions as ongoing practice related to historically grounded, disciplinary traditions. From using interaction analytical means to scrutinize supervision sessions around a report assignment in engineering education, the article illuminates communicative challenges that emerge and are dealt with as student writers explore and formulate an argumentation in the context of Sustainability Assessment. Analyzing mediated action and participants’ communicative activities on the micro-level makes details in the work of producing, accounting for and formulating conclusions in alignment with a disciplinary field observable. By means of two illustrative episodes selected from an analyzed corpus of 33 video-recorded sessions, the results demonstrate how close attention to textual formulations in students’ report drafts provided important access points to epistemic practices. Such attention was a significant means for taking an argumentative orientation where specific forms of discourse and intratextual work were essential ingredients.

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