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"Only connect!" : engaging online with texts and with peers Johnson, Kerry Leigh 2006

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" O N L Y C O N N E C T ! " : E N G A G I N G O N L I N E W I T H T E X T S A N D W I T H P E E R S by K E R R Y L E I G H J O H N S O N B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1990 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 1992 A T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T O F T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F A R T S In T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S ( L I T E R A C Y E D U C A T I O N ) T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A December 2006 ©Kerry Leigh Johnson, 2006 Abstract This research study of a mixed-mode first year English literature course on argumentative prose essays analyzed learners' social practices and online discourse in order to identify ways in which learners engaged with one another and with texts. Discourse analysis provided a better understanding of the ways in which students negotiated conflicting identities, values, and ways of thinking through the act of composition. Findings identified aspects of the online environment that facilitated students' acquisition of academic discourse and ways in which participation in online discussion enabled students to become full participants in the academic community. Table of Contents Abst rac t ii Table of contents iii List of tables vi List of f igures vi i Acknow ledgemen t s . . vi i i Chapter 1: Introduction to the study 1.1. In t roduc t ion : Comp lex connect iv i ty and learn ing 1 1.2 Descr ipt ion of the s tudy 1.2.1 Research site 7 1.2.2 Project descr ipt ion and research ques t ions 7 1.2.3 Course descr ipt ion 8 1.2.4 Texts . 1 1 1.2.5 Course object ives 12 1.3 Rev iew of the l i terature 1.3.1 e-learning and higher educat ion 1 .3 .1 .1 . Chang ing univers i t ies and chang ing needs 13 1.3.1.2 Mixed-mode and hybr id on-line courses 15 1.3.2 Knowledge-bui ld ing and knowledge-bui ld ing d iscourse 15 1.3.3. Advan tages of compute r-med ia ted commun i ca t i on (CMC) instruct ion . . 16 1.3.4Theories of learning and compute r-med ia ted commun i ca t i on 18 1.3.5 Advan tages of computer-suppor ted learning 1.3.5.1 Dia logue, sca f fo ld ing , and mult ip le perspect ives . 18 1.3.5.2 Ar t icu la t ion 20 1.3.5.3 Cri t ical th ink ing 20 1.3.6 Const ruc t i v i s t perspect ives and onl ine learning 22 1.3.7 Research studies of learn ing and interact ion 1.3.7.1 Research f indings 23 1.3.7.2 Teacher ' s roles 28 1.3.8. Academ i c l i teracy pract ices and academic genres 1.3.8.1 Or ig ins of a cademic genres 28 1.3.8.2 Academi c l i teracy and wr i t ing in onl ine env i ronments 32 1.3.9 Bourdieu 's not ions of " l e g i t i m a c y , " " s y m b o l i c c ap i t a l , " and "cu l tura l c ap i t a l " 34 1.4 Research Des ign 1.4.1 Rat ionale 35 1.4.2 Data Col lect ion 37 1.4.3 Participants in the study 37 1.4.4 Data 38 1.4.5 The Researcher's Role 39 1.4.6 Data Collection Procedures . . . 39 1.4.7 Overview of the following chapters 39 Chapter 2: Key Issues: Learning, Social Practice, Discourse, Identity, and Argumentation 2.1 Learning, discourse and social practices . . . 40 2.2 Discourse, texts, and social practices 44 2.3 Social practices, education, and academic genre . . . . . . 46 2.4 Text types and genres . . 46 2.5 Discourse communities and academia . . . . . 49 2.6 Discourse and social practices in the context of this study . . . 50 2.7 Learning, participation, and social practices 51 2.8 Analyzing Argument 2.8.1 Toulmin's structure of argument . . . . . . . . 5 6 2.8.2 Argumentation and literary texts 57 2.8.3 Argumentation and academic literacy practices 61 Chapter 3: Engagement and Interaction: The Case of John Stuart Mill 3.1 Rationale 63 3.2 Social practices: Academic genre and argumentation 64 3.3 Engagement with the Text 65 3.4 Features of argumentative writing identified in the on-line posts 66 3.5 Introduction to the Module 67 3.6 Online discourse in the debate on Mill 68 3.7 Instructors' views 69 3.8 An online invitation: Why read "On Liberty"? 70 3.9 Speaking up: Speaking as an "I" 72 3.10 Speaking up: Interpersonal interaction 76 iv 3.11 S tance , a t t i tude, and moda l i t y in d iscuss ions regard ing gove rnmen t , soc ie ty , and specif ic examp l e s 85 3.12 Moda ls , Hedges , and Boos te rs 88 3.13 Pre l iminary observa t ions . 90 Chapter 4 : Engaging with Evidence 4.1 Academic wr i t ing and ev ident ia l s 92 4.2 Academic wr i t ing and the onl ine env i ronment . . . 94 4 .3 Academi c wr i t ing in the on l ine env i r onmen t : The case of S tud ies in Engl ish Prose 96 4.4 Wr i t ing and ident i ty 97 4.5 Engag ing Wi th the Ev idence and Wi th the Reader 4.5.1 Overv iew of e x a m p l e s . . . 99 4.5 .2 Pronouns and Posi t ions 100 4.6 Incorporat ing ev idence and deve lop ing an a rgument 4.6.1 Inst ructors ' perspect i ves . . 105 4.6 .2 Overv iew 106 4 .6 .3 Three samp le tex ts . . . 108 4.7 Incorporat ing Onl ine Ev idence 119 Chapter 5: Speaking up 5.1 Shar ing " th ings I've f igured o u t " 124 5.2 Onl ine d iscourse 127 5.3 " M a k i n g your po in t " . . . . 131 5.4 Ta lk ing about what you know 132 5.5 Encounter ing o thers ' v iews 134 5.6 Comba t i ng " e s s a y e s e " 137 5.7 Conc lus ion 143 B ib l iography 149 Append ix 1: Ethics Approva l Form 150 List of Tables Table 4.1 Overview of posts List of Figures Figure 2.1 Sample of argumentative strategies 9 Figure 2.2. "Passing Notes" hyperlink 10 vii Acknowledgements My grateful thanks to the participants in this study for allowing me to observe your classrooms, and sharing your experiences and insights with me in our interviews. I so enjoyed visiting your classes, both virtual and actual, and learned a lot from all of you. Thank you so much, and the very best of luck in your future teaching and learning. My heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Jennifer Vandeboncoeur for your generous support and enthusiasm. You are truly well named. Thank you for taking the time from an extremely busy schedule to meet with me on a weekly basis as I went through the data analysis process and for your wholehearted encouragement. Mille grazie dal fondo del mio cuore. v/iii "Only Connect": Engaging On-Line with Texts and with Peers Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, And human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect... —E.M. Forster, Howards End Chapter 1 Introduction to the study 1.1 Introduction: Complex connectivity and learning " O n l y connec t ! " E.M. Forster 's often-cited refrain conveys an urgent plea for connect ion made in a t ime in which techno logy had a l ready wrought i r revers ib le changes on the Br i t ish l andscape—both phys ica l and soc ia l . Repeated references to the tra ins and motor veh ic les , the layers of dust and g r ime wh ich had begun to infi l trate the air , and the cont inual c lat ter and frenet ic pace of c rowded ci t ies in the novel convey Forster 's awareness of the inf luence of techno logy on h u m a n lives and h u m a n in terac t ion . Forster 's novel is by no means a s imp le d iatr ibe aga inst techno logy and progress . Cont ras t ing the peaceful refuge offered by the country estate wh ich g ives the novel its title with the busy and often confus ing city of London where the ma in charac ters l ive, Forster exp lores the connect ions af forded and const ra ined by socia l env i ronments and social mores . "The more people one knows the eas ier it becomes to replace t h e m , " Forster 's protagonis t Margaret obse rves . "It's one of the curses of London . " Margaret has often med i ta ted on the increas ing d iv is ion between the "g rea t outer l i fe , " " fu l l of " t e l eg rams and ange r , " which though "obv ious l y ho r r i d , " "o f ten s e e m s the real o n e " and which s eems d iametr i ca l l y opposed to the life she and her s is ter Helen va lue , a life in which "pe r sona l re la t ions " are cons idered " s u p r e m e . " In the "g rea t ou te r " life personal re lat ions have become comple te l y d e v a l u e d : marr iage is equated wi th mar r iage se t t l ements and death wi th death dut ies (p. 25 ) , and personal connec t ions , a l though easi ly es tab l i shed , are all the more eas i ly deva lued (Perkowi tz , 1996 ) . A l though the great outer life carr ied on in the busy c i t ies , factor ies , and ra i lway t e rm inuses has its at t rac t ions : " . . . there's grit in it. It does breed charac te r , " it is a life in wh ich human a t tempts to estab l i sh and mainta in connect ions are f raught with di f f icul ty , and the repeated misconnec t ions and d isconnec t ions in the novel have profound consequences for each of the charac ters . Despi te the confus ion and dist ress that both Margaret and her s is ter Helen exper ience in thei r a t t empts to connect with o thers , they af f i rm that "pe r sona l re lat ions are the real l ife, fo rever and eve r " (p. 25 ) . /I Al though Forster 's novel was wr i t ten between 1908 and 1 9 1 0 , a t ime in wh ich the te lephone was new and the compu te r had not yet been inven ted , his refra in is often cited in s tud ies of computer-med ia ted commun i ca t i on as it is the seeming l y un l imi ted connect iv i ty af forded by compute r-med ia ted commun i ca t i on—the unpara l le led possib i l i t ies it offers to estab l ish and mainta in connect ions between ind iv idua l s—which appears to be one of its greatest advan tages . However , research s tud ies of on-line interact ions often reveal the s a m e misconnec t ions and d isconnec t ions as those which Forster 's characters exper ience . As the use of on-line educa t i on , whe ther th rough d is tance educa t ion courses , lecture course in which interact ive bul let in boards used to post c lass notes , or mixed-mode c lasses in wh ich s tudents both meet face-to-face and part ic ipate in on-line d i s cuss ion , has become increas ing ly w idespread in univers i t ies and co l leges , the " techno log ica l tools for learning are becoming increas ingly in teract ive , w ide ly d is t r ibuted and co l l abora t i ve " (Bonk & C u n n i n g h a m , 1 9 9 8 ; Bonk and Wisher , 2 0 0 0 ) . In an overv iew of future t rends in h igher educa t ion , N icholas Burbu les , (2000) exp resses the hope that " the creat ive use of new techno log ies " can " inc rease " s tuden t -s tudent and student-facul ty in te rac t ion , " thereby " b roaden ing the opportun i t ies for exp lora tory and discovery-or iented l ea rn ing " (para 8 ) . Th rough onl ine d iscuss ion boards and compu te r con fe renc ing , t radi t ional teacher-student d ia logue and c lass d i scuss ion can be ex tended th rough what L inda Haras im (1990) t e rms "many- to-many c o m m u n i c a t i o n " in which s tudents are able to build upon and ampl i f y each others ' responses . The unpara l le led connect iv i ty af forded th rough digital t echno logy has mult ip le facets . In a review of the deve lopment of commun i ca t i on techno logy and its relat ion to pedagogy , C a r m e n Luke d is t ingu ishes between what she t e rms " indus t r i a l-mode l schoo l ing based on stat ic pr int/book cul ture and compet i t i ve i nd i v i dua l i sm" and the " new d iscourses and prac t i ces " wh ich have evo lved as educators recogn ized " co l l abora t i ve learning possibi l i t ies and deter r i tor ia l ized mean ing mak ing and knowledge conf igurat ions enab led by new techno log ies " ( 2 0 0 3 , p. 398 ) . Access to the internet and the wide range of pract ices wh ich have evo lved a long wi th hyper text , on-line g a m i n g , and part ic ipat ion in on-line bul let in boards and d i scuss ion g roups have t rans fo rmed eve ryday l i teracy pract ices . Accord ing to Luke, "d ig i ta l techno log ies have remed ia ted t rad i t iona l text genres and fo rms and have genera ted new modes of textua l pract ices and i m m e d i a c y " (p. 398 ) . Th rough hyper text , d ig i ta l l inks between texts wh ich have made vas t amoun t s of in format ion access ib le in on-line fo rmat , d igi ta l techno logy af fords a seeming l y l imit less potent ia l to create new connect ions and inter textua l mean ings by e lec t ron ic l inks. 12 In format ion is s t ructured as a network of hyper text l inks rather than in a h ierarch ica l , l inear manner . The wr i ter of a hyper tex t documen t offers a mul t ip le pathways which readers fol low depending on wh ich hyper text l inks they choose rather than s t ructur ing the text as a sequenced pathway . Because hyper text a l lows readers to select the connect ions they want to make between sect ions of the tex t , to incorporate or d iscard in format ion as they choose and to u l t imate ly "p roduce the i r own m e a n i n g s , " the "bounda r i e s between readers and wr i t e r s " in digital texts s t ruc tured this way become blurred (Snyder , 1998 , p. 127 ) . Hyper tex t enab les wr i ters to j u x t a p o s e d iverse texts and genera te d iverse interpretat ive cho ices . As s o u n d , g raph ics , a n i m a t i o n , and v ideo can a lso be d ig i t i zed , hyper text l inks can be used to create mu l t imoda l texts which are often t e rmed ' h y p e r m e d i a . ' Luke emphas izes the fact that the unprecedented connect i v i t y af forded by digital techno logy is of part icular interest to educators who have adopted a soc ia l construct iv is t v iew of knowledge and learn ing in wh ich " know ledge is app rehended and appropr ia ted in and th rough socia l in teract ion, d ia logue , negot ia t ion , and con tes t a t i on , " urg ing educators to emp loy the capac i ty of the internet to " d r aw on d iverse sources of i n fo rma t ion " it of fers , use it as a " m e a n s of c o m m u n i c a t i o n " between learners and a v i r tua l space in wh ich "soc ia l l y interact ive commun i t i e s of l ea rners " are able to engage in " l ea rn ing and in format ion exchange and p roduc t i on " (p. 398 ) . Accord ing to Luke , the new text genres and textua l pract ices af forded th rough digi ta l t echno logy , " h a v e made new demands on reading and wr i t ing , v i ew ing , soc ia l exchange and c o m m u n i c a t i o n " (p. 4 0 1 ) , engender ing a " c o m p l e x connect i v i t y " be tween dig i ta l texts and the socia l pract ices of reading and wr i t ing that have evo lved w i th the greater access ib i l i ty and the use of digi ta l texts in educat iona l inst i tut ions. For e x a m p l e , hyper text offers a new way to draw connect ions between texts and the "web- l ike pattern of l inks that readers can pursue or i gnore " " d e m a n d s a part icu lar k ind of read ing , a cogni t ive mapp ing and pathway nav iga t i on " (Luke, 400 ) f rom readers . In addi t ion to the mean ing-mak ing possibi l i t ies af forded by hyper text , digital t echno logy offers unprecedented possib i l i t ies for connect ions between ind iv idua ls , what L inda Haras im (2000) t e rms "many- to-many c o m m u n i c a t i o n , possibi l i t ies for enhanced learn ing th rough act ive exchange between ind iv idua ls , ident i f icat ion of new perspect i ves , mult ip l ic i ty of perspect ives , and oppor tun i t i es for conceptua l change as indiv iduals c o m p a r e , d i scuss , modi fy , and/or replace concepts th rough onl ine d ia logue (p. 51 ) . Olga Dysthe 's (2002) s tudy of an asynch ronous , web-med ia ted d iscuss ion in a un ivers i ty ph i losophy c lass a lso focuses on the advantages of many-to-many c o m m u n i c a t i o n , but f rom a s l ight ly di f ferent theoret ica l van tage point . Dysthe /3 invest igated the k inds of interact ion that took place in the onl ine env i ronment in order to identify interact ions that faci l i tated lea rn ing . Dysthe used Bakht in ' s v iew of texts as dia logic and "mu l t i - vo i c ed " and Rommetve i t ' s theory of intersubject iv i ty as a f r amework for her ana l ys i s , exp la in ing that the onl ine env i ronment , in which "mu l t i p l e vo ices s t ruggle wi th one another , a rgue or supp l emen t one ano the r , " is one wh ich creates high learning potent ia l , echo ing Bakht in and Rommetve i t ' s concept ion of learn ing in which " m e a n i n g and unde r s t and ing " are created where there is a ' rec iproc i ty of d i f fe rences ' " (p. 348 ) . Dysthe 's v iew of onl ine commun i ca t i on echoes Bakht in 's not ion of appropr i a t i on : A n impor tan t part of learning is x to appropr ia te the word ' , to unders tand and make the thoughts of o thers our own . Th is often takes place th rough conf ronta t ion with o thers ' in terpretat ions and appropr ia t ions . T h e word in language is half s o m e o n e e lse 's . It becomes 'one 's o w n ' only when the speake r populates it w i th his own in tent ion , his own accent , when he appropr ia tes the w o r d , adapt ing it to his own semant i c in tent ion ' (Bakht in 1 9 8 1 , p. 2 9 3 , cited in Dys the , 2 0 0 2 , p. 349 ) . In Dys the ' s v iew, the texts wh ich others create onl ine funct ion are " t h i nk ing dev i ces " in wh ich learners are confronted wi th " o the r s ' in terpretat ions and appropr i a t i ons , " and become spr ingboards for new thought . Th rough the process of using other people 's texts as th ink ing dev ices , new mean ings may a lso be gene ra ted . It is the responsib i l i ty of both teachers and s tudents to faci l i tate both the appropr ia t ion of the words of o thers and the creat ion of new knowledge (p. 351 ) . Mar lene S ca rdama l i a and Car l Bere i ter (1996) base the i r concept of " know ledge bui lding d i s cou r se " upon Karl Popper 's (1962) asser t ion that " r e cogn ized a r g u m e n t and cr i t i c ism as the dr iv ing forces in the a d v a n c e m e n t of sc ient i f ic knowledge , wi th research hav ing its impact th rough these d iscourse p rocesses " (p. 257 ) . They a rgue that theor ies of learning shou ld be based on the " soc ia l processes of research t e ams and l abora tor ies " (p. 253) and that these should be imp lemented in c l ass room pract ices . S ca rdama l i a and Bere i ter are interested in educat iona l research that can " charac te r ize knowledge-bui ld ing d iscourse and then recreate c l ass room act iv i ty to suppor t i t " (p. 257 ) . In the i r v iew, c l ass rooms shou ld funct ion as knowledge-bui ld ing commun i t i e s in which knowledge is advanced th rough a rgumen t , c r i t i c i sm, and rev is ion of new d iscover ies and argue that onl ine interact ion can faci l i tate knowledge bui ld ing in this manne r th rough s tudent engagemen t in wel l s t ructured act iv i t ies . Al l the researchers and theor is ts ment ioned here share a s im i l a r focus on learning as a conversa t ion and learning fac i l i tated th rough d ia logue . Onl ine d i scourse , a l though it r esembles spoken d iscourse in many ways , is pr imar i ly wr i t ten d i scourse , and it is /4 th rough the process of wr i t ing that learners ar t icu late and clar i fy the i r ideas before shar ing t hem with o thers . In his ana lys i s of compute r-med ia ted commun i ca t i on (CMC) and cogn i t ion , Char les Crook (1994) proposes that " one way that learners might ga in f rom work ing c losely on a p rob lem wi th a peer is by being required to make the i r th ink ing publ ic and exp l i c i t " (p. 134 ) , locat ing the " s t r eng th of peer work in self-reflective processes ar is ing f rom the responsib i l i ty of jus t i f y ing and dec lar ing your ideas to a co l l abora tor " and that w i tness ing the process prov ides added benef i ts as " an ' exper t par tner ' p rompts , e labora tes , and scaffo lds the p rocess " (p. 134 ) . Gordon Wel ls (1990) is a lso concerned wi th cogn i t i on , but f rames it in re lat ion to l i teracy and l iteracy pract ices : "To be literate... is to have the d i spos i t ion , as compose r or interpreter , to engage wi th a t e x t " (p. 269 ) , ins ist ing that "wr i t t en l anguage—as a m e d i u m through which ind iv idua ls , th rough the in ter rogat ion of the i r own or o thers ' t ex ts , can ex tend the i r own th ink ing and unde r s t and ing " empowers the mind (p. 361 ) . Wel ls d is t ingu ishes five types of l i teracy, but va lues what he t e rms " ep i s t em i c l i te racy" above all o thers : When one reads .. when one cons iders a l ternat ive in terpretat ions and looks for internal ev idence to choose between them ... one is engag ing wi th the text ep is temica l l y . . . one may see connect ions between th ings one a l ready knows or ach ieve insights of fee l ing and unders tand ing (p. 374 ) . , Whi le ep is temic , or knowledge-mak ing l i teracy is concerned with both reading and wr i t i ng , through wr i t ing , " the text can be " r e tu rned to , cr i t ica l ly e x a m i n e d , recons idered , and perhaps made the basis for the const ruct ion of a fur ther , sus ta ined text of one 's o w n , " a process in which "one is forced to go even fur ther in the deve lopment of one 's unde r s t and ing " (p. 374 ) . Th rough the creat ion of t ex t s , there fore , we const ruct and interrogate knowledge , ar t icu lat ing emerg ing concepts and re formula t ing t hem by reading them and shar ing t hem wi th others . The onl ine env i ronment , one in which wr i t ten texts can be shared and interrogated th rough "knowledge-bu i ld ing d i s cou rse , " is therefore one in which learners engage wi th others and wi th tex ts , const ruct ing new mean ings and encounter ing d iverse and conf l ic t ing v iews . The " c o m p l e x connec t i v i t y " it offers inc ludes connect ions between learners and the texts they c reate , connect ions between different learners and d iverse concept ions of know ledge , and the ways in which these contr ibute to " b roaden ing the opportun i t ies for exp lo ra to ry and d iscovery-or iented l ea rn ing " through digital med i a . The theor ists c i ted here are interested in g lobal issues rather than speci f ic ones . Whi le they use phrases l ike " ep i s t em i c l i teracy , " " knowledge-bu i ld ing d i scourse , " " co l l abora t i ve learning poss ib i l i t i es , " and " know ledge conf igurat ions enab led by new IS t echno log ies , " they do not address the speci f ic issues as to how such object ives can be real ized in c l ass room teach ing and learning pract ices or in webs i te des ign . Our purpose in this s tudy is to br idge the d iv ide between theory and pract ice (a lbeit to a l imi ted extent ) by ana lyz ing the knowledge-bui ld ing d iscourse and l i teracy pract ices in a spec i f ic group of learners in order to unders tand how these are mani fes ted in actua l onl ine interact ions, and how they can be faci l i tated in the creat ion and teach ing of web-based courses . 1.2 D e s c r i p t i o n of t he S tudy This s tudy focuses on the " c o m p l e x connec t i v i t y " af forded by digi ta l techno logy in a mixed-mode f irst yea r univers i ty Engl ish course (S tudies in Engl ish Prose) of fered at a large univers i ty in Western C a n a d a . It ana l yzes on-line interact ion between s tudents to better unders tand the ways in which s tudents connect with one another in the on-line env i ronment , the textua l pract ices that evo lve in this part icu lar context , the connect ions that s tudents begin make between the texts and the i r own l ives, and the ways in which s tudents begin to connect the texts they read wi th the i r own textua l pract ices th rough wr i t ing and responding to onl ine post ings . The te rm " e n g a g e m e n t " conveys the way in which the instructors in this part icu lar course f r amed the not ion of connect iv i ty in relat ion to the i r object ives for the course . The t e rm recurred in interv iews and was used both as a ve rb (to engage with someth ing ) and as a noun (the s tudents ' engagement in someth ing ) . Examp les inc lude : " engage wi th the t e x t ; " " engage wi th the r e a d i n g s ; " " engage wi th the pos t i ngs ; " " engage in an in t e rac t i on ; " " engage with the a r g u m e n t ; " and " engage wi th a top i c . " The not ion of " e n g a g e m e n t " was f ramed in a var ie ty of ways by the instructors involved in the course . The t e rm was equa ted , often by the s a m e person , with act ive part ic ipat ion or invo l vement as ev idenced by post ing ref lect ions or responding to o thers , wi th the degree to which a s tudent had connected the issues in a part icu lar text to his or her own exper ience , wi th a s tudent ' s abi l i ty to ana lyze the connect ion between the rhetor ica l s t rategies in a par t icu lar text and its content , and wi th the abi l i ty to make connect ions between one text and texts prev ious ly s tud ied . The d idact ic mater ia ls focused on persuas ive s t ra teg ies used in a rgumenta t i ve prose in the hope that the s tudents wou ld be able to connect the i r deepen ing unders tand ing of persuas ive wr i t ing to the i r own wr i t ing and to the texts they encountered in other parts of the i r l ives : it's not j us t to read it at face va lue . . . but to real ly th ink about what ' s being sa id and how it's being sa id . . . and hopeful ly to start to apply some of that to the i r own wr i t ing . . . if we th ink more about how we persuade others , we' l l have a better unders tand ing of how it's happen ing to us IS 1.2.1 Research Site The s tudy was conducted on a f irst yea r Engl ish prose course prov ided in a mixed-mode fo rmat offered in a large un ivers i ty located in Weste rn C a n a d a . The s tudents were required to make at least one on-line post ing per week and met once a week in sma l l (20 student ) d iscuss ion sect ions for face-to-face d i scuss ion . Requ i rements and format of the on-line posts changed week l y , ref lect ing the ass igned read ings for that week and the inst ructors ' object ives . 1.2.2 Project Description and Research Questions The research project focuses on on-line data col lected a first yea r Engl ish non-fict ional prose course . The focus of the course was on a rgumenta t i v e prose essays , wi th a speci f ic emphas i s on ana lys i s of a rgumenta t i ve s t ra teg ies for speci f ic purposes . The data was col lected f rom January to A p r i l , 2 0 0 5 , the th ird t ime that the course had been offered in a mixed-mode fo rmat (on-line interact ion in con junc t ion with week ly face-to-face d iscuss ion sect ions ) . S tudent and instructor feedback f rom the two prev ious on-line courses was very posi t ive , and the instructors involved in course des ign and deve lopment who had taught the course in both on-line course and mixed-mode fo rmats c o m m e n t e d that the qual i ty of a rgumenta t ion in on-line d iscuss ion was often super ior to that of fo rma l wr i t ten ass ignments . The course was offered (and cont inues to be offered) both in lecture fo rmat and in the m ixed-mode fo rmat , and an in-depth eva luat ion of the course (Wel ls , 2002 ) was under taken after the course was offered in m ixed-mode fo rmat for the first t ime , pr imar i ly to obta in in format ion on s tudent sat is fact ion and to compare s tudent ou t comes in the both fo rmats (m ixed-mode and lecture-based) . Before draf t ing a research p roposa l , the researcher met wi th the course consu l tan t , who had been invo lved in deve lopment of the course and had taught it twice in mixed-mode format , to learn more about the course ob jec t i ves , the tex ts , the webs i te se tup and des ign , and to get an overv iew of m ixed-mode teach ing and learning in this part icu lar course . Dur ing the mee t i ng , the researcher was prov ided with a copy of the report prepared after the pre l iminary eva luat ion of the course . The course consu l tant c o m m e n t e d that one of the major advan tages of the m ixed-mode fo rmat was the marked improvemen t in the s tudents ' wr i t ing over the t e r m . Both he and the course coord ina tor felt that the onl ine env i ronment fac i l i tated a kind of wr i t ing that eventua l l y t ransferred into more formal wr i t ing a s s i gnmen t s . As a teacher of a cademic wr i t ing to ESL s tudents , the researcher was part icular ly int r igued by this c o m m e n t and wondered whether fur ther research could identify speci f ic features of onl ine d iscourse wh i ch might contr ibute to the i m p r o v e m e n t in the s tudents ' n writing. The issue surfaced again in interviews with the instructors during the data collection process: from the beginning of the course I was. . . quite struck by the. . . the high quality of the postings . . . they do get better as the term goes on. . . and then . . . something else that we're very interested in is. . . a transference from the posting experience to . . . essay writing and examination writing experience. . . that's where we see . . . the more striking improvement, I think. . . . we found that the students . . . generally wrote . . . better . . . their ideas were crisper . . . clearer when they. . . were not writing formal papers . . . when they could . . . when they didn't take on the student persona they could. . . speak as . . . themselves in an . . environment that they were familiar with. . . The course coordinator and consultant, who were, both involved in creating the website structure and materials, agreed that the website was deliberately structured to give students as many opportunities as possible to "say something they actually want to communicate to others," which, as the course coordinator observed, "is the key to good writing." He felt that it was important to "encourage students to express themselves in essay writing and exams "in the way that they do. . . in postings" and that over the term, the instructors observed "a transference from the posting experience to . . . essay writing and examination writing experience" which represented a "striking improvement" in the students' writing ability. The focus of the research study therefore became to explore two questions: 1) to understand the literacy practices of a particular group of learners and ways in which they facilitated knowledge-building discourse; and 2) to identify ways in which participation in online discussion facilitated learners' understanding and use of academic discourse. During the data analysis process, a third question emerged: 3) how does this particular group of learners engage with peers and with texts through participation in online discussion? 1.2.3 Cou rse d e s c r i p t i o n Course materials included a wide variety of prose essays in English, some of which were translated from the original languages in which they had been written. The course was divided into modules, each of which focused on one essay or two essays on a similar topic. The essays ranged from the Italian Renaissance (an excerpt from Macchiavelli's "The Prince") to contemporary digital culture (Neil Postman's "Virtual Reality, Digital Students"), and included wide range of topics and issues. The modules were set up as a clock face, with a pointer which could be clicked onto each section. /8 Each modu le inc luded an introductory v ideo , of ten wi th excerpts of the text read by the author or by m e m b e r s of the Engl ish Depa r tment so that s tudents were able to hear the rhetor ica l effects of the text as wel l as see t h e m on the page. The webs i te inc luded t ime-l ine learning object in which all the texts were s i tuated relat ive to one another as wel l as with in the part icu lar historical events t ak ing place at the t ime when they were wr i t ten , and the t ime l ine could be accessed on every modu le homepage . By c l ick ing on the clock face in the int roductory homepage for each modu l e , the s tudents could eas i ly move back and forth between the different sec t ions . Each modu le inc luded e leven sec t ions : Background: a brief b iography and int roduct ion to the h is tor ica l , soc i a l , and polit ical context in which that module ' s par t icu lar essay or essays were wr i t ten Key Terms: a brief g lossary with key t e rms used in the essay , as wel l as l i terary t e rms wh ich might be of interest for ana lys i s or re levant t e rms f rom the par t icu lar histor ical context in which the essay was wr i t ten Pointers for Reading: a gu ide to focus the s tudent ' s initial reading and ana lys i s of the essay in that modu le Go Read the Essay: fur ther quest ions to cons ide r whi le re-reading and to th ink . about in re lat ion to the post ing ass ignment for the week Commentary: A mode l ana lys is and c o m m e n t a r y on sect ions of the tex t read dur ing the week. The focus was genera l ly an ana lys is of the re lat ionship between fo rm and content as mani fes ted in this part icular text . Argumentative Strategies: an in-depth ana lys is of the speci f ic rhetor ica l s t rategies and persuas ive techn iques used to address a part icu lar aud ience . Th is sect ion also conta ined quest ions wi th l inks to a d iscuss ion thread so that s tudents could respond eas i ly and quick ly to the ques t ions . These quest ions of ten asked s tudents to d iscuss the ef fect iveness of the wr i ter 's use of language or rhetor ica l s t rategies . A n examp le is shown in Fig 2 .1 . Note the ef fect iveness of Machiavel l i ' s l anguage as an a rgumenta t i ve s t ra tegy . Machiave l l i ' s advice is blunt ly and asser t ive ly s ta ted . What effect does this have on his readers? Does the tone of his language work to persuade you of his theor ies of power , a n d , if so , could the same effect be ach ieved w i th 'a gent le r tone of a rgument ? i£t(post your answe r in the " M 8 . A S 2 : Tone " thread) Fig 2.1 Sample of argumentative strategies Go Reread the Essay: S o m e further genera l c o m m e n t a r y Your Postings: The s tudents had access to post ings made by all s tudents , but posted in the i r d i scuss ion sect ion only . Further Exploration: Often inc luded a c o m m e n t on the re levance of the essay to current events , o ther words by the author ( s ) , and references to crit ical essays which might be of interest , many ava i lab le th rough hyper text l inks . Discussion Group: Instruct ions for the week l y face-to-face d i scuss ions . Making Connections: Pointed out connect ions between the current essay and the reading for the next modu le . /9 Further information: Inc luded o ther works by the s a m e au thor , re levant h istor ical d o c u m e n t s , and hyper l inks . Ano the r sec t i on , " P a s s i n g N o t e s , " (see Fig 2.2) was ava i lab le th rough hyper tex t link on every page of the modu le . In th is sec t i on , s tuden ts were encou raged to ask ques t ions , whe the r about compu te r p rob lems , a c lass ass i gnmen t , or di f f icul t ies wi th the tex tbook, and to post any th ing of interest to t h e m , whe the r it was a ques t ion abou t a c lass ass i gnmen t inc luding random though ts spa rked by the i r read ing or d iscuss ion which did not s e e m to fit into the manda to ry week l y d i scuss ions . Passing-+\ Notes: 'Click Ah lam'at < any tone to make a t commas! M ask < |>| a question, p Fig 2.2 "Passing Notes" hyperlink This sec t ion of the webs i te was a place for s tuden ts to post the i r t hough ts and engage in free d i scuss ion . The first post in the sec t ion was m a d e by the course d i rector and was t i t led " Y o u r C h a n c e to S a y S o m e t h i n g " : Pass ing Notes is our fo rum for wha teve r you migh t wan t to raise about the course— or abou t l i fe, for that mat ter . The last t ime we gave th is cou rse , two y e a r s a g o , there was a m e m o r a b l e , h ighly impress ive deba te about the U .S . invas ion of I raq , for e x a m p l e . S o c o m p o s e a m e s s a g e and jo in (or star t ) a conve rsa t i on . The s tuden ts took up the course d i rec tor 's inv i tat ion to share the i r t hough ts , and many of the mos t l ively on- l ine d iscuss ions and a rgumen ts were made in th is sec t ion of the webs i te . In add i t ion to all the course mate r ia l s , the course webs i te prov ided deta i led gu idance and mode ls for al l c lass a s s i g n m e n t s , in -c lass e s s a y s , t a k e - h o m e e s s a y s , and essay e x a m i n a t i o n s in wh ich s tudents were asked to ana l yze the e s s a y s in fur ther depth and to demons t ra te the i r abi l i ty to a rgue a speci f ic thes is in a wel l thought out essay fo rmat . Inv i ta t ions to respond to ques t ions could be found in all the sec t ions of the webs i te . In teres ted s tuden ts could respond immed ia te l y th rough a sma l l icon wh ich led s tudents to a d iscuss ion thread for that ques t i on . The webs i te d e s i g n , there fo re , a t tempted to c o m b i n e the advan tages of of fer ing an on- l ine " repos i t o r y " for al l the course mater ia l wh ich s tudents could access at any t ime as an equ iva len t to the lecture notes in a t rad i t ional lecture fo rmat wi th the increased interact iv i ty af forded by the o n -line env i r onmen t and as a means of increas ing oppor tun i t ies for d i scuss ion spa rked by the ins t ructor 's ques t ions . no The s tudents were d iv ided into four sec t ions , each of wh ich was led by a graduate s tudent teach ing ass is tant (TA). S tuden ts were required to comple te week l y readings and to post a response to a specif ic ques t ion on the reading by Monday m idn igh t and to at tend a Thursday morn ing face-to-face d iscuss ion sect ion wi th other m e m b e r s of the i r g roup . S tuden ts engaged in d i rected on-l ine d iscuss ion in the i r sect ion by post ing direct ly to that s e c t i on ; however , all s tudents had access to posts in all sec t ions as wel l as other parts of the webs i te . Each TA was respons ib le for creat ing the week l y quest ions and/or a s s i gnmen t s in his or d iscuss ion sec t ion , and each TA moni to red and responded to the posts in his or her sec t ion . A l though the TAs often posted s imi la r ques t ions or gave the s tudents s im i l a r week ly a s s ignments , each TA was free to gu ide the on-line d iscuss ion as he or she chose . Each TA led a week l y face-to-face d i scuss ion sect ion wi th his or her g roup , and the TAs were free to use wha teve r s t ra teg ies or act iv i t ies they thought mos t appropr ia te . The course d i rec tor moni tored the posts in all sec t ions , and was pr imar i l y responsib le for mon i to r ing and responding to posts in the "A rgumen ta t i v e S t ra teg ies " and "Pass ing No tes " sec t ions of the webs i te . He also a t tended one of the d iscuss ion sect ions every week and par t ic ipated act ive ly in c l ass room d iscuss ions . He often quoted f rom and used onl ine posts made in the sect ion that week as a spr ingboard for d i s cuss ion . 1.2.4 Texts Texts: (excerpted in The Norton Reader edition) George Orwel l Pol it ics and the Engl ish Language (Module 1) Shoot ing the E lephant (Module 2) Letters f rom B i rm ingham Jail (Module 3) In Sea r ch of a Room of One 's Own (Module 4) Mart in Luther King V i rg in ia Wool f Paul Fussel l Thank God for the A t o m i c Bomb (Module 5) The Prince (excerpt ) On Liberty (full text ) (Modules 6 & 7) The Cave (Module 8) Niccolo Macchiave l l i John S tuar t Mill Plato John Paul Sar t re Ex is tent ia l i sm S teven Jay Gou ld Darwin 's Middle Road (Module 9) Eureka (Module 9) I saac A s s i m o v Car l S agan T o m Regan The Case for An ima l Rights (Module 10) V i r tua l S tudents , Digital C l a s s room (Module 11) Beasts Neil Pos tman 1.2.5 Course objectives Dur ing the introductory s e s s i on , the course coord ina tor ve ry c lear ly es tab l i shed the course object ives , descr ib ing the content as " a rgumen ta t i v e p rose , " prose which requires a " c r i t i c a l , t hough t fu l " reading and response . Dur ing the course s tudents were to engage in reading of a rgumenta t i ve prose essays , ana l yz ing t h e m in order to better unders tand how a rguments are s t ruc tured in order to appea l to and persuade readers . S tudents were expec ted to fo rmu la te cr i t ical responses to the tex ts , keep ing in mind how best to convey the i r ideas to as m a n y people as poss ib le , and f r aming the i r posts wi th the object ive of at t ract ing a response . The course coord ina tor exp la ined that the on-line fo rmat " rea l l y he lps in this p rocess . " In add i t ion to being part icu lar ly wel l su i ted to the content , it g ives s tudents the oppor tun i t y to " sha re t hough t s . " He encouraged s tudents to share the i r ideas and to app ly the a rgumen t s in the essays they read to " con t empora r y i s sues . " In exp la in ing the requ i rements for post ings , the course coord ina tor emphas i zed that a post ing does not need to resemble a careful ly s t ructured essay or pa ragraph . He encouraged s tudents to share ideas not yet "care fu l l y f o r m u l a t e d , " to post in response to others , and to create "deep t h r e a d s " and engage in d ia logue . He s t ressed the impor tance of cha l lenging and res ist ing the ideas in the essays and the d idact ic mater ia ls on the webs i te rather than pass ive ly accept ing them as g iven t ru ths , and he encouraged s tudents to read and post in the c o m m e n t a r y and a rgumenta t i ve s t ra teg ies sect ions of the webs i te . He also encouraged s tudents to use the "Pass ing No tes " sec t ion of the webs i te to raise " s ide l ine i s sues " that might not be direct ly related to the tex ts , c o m m e n t i n g that often the " m o s t interest ing th ings " happen in th is part of the webs i te . The in t roductory homepage makes the s a m e points and clear ly conveys connect ion between the tex ts chosen for the course and its overa l l goa ls and a i m s : A n u m b e r of the essays we have chosen emphas ize the va lue of indiv idual thought , op in ion , and cho ice—as opposed to unth ink ing acceptance of a major i ty v iewpo in t . So there is a re lat ionship be tween , on the one hand , the va lues and assumpt ions of what you wil l be reading a n d , on the other hand , the goals and me thods of the course itself, wh ich encourage you to fo rmula te and express you r own op in ions . Th is was rei terated in an interv iew with the course coord ina tor , when he descr ibed his most impor tant object ive for the course as g iv ing s tudents a venue in which they could . speak up. . . to . . . express the i r v iews and to be respectfu l of o ther people 's v i ews . . . and to va lue . . . the conf l ict of ideas . . . the encounte r of oppos ing ideas . . . to resist o r thodoxy and . . . not j u s t ' t o run with the herd . /12 He observed that the on-line environment facilitated the type of student interaction and engagement that he felt was most productive the on-iine learning works . . . I would say brilliantly as a way of. . . encouraging students to share their views . . . to encounter other people's views . . . and respond to fellow students in a. . . vigorous but respectful way. 1.3 R e v i e w of the l i t e r a t u r e As this study looks at learning and academic writing in an online course, the review of the literature has examined research from different fields, each of which has been used to situate and explicate the findings: 1) the rationale for and implementation of e-learning in higher education; 2) online learning and knowledge-building discourse; 3) research findings on the advantages and disadvantages of online learning; 3) online learning and theories of learning; 4) research studies of courses developed according to constructivist views of learning; 5) academic literacy practices and academic genres; and 6) notions drawn from Bourdieu which are relevant to the findings of this study. 1.3.1 e - l e a r n i n g and h igher e d u c a t i o n 1.3.1.1 C h a n g i n g u n i v e r s i t i e s and c h a n g i n g needs A range of social and economic factors has contributed to an educational climate in which universities are challenged to meet demands for access to higher education by a growing and increasingly diverse student population. While rising tuition forces students to remain in school longer, at the same time, the demands of a knowledge-based economy increase the need for higher education. Based on data obtained from student surveys conducted in 2001 and 2004 at the University of British Columbia and a survey given to graduating students in 200 and 2004, Tanya Boulova (2005) and her colleagues concluded that "due to higher tuition fees and costs of education many students seek employment and therefore spend more time on education than they did only a decade ago while enrollment continues to grow" (p. 1). Additional demands are placed on universities by rising enrolment of mature students and professionals who return to university for advanced degrees and professional certification. This "current educational climate" has challenged universities to "introduce teaching and Learning strategies" and "forms of delivery that increase access to learning opportunities" for "a larger and more diverse cross-section of the population" (Hicks, Reid, & Rigmor, 2001, p. 143). The "current educational climate" is not limited to the Canadian context. As Jones and O'Shea, J. (2004), note, the "increasing number of students, pressure from the government to achieve higher levels of performance, competitive marketplace, reduced government funding, and changing patterns of students" (p.373) are equally /13 character is t ic of univers i t ies in the UK. They cite Amer i c an educat iona l researchers Drucker (1993) and Oak ley ( 1997 ) , who predicted that , " un l e s s univers i t ies change radical ly they will cease to ex is t in the twenty first c en tu r y " (p. 373 ) . A m o n g the many p rob lems univers i t ies face in the l ight of increased d e m a n d for h igher educat ion is lack of c l ass room space . In a report on prepared for the Univers i ty of Br i t ish C o l u m b i a , Tanya Bou lova (2005) notes that " m a n y Canad ian univers i t ies are unable to meet the increas ing d e m a n d for h igher educat ion because of a lack of adequa te instruct ional fac i l i t ies" (p. 1), add ing that , based on stat is t ics obta ined f rom the A U C C , " i t has been es t imated that by 2 0 1 1 , univers i t ies in Canada will need col lect ive ly to respond to a projected 2 0 - 3 0 % increase in demand (p. 1). Univers i t ies faced with increased f inancia l const ra in ts and d e m a n d for access have turned to new techno log ies , inc luding digital t echno logy , " i m p r o v e produc t i v i t y , " " m a n a g e p lanned g r o w t h , " offer the cur r i cu lum in s t reaml ined fo rmats , and "p rov ide access for an increas ingly he te rogeneous s tudent popu l a t i on " (He lm, 1 9 9 7 , p. 4 1 , c ited in Jones & O 'Shea . 2 0 0 4 , p. 380 ) . The deve lopment and increased use of on-l ine fo rmats such as B lackBoard WebCT have offered new means of de l i very . E-learning offers many potent ia l benef i ts bes ides eas ing the burden on demands for c l ass room space and prov id ing increased access to a w ider s tudent popu la t ion . In a global v iew of recent changes in univers i ty educa t ion , N icholas Burbules (2000) rev iews the four potent ia l advan tages of incorporat ing new techno log ies in col lege and univers i ty educat ion as out l ined by Nigel B lake , inc luding the democra t i za t i on of h igher learning by increased access for s tudents f rom a wide var ie ty of backgrounds , increased numbers and more cus tomized p rograms to meet speci f ic s tudent needs , and the " inc reased quant i ty and qual i ty of s tudent-student interact ion and coopera t i ve l e a rn ing " afforded by the on-line env i ronment (para 23 ) . At the s ame t ime , Burbu les cr i t iques the " l anguage of ' pe r fo rmat i v i t y , ' of "e f f i c iency and cost-ef fec t iveness" wh ich " ha s become the bottom-l ine rat ionale for h igher educa t i on " (para 3 ) , and warns that " the re has been little ref lect ion on the charac ter iza t ion of new techno log ies as an a l ternat ive 'de l i very s y s t e m ' for col lege and univers i ty courses and p r o g r a m s , " or recogni t ion of the l imi ta t ions of the "de l i ve ry s y s t e m " metaphor . He reminds educators that " t each ing is not jus t a de l ivery s y s t e m — i n pedagogy , form reshapes con ten t " (para 1) , and cal ls for " m o r e creat ive , and more inte l lectual ly respectable uses of these t echno log ies " in order to "p rese rve spaces in wh ich more persona l (and less "cost-ef fec t i ve " fo rms of teach ing ) can also su r v i v e " (para 4 ) . In teract ion , between facul ty and s tudents , and between s tudents , is at the heart of Burbules 's v i s ion , as increased oppor tun i t ies for interact ion result in "b roaden ing the /14 s tudy is of an onl ine course in which was created to preserve the "pe r sona l s p a c e " wh ich Burbules a rgues is centra l to the kind of un ivers i ty educat ion we want to foster , I have cited Burbules at l ength . 1 . 3 . 1 . 2 M i x e d - m o d e a n d h y b r i d o n - l i n e c o u r s e s One of the ways in which univers i t ies have found to comb ine the advan tages of onl ine and face-to-face learning is the deve lopmen t of courses in wh ich face-to-face and onl ine instruct ion are b lended . In C a n a d a , these are t e rmed " m i x e d - m o d e " course , whi le in the United S ta tes , they are ca l led " h y b r i d " courses , ref lect ing the m ixed nature of the instruct ional approaches . In a s u m m a r y of approaches used at the Univers i ty of Ca l i fo rn ia , wh ich has been in the forefront in the deve lopment of on l ine and hybr id courses , Murphy (2002) conc luded that hybr id courses m a x i m i z e " the advan tages of both face-to-face and v i r tua l modes of i ns t ruc t ion " (para 6 ) ,and quotes leaders in the hybr id m o v e m e n t who "have found that s tudents in hybr id courses do better than s tudents in t rad i t iona l face-to-face or tota l ly onl ine c o u r s e s " (para 8) . Dr. Harry Mat thews , who has deve loped and taught a wide range of courses in medic ine at the Univers i ty of Ca l i forn ia , Dav is , c o m m e n t s that " [b ]u i ld ing a rich col lege exper ience based on hybr id instruct ion means g iv ing s tudents t imely indiv idual a t tent ion in wel l des igned and de l ivered learning oppor tun i t ies that comb ine the best uses of techno logy wi th the best uses of face-to-face t i m e " (para 4 ) , whi le at the s a m e t ime "as s tudent enro l lment g rows , costs for hybr id courses grow more s lowly than costs for t rad i t iona l lecture cou r se s " (para 5) . In a newslet ter devoted to teach ing wi th techno logy , S ands (2002) p roc l a ims : "Hybr id i t y is the order of the day , as teachers comb ine r the d is t r ibuted teach ing and learning of d is tance educa t ion wi th the comfor tab le interact ion of the c l ass room in a synthes is of the t w o " (para 1) . In its annua l review of Canad ian un ivers i t ies , " M a c l e a n s " magaz ine descr ibed the effects of record numbers of incoming s tudents , inc luding a " space squeeze of unprecedented p ropor t ions , " wh ich " ra i sed concerns about the qual i ty of the un ivers i ty learning expe r i ence " in wh ich "a l l too o f ten , s tudents are forced to sit pass ive ly in lectures, rather than being act ive ly e n g a g e d " (Novembe r 17, 2 0 0 3 , p. 33 ) . On-line courses , and m ixed-mode courses in part icular , offer one way to s imu l t aneous l y prov ide access to s tudents w i thout increas ing the " space s q u e e z e , " ma in ta in the qual i ty of the univers i ty learn ing exper ience , and foster s tudent engagemen t and involve s tudents in act ive l ea rn ing . 1 . 3 . 2 K n o w l e d g e - b u i l d i n g a n d k n o w l e d g e - b u i l d i n g d i s c o u r s e Andr i e s sen , Baker , and Su thers (2003) s i tuate the i r d iscuss ion of a rgumen ta t i on and compute r-suppor ted learning in re lat ion to the t rans i t ion f rom an ' i n fo rmat ion age ' to /15 a ' know ledge age ' in which the goal of educat ion is to enab le learners to produce new knowledge . Just as Mar lene S ca rdama l i a and Car l Bere i ter (1996) fo rmula te the i r concept of " know ledge bui ld ing d i s cou r se " in re lat ion the deve lopment of sc ient i f ic knowledge and new d iscover ies th rough co l l abora t ion , a rgument , and c r i t i c i sm, Andr i e s sen , Baker , and Suthers insist that " know ledge lies less in da tabases than in people , and has to be disc losed by some fo rm of col lect ive ac t i v i t y , " so that learners must "be engaged in co l laborat ive act iv i t ies that produce new know ledge " (p. 1). They env is ion new techno log ies that "w i l l suppor t co l laborat ive l ea rn ing , by suppor t ing the pract ice of mean ing mak ing in the context of jo in t ac t i v i t y " (p. 2 ) , and env is ion this as " any fo rm of co l laborat ive act iv i ty that involves confront ing cogni t ions and the i r f ounda t ions " (p. 2) . Learn ing act iv i t ies wh ich faci l i tate this process inc lude d i a g r a m m i n g a reason ing process , debate , and shared or co l laborat ive wr i t ing . They env i s ion l ea rn ing , therefore , as an co l laborat ive process in wh ich learners are act ive ly engaged . Gordon Wel ls makes a s im i l a r a rgumen t , one based on Vygo t sky ' s theory of learn ing , a rgu ing that instruct ional pract ices must reflect the evo lut ion f rom posi t iv ist v iews of knowledge ref lected in a t r ansmiss ion mode l of educat ion in wh ich " the pract ices of inst ruct ion and a s s e s s m e n t " ensure that s tudents " acqu i re the knowledge that is cons idered most useful and impor tan t " (pp 174-175) to const ruct iv i s t v i ews in which "wha t is known by any indiv idual is the ou t come of a cont inu ing const ruc t i ve process that depends on opportun i t ies to encounte r and make sense of cha l leng ing new expe r i ences " (p. 176 ) . Such a v iew of knowledge as " k n o w i n g in a c t i o n " must prov ide learners wi th "oppor tun i t i es for ref lect ing on what has been learned in the p rocess . " Lea rn ing , therefore , involves both act ion and ref lect ion (p. 181) . Wel ls emphas i zes the " t r ans fo rmat i ve goals of educat ion " tha t both inducts learners " i n to the va lues and pract ices that character ize such a soc i e t y " and equ ips t hem "w i th the knowledge and ski l ls for product ive par t i c ipa t ion " (p. 173) . Educat ion , there fore , is not a mat te r of educat ing s tudents but of educat ing c i t izens . 1.3.3 Advantages of computer-mediated communication (CMC) instruction S ince the late 1990s , there has been an increas ing interest in us ing computer-med ia ted commun i ca t i on to suppor t ins t ruc t ion . Researchers have s tud ied both synchronous and asynchronous c o m m u n i c a t i o n , and a great deal of a t tent ion has been paid to the advantages of asynchronous C M C in part icular . A s ynch ronous , or de layed-t ime compute r-med ia ted confe renc ing , prov ides learners wi th oppor tun i t ies to reflect on and process in format ion (Hara , Bonk, & Ange l i , 2 0 0 0 ; H a r a s i m , 1990 ) , ar t icu late and /16 reflect on the i r own perspect ives in o rder to share t hem wi th others (Ha ras im , 1 9 9 3 ; C rook , 1994 ) , and learn f rom o thers ' perspect i ves . " A n s w e r i n g requests for c lar i f icat ion and ass imi la t ing responses that d i s a g r e e " enables s tudents to " r e f i n e " the i r ideas (Ha ras im , 1990 , p. 4 5 ; S tudent c o m m e n t s and observa t ions are l ogged , prov id ing a pe rmanen t record of indiv idual s tudent deve lopment and s tudent interact ions and debates . Haras im (1990) s u m m a r i z e s the advan tages of .onl ine commun i ca t i on in gene ra t ing , connec t ing , and ar t icu lat ing ideas , but noted that they p romoted l inear t h i nk ing , and that it can be diff icult to deve lop the f r ameworks more c o m m o n l y assoc ia ted with convergent th ink ing and connect iv is t theor ies of knowledge bui lding such as ne tworks , concept maps , and seman t i c webs in onl ine fo rmats (Dav is & Brewer , 1 9 9 7 , p. 72) Judi th Lapadat (2000) s tud ied a g raduate educat ion course wh ich was g iven ent i re ly on l ine . She found that th rough ref lect ion and d i s cuss ion , par t ic ipants e laborated and ex tended "pract ice-re levant t h e m e s , " ach iev ing " d e e p e r levels of unde r s t and ing " may have been ach ieved , in part , because the nature of on l ine wr i t ten d iscourse , as compared to oral d iscourse or fo rms of w r i t i ng . " She theor ized that " the pe rmanence of print . . . permi ts s tudents to look back, ref lect, compose and rev i se , " wh ich leads to " m o r e h igher order th ink ing , and . . . potent ia l ly deeper unde r s t and ings " (p. 20 ) . Hedberg (2006) cites Jonassen 's (1996) emphas i s the role of digi ta l techno logy in s t imula t ing the th ink ing processes of learners , " a n approach t e rmed cogni t ive tools or m ind too l s , " wh ich enables learners to " cons t ruc t the i r unders tand ing of p h e n o m e n a " (p. 176 ) , Drawing upon the " concep t of cogni t ive amp l i f i c a t i on " fo rmu la ted by Wel ls and Chang-Wel ls , Mark Warschauer (1997) def ines it " a s a process in " a wr i t ten text serves as a ' cogn i t i ve ampl i f ie r ' of t h o u g h t : " as wr i ters capture ins ights for fur ther ref lect ion and examina t i on (p. 4 7 1 ) , and a s t imu lus for interact ion with others as tex ts are shared wi th peers . In Warschauer ' s v iew, this offers un l imi ted possibi l i t ies for learn ing as " [ s t u d e n t s ' own interact ions can now become a basis for " ep i s t em i c e n g a g e m e n t " (p. 4 7 2 ) , as Gordon Wel ls (1990) fo rmu la tes it, a mode of e n g a g e m e n t wi th a text in which knowledge is ex tended and modi f ied by read ing , in ter rogat ion , eva lua t ion , rev is ion, and response to t ex t s ; in other words , the way in wh ich knowledge is conceptua l ized and d i s semina ted in a cademia . Gordon Wel ls (2001) a lso v i ews onl ine d iscourse as offer ing possibi l i t ies for "knowledge-bu i ld ing d ia logue " in which learners contr ibute to an " o n g o i n g d i a logue " in wh ich they " r e spond to , and bui ld o n , the contr ibut ions of o the r s , " whi le at the s ame t ime , th rough the act of wr i t ing , they mus t " m a k e an ex t ended , ful ly worked-out con t r i bu t i on " in which they adopt " a more ref lect ive and self-crit ical s t ance . " In Wel l 's /17 v iew, by wr i t ing an onl ine text , wr i ters engage in " a dua l d i a logue : with the audience to w h o m the text is addressed and wi th h imse l f th rough d ia logue wi th the emerg ing t ex t . " Through the act of read ing , learners engage respons ive ly w i th o thers ' t ex ts , " the re fo re , unders tand ing deve lops th rough us ing the tex ts , both those of others and one 's own as genera tors of m e a n i n g " (p. 186) . 1.3.4 Theories of learning and computer-mediated communication David Huang (2001) rev iews theor ies of l ea rn ing , inc lud ing s i tuated cogn i t ion , cons t ruc t i v i sm and social cons t ruc t i v i sm, focus ing on the role of language and interact ion in l ea rn ing . He def ines the t e rm "d i s course c o m m u n i t y " as one in wh ich m e m b e r s " ca rve ou t " the wor ld in " s im i l a r w a y s " though language , deve lop ing " s i m i l a r ' a n t i c i p a t i o n s ' " about externa l rea l i ty , " so that " h u m a n l ea rn ing " is best unders tood as a process of h u m a n l anguag ing . " The Manguaging ' process Huang descr ibes encompasses not only reach ing consensus and c o m m o n unders tand ing but a lso " coord ina t ing act ion and soc ia l iz ing actors as w e l l " (p. 282 ) . Huang therefore t races a connec t ion between l anguage , in teract ion, c o m m u n i t y , and act ion in his v iew of l ea rn ing . He then identi f ies t eachers ' roles in each theory and cal ls for fewer ind iv idua l ized computer-based appl icat ions and more " soc ia l const ruct iv is t i c env i ronments foster ing knowledge cons t ruc t i on " (p. 284 ) . Ravenscrof t (2001) g ives an overv iew of the " l ea rn ing processes and in terac t ions" that can be suppor ted by educat iona l techno logy in order to create e-learning env i ronments that provide " t ru l y s t imu la t ing , suppor t i ng , and favour ing innovat ive learn ing interact ions that are l inked to conceptua l d e v e l o p m e n t " (sect ion 2, para 2) . He rev iews re levant theor ies of l ea rn ing , inc luding behav io r i sm , cogni t ive and socia l cons t ruc t i v i sm, and act iv i ty theory , descr ib ing compute r p rog rams deve loped in accordance wi th each f r amework , the i r advantages and d i sadvan tages . He is part icular ly interested in computer-based tutor ing p rograms which have a t t empted to foster learning th rough knowledge negot ia t ion and co l laborat ion which have been deve loped in con junct ion with s tudies of s tudent interact ion and d ia logue and conc ludes that p rograms based on mode ls of co l laborat ive a rgumen t have resul ted in a numbe r of successfu l des igns . 1.3.5 Advantages of computer-supported learning 1.3.5.1 Dialogue, scaffolding, and multiple perspectives The increas ing use of d ig i ta l techno logy in educat ion cha l lenges instructors and those invo lved in course and cur r i cu lum deve lopment to m a k e learn ing an interact ive and / 1 8 co l laborat ive exper ience that is gu ided by a soc ia l const ruct iv i s t approach to learn ing . Th is approach regards indiv idual cogni t ion as occur r ing wi th in a soc ia l contex t and sugges ts that co l laborat ion between ind iv idua ls in a soc ia l learning env i ronment is an essent ia l aspect of any educat iona l exper ience . Accord ing to Berg and Co l l ins ( 1995 ) , these new techno log ies emphas i ze that " as an agent for soc ia l izat ion and co l l abora t ion , the ne tworked compu te r has an even greater potent ia l in educat ion for prov id ing an act ive env i ronment for soc ia l l e a rn ing . " Cur t i s & Lawson (2001) def ine such learning as " p l a n n i n g , cont r ibut ing and seek ing input , in i t iat ing act iv i t ies , prov id ing feedback , shar ing know ledge " (p. 2 ) , whi le Hendr iks and Maor (2001) add that in add i t ion to most c o m m o n behav ior is shar ing and compar ing in fo rmat ion , indiv iduals are engaged in negot iat ing mean ing and app ly ing newly const ruc ted knowledge wh ich required ref lect ion. Bere i ter and Sca rdama l i a def ine 'd ia log ic l i teracy ' as the abi l i ty to engage product ive ly in d iscourse whose purpose is to genera te new knowledge and unders tand ing , in contrast to ' funct iona l l i teracy ' : the abi l i ty to comprehend and use commun i ca t i on med ia to serve the purposes of e ve r yday life. Dia logic l i teracy is thus , in the i r v iew, the " f undamen ta l l i teracy" for a knowledge soc iety and " educa t iona l policy needs to be shaped so as to make it a pr ime ob jec t i ve " ( 2 0 0 5 , Para 7 ) . Researchers and theor is ts agree that d ia logue fosters learn ing . One popu la r metaphor , wh ich is drawn f rom Vygo tsky ' s (1978) theory that learners could move f rom a "base level of a ch i e vemen t " (p. 86) to a h igher level of a ch i evement th rough interact ion wi th more exper ienced peers , is the sca f fo ld . Char les Crook (1994) def ines a scaffold as a learn ing s i tuat ion in which " e x p e r t " and " n o v i c e " or " a re engaged in a co l laborat ive enterpr ise that requires " coord ina ted p rob lem-so l v ing " (p. 49 ) th rough which learners internal ize new concepts and m a k e new mean ings . C rook is pr imar i l y concerned wi th ident i fy ing specif ic ways in wh ich digi ta l techno logy can be used to faci l i tate peer interact ion that s t imula tes (1) a r t i cu la t ion ; (2) conf l ic t ; and (3) co-const ruct ion of knowledge (p. 133) . Cho i , Land , and Tu rgeon , (2005) v iew onl ine env i ronments as those wh ich faci l i tate peer scaf fo ld ing as "pee r interact ions potent ia l ly expand learners ' awareness of what they need to l e a rn " and force them to " cons ide r a l ternat ive pe rspec t i ves " which may , in t u rn , enable t h e m to "ar t i cu la te gaps in know ledge " and act ive ly seek new in format ion to fill these g a p s " (p. 484 ) . They point out that onl ine d i scuss ion " ha s shown promise to p romote mean ingfu l in teract ion, the actua l benefi ts are unc lea r , " as s tudents may not be "deep l y or cr i t ical ly engaged in d i s c u s s i o n " (p. 485 ) and feel t h a t " peer quest ion ing s t ra teg ies " are a va luab le means of " suppor t i ng s tudents in ques t i on ing , /19 c lar i fy ing , s u m m a r i z i n g , and predict ing th rough s taged d i s cuss i ons " and "success fu l quest ion ing ski l ls that lead to mean ingfu l peer d i s cuss i ons " (p. 4 8 6 ) . 1.3.5.2 Articulation In addi t ion to sca f fo ld ing , many researchers point out the advantage of onl ine courses as learning env i ronments in wh ich peer interact ion enab les learners to share di f ferent perspect ives on a p rob l em, just i fy the i r perspect i ves , and arr ive at a c o m m o n perspect ive th rough negot ia t ion (Ha ras im , 1 9 9 0 ; S ca rdama l i a and Bereiter , 1 9 9 6 ; Cho i , Land , & T u r g e o n , (2005 ) . In add i t ion , peer interact ion can " e x p a n d learners ' awareness of what they need to l e a r n " as learners are exposed to di f ferent perspect ives and forced to defend the i r perspect ives so that " [o ]nce learners ar t icu late gaps in knowledge , they may act ive ly seek new informat ion to fill these g a p s " (Cho i , Land , &, Tu rgeon , A . , 2 0 0 5 . pp 483- 4 8 4 ) . Onl ine learning prov ides learners wi th oppor tun i t ies to ar t icu late knowledge , both by fo rmula t ing ideas in wr i t ing and by shar ing t hem wi th o thers . L inda Haras im def ines ar t icu lat ion as " a cogni t ive act in which the s tudent presents , de fends , deve lops , and ref ines ideas , " (p. 56) . K o s c h m a n , Ke l son , Fe l tov ich , and Bar rows (1996) concur with the impor tance of ar t icu lat ion as "g i v ing utterance to force a cohes ive exp lanat ion and interre lat ing of concepts and re lat ionships in a manne r wh ich " fo rces the learner to take - a s tand on his or her knowledge in the presence of pee r s " (p. 93) th rough a process wi th involves abst rac t ing the pr inc ip les " f rom the var ious contexts in which they are e m b e d d e d , " v i ew ing concepts f rom d iverse perspect i ves , and estab l i sh ing re lat ionships between concepts , all of which requires a " cogn i t i ve ef for t " wh ich "p rov ides pract ice in cogni t ive f lex ib i l i t y " (p. 94 ) . Crook (1994) feels that the onl ine env i ronment is one in wh ich "p rob lem-so lv ing encounte rs in which th ink ing gets publ ic ly a r t i cu la ted " can be fos te red , but adds , " exac t l y how the benef i t of this exper ience is med ia ted remains to be d e m o n s t r a t e d " (1994 . p. 135 ) . Light and Light (1999) found in a s tudy of supp lementa ry ema i l fo rums " in t roduced into f irst yea r courses as an opt iona l e x t r a , " (p. 165) that " an unant ic ipated feature . . . was that it rendered the other s tuden ts ' levels of a t t a inment or abi l i ty more v i s ib l e " and the s tudents became concerned about issues of self-presentat ion which made t h e m fo rmula te the i r cont r ibut ions w i th more ca re " (p. 175) . They conc luded that , desp i te a cer ta in anx ie ty about the qua l i ty of the i r posts , the result was a posi t ive one, as the s tudents ar t icu lated the i r ideas w i th more c lar i ty . 1.3.5.3 Critical thinking Educators agree that " changes in the Amer i c an and global economies will require col lege graduates who can go beyond cr i t ical ly ana lyz ing the ideas of others to deve lop ing new ideas of the i r o w n " (Daly , 1 9 9 5 , p. 7) . In par t icu lar , it is the abi l i ty to 720 art iculate ideas which will be of the most va lue , Daly 's cal l for an educa t ion which enables s tudents to " cons ide r a var ie ty of app roaches , to a r range the chunks of re levant in format ion deve loped in the first s tage in a var ie ty of conf igura t ions—to g ive themse l ves , in shor t , the oppor tun i ty to see a new pat te rn , d iv ine a new app roach , genera te a new idea (pp 10-11) echoes the theor is ts who focused on the role of ar t icu lat ion in onl ine learn ing . Severa l researchers have looked at cr i t ical th ink ing and onl ine learning speci f ica l ly . S h a r m a and Hannaf in . (2004) observe that the "on l ine env i ronment presents spec ia l pedagogica l cha l lenges for foster ing cr i t ical th ink ing ( p. 183) and cons ider careful scaffo ld ing " i n the fo rm of Socrat ic and open-ended ques t i ons " an ef fect ive s t ra tegy , but insist that " sca f fo ld ing must be overt ly faded to encourage and identify the t rans fer of metacogn i t i ve s t ra teg ies to related h igher o rder and cr i t ical th ink ing t a s k s " (p. 184) . P ierce. (2003) s u m m a r i z e s research on h igher order th ink ing in onl ine c lasses and offers a wide range of speci f ic s t rategies to p romote inte l lectual deve lopment in onl ine c lasses . He emphas i ze s the importance of act ive learn ing st rategies to s t imu la te knowledge bui ld ing . Based on research f ind ings , Pierce has concerns that s tudents do not " cha l l enge the author i ty of the inst ructor nor a rgue a posi t ion as part of a c l ass room d ia logue " in the s a m e way that they do in a face-to-face env i ronment in wh ich there is an " in te rpersona l connec t ion" (p . 304) between inst ructors and s tudents . P ierce also c o m m e n t s that e m a i l , unl ike academic wr i t ing is "ne i the r composed nor s t r u c t u r e d " (p. 304 ) . Mar t tunen , (1997) ana lyzed emai l messages in tutor-led and student- led groups to identify whe ther s tudents emp loyed a rgumen ta t i on and cr i t ical th ink ing sk i l l s " wh ich could be " re l a ted to mature scient i f ic t h i n k i n g " in wh ich "one unders tands the many-d imens iona l and relat ive nature of know ledge , is sk i l led to assess knowledge cr i t ica l ly , and is able to fo rm independent g rounded op in i ons " ( p. 346) Stat is t ica l ana lys i s of the messages showed that " the level of a rgumenta t i on in the s tudents ' messages improved dur ing the e-mail s tudy pe r i od " as "du r ing the last half of the s tud ies the s tudents wrote more a rgumenta t i ve texts than dur ing the first hal f " (p. 357 ) . When he c o m pa r e d the results between s e m i n a r groups d i rected by a tu tor and d iscuss ion g roups wh ich were s tudent-d i rec ted , he found more counte r-argument in d iscuss ion g roups than in semina r g roups , sugges t ing that " f r e edom to be se l f-d i rect ive" rather than under " tu to r ' s con t ro l " faci l i tated "deba t e s and crit ical interact ion between s tuden t s , " and conc luded that the " conve rsa t iona l and free-form style of C M C " has great benefi t in " p roduc i ng a rgumenta t i ve d i s cuss ions " (p. 358 ) . /21 1.3.6 Constructivist perspectives and online learning As many educators and theor is ts have recognized the congruence between socia l const ruct iv i s t emphas i s on the role of interact ion and co l laborat ion in lea rn ing , much of l i terature is concerned wi th the appl icat ion of const ruct iv i s t pr inc ip les in the deve lopment of on l ine learning env i ronments . For e x a m p l e , Pena-Shaff and Nichol ls (2003) argue that " [ a } co rd ing to socia l const ruct iv i s t theory , learn ing env i ronments that encourage act ive par t i c ipat ion , in terac t ion , and d ia logue prov ide s tudents wi th oppor tun i t ies to engage in a process of knowledge const ruct ion as they t ry to create mean ing f rom new expe r i ences , " incorporat ing dif ferent perspect ives th rough interact ion and interna l iz ing new concepts and const ruc ts th rough "ac t i ve part ic ipat ion and interact ion with the env i ronmen t as well as wi th o the r s " (Part 2. Para 1), a process which ref lects Vygo t sky ' s v iew that " soc ia l and cogni t ive deve lopment occur f irst in the socia l p lane, th rough interact ion of peers and exper ts ( in terpsycholog ica l s p h e r e ) " and are t rans fo rmed and interna l ized onto the psycholog ica l p lane ( in terpsycholo igca l sphe re , " (Part 2. Para 2) , V i v i an Rossner-Merr i l l , Drew Parker , Caro lyn Mamchu r , and S tephan ie Chu (1998) rev iewed two onl ine courses s t ruc tured a round const ruct iv i s t learn ing pr inc ip les . One is a wr i t ing course and the other a bus iness course . The authors spec i f ied the const ruct iv i s t learn ing pr inc ip les which governed the course organ izat ion and deve lopmen t and exp la ined how the onl ine act iv i t ies ref lected these pr inc ip les . In the wr i t ing course , the s tudents , who are usual ly work ing profess iona ls , co l laborate us ing both synchronous and asynchronous s y s t ems in a way that " i n teg ra tes , enhances and expands the deve lopment of wr i t ing and teach ing wr i t ing sk i l l s " (p. 285 ) . S tudent feedback has been very posi t ive and s tudents often " d rop i n " after they have comple ted the course to work wi th those current ly enro l l ed . The bus iness s tudents are not profess iona ls and the instruct ional mater ia l s are s t ruc tured to faci l i tate cogni t ive f lexibi l i ty by "p rov id ing mul t ip le representa t ions of new l ea rn ing " so that s tudents improve the i r abi l i ty to " a cqu i r e , represent , and apply sophis t i ca ted know ledge " (p. 285 ) . The au thors conc luded that " cons t ruc t i v i s t theory offers the g round ing pr incipals [sic] to suppor t the des ign and m a n a g e m e n t of an onl ine cou r se " and prov ide "oppor tun i t i es to s t rengthen the asynch ronous learning env i r onmen t " (p. 287 ) . F indings on learning ou tcomes are va r i ab le , sugges t ing that any course needs to be carefu l ly s t ructured to meet the needs of par t ic ipants , foster co l l abora t ion , and ensure that s tudents ach ieve learning object ives . Dav id Nunan and Ken Beat ty focused on compute r-med ia ted co l laborat ive l ea rn ing , wh ich they def ined as learn ing in which "negot i a t ing with o the rs " is necessary (part 2, para 3) . They used v ideo record ings and data on v is i ts made to different resources to compare s tudents work ing on two different /22 p rog rams : one a a compu te r interface based on a behav ior is t mode l of instruct ion and the o ther based on a const ruct iv i s t mode l of ins t ruct ion . A l t hough the researchers hypothes ized wou ld lead to "g rea te r exp lora t ion and more ins tances of co l l abora t ion " (abstract ) , they found little d i f ference, and theor ized that t rue co l laborat ion requires a " m a t u r i t y , au tonomy and funct iona l unders tand ing of the co l laborat ive p rocess " (part 5, para 10) wh ich the i r par t ic ipants lacked and conc luded that scaf fo ld ing is required as a " suppor t i v e f r amework for the learn ing p rocess " (part 6, para 2) . S imi l a r l y , Matthew Hughes and Norma l Dayk in (2002) focused on the s tudents ' percept ions and the i r pattern of usage in an onl ine nurs ing m a n a g e m e n t course . They found little ev idence of knowledge const ruct ion and a " m a r k e d re luc tance " (p. 220) to cr i t ic ize o thers ' work. 1.3.7 R e s e a r c h s t u d i e s of l ea rn ing a n d i n t e r a c t i o n 1.3.7.1 R e s e a r c h f i n d i n g s Research f indings on onl ine in teract ion, a l though genera l l y pos i t ive , indicate that courses mus t be careful ly s t ruc tured to foster interact ion and s tudent engagemen t in l ea rn ing . L inda Haras im (2000) p roc l a ims : "On l ine course act iv i ty based upon asynch ronous commun i ca t i on y ie lds an ent ire ly new learn ing pa t te rn : h ighly act ive e n g a g e m e n t " (p. 57 ) . Her s tudy , wh ich computed the n u m b e r of repl ies to new messages as a measu remen t of in terac t ion , reported ve ry h igh interact ion rates and a "mu l t ip l i c i t y of voices or pe rspec t i ves " as " s tuden ts are par t ic ipat ing most of the t ime , unl ike t rad i t iona l c l ass room s i tuat ions in which the inst ructor domina tes the a i r t ime with on ly a few (usual ly the s ame ) s tudents hav ing an oppor tun i t y to ask ques t ions or add c o m m e n t s " (p. 57 ) . Judi th Lapadat ( 2004 ) , who s tud ied interact ion in an onl ine graduate educa t ion course , reported that " c l a ss m e m b e r s became intense ly engaged in the cou r se " as they "wro te themse l ves into new unders tand ings , the reby scaf fo ld ing the i r intel lectual w o r k " (p. 240 ) . In part icu lar , s tudents " d r ew on the i r own persona l and profess ional exper i ences to persuade others and to shape group d i s cuss i ons " (p. 247 ) . Her f ind ings suppor ted asser t ions of Haras im and others about the potent ia l of onl ine fo rmats to create co l laborat ive learning env i ronments . Henri (1999) notes that on-line interact ion is genera l l y equated wi th par t ic ipat ion. Her ana l ys i s , therefore , d i s t ingu ished between expl ic i t (direct answe r or c o m m e n t to ano ther post) and impl ic i t interact ion ( indirect answer or c o m m e n t ) . Henr i ana lysed near ly 300 messages f rom d is tance learning te leconferences , and found that , contrary to expec ta t ions , the major i ty of messages were " i ndependen t , " i.e. not made in reply to ano the r message , and only a sma l l minor i ty of s tudents ' messages were parts of /23 genuine ly interact ive exchanges . Henr i suggested that compu te r med ia t ion only serves to echo t radi t ional role re lat ions in educa t i on : T t is exac t l y as in t radi t ional learn ing s i tua t ions : the s tudents s p e a k s ; the teachers answers , con f i rms , approves , re inforces ' ( 1 9 9 5 , p. 158) . Zhu (1996) s tud ied on-line interact ions in a g raduate d is tance- learn ing course . Adopt ing a construct iv is t f r amework , Zhu looked at part ic ipat ion ca tegor ies , par t i c ipants ' ro les, and mean ing categor ies (ques t ion , answer , re f lect ion, c o m m e n t , d i s cuss ion , in format ion sha r ing , and scaf fo ld ing) . F indings demons t ra ted that most of the cont r ibut ions were c o m m e n t , d i s cuss ion , re f lect ion, in format ion sha r ing , and sca f fo ld ing . Pena-Shaff and Nichol ls (2003) s tud ied the week ly on l ine post ings on an asynchronous bul let in board s y s t em used in a col lege level course in o rder to ana l yze knowledge const ruct ion in onl ine d iscuss ions . The course was h ighly s tudent-centered and used the construct iv is t approach wh ich encouraged co l laborat ion and d ia logue . The researchers separa ted the d i scuss ions into threads of interact ion and then graphica l l y represented to v isua l ize the f low of in terac t ion . They used content ana lys i s to identify the mos t c o m m o n patterns of d i scourse . The ca tegory s y s t em they deve loped was mean t to identify the types of s ta tements that were most d i rect ly related to knowledge cons t ruc t ion , inc luding c lar i f i cat ion, in terpreta t ion , conf l ic t , asse r t ion , j u d g m e n t and ref lect ion. The i r f ind ings showed that , even when the s tudents were deve lop ing ideas , " f ew th reads showed a dia logica l process in which ideas and assumpt ions were d i s c u s s e d " (p. 261 ) . The i r ana lys is of categor ies of knowledge const ruct ion were s im i l a r to those used by Z h u . Ana lys i s of interact ion pat terns showed that " m e s s a g e s s eemed to move f rom a socia l or interact ive sphere to a more ind iv idua l , sel f-ref lect ive, s p h e r e " in which s tudents "e labora ted and built upon ideas to reach the i r own in te rpre ta t ions " (p. 261 ) . They c o m m e n t e d that this ref lected Vygo tsky ' s not ion of knowledge const ruc t ion as socia l ly med ia t ed , mov ing f rom the socia l to the indiv idual leve l . Sche l lens and Va l cke (2006) s tud ied a f irst yea r course wh ich used onl ine d iscuss ion groups of case s tud ies to supp lemen t face-to-face work ing sess ions in which new doma in knowledge was p resen ted . The gu id ing research ques t ion for the i r s tudy was "does co l laborat ive learning in asynchronous d iscuss ion g roups result in enhanc ing academic d iscourse and knowledge cons t ruc t ion? " The genera l results of the s tudy showed that " in te rac t ion in the d iscuss ion groups becomes more intense, s tays task-or ien ted , and reflects h igh phases in knowledge cons t ruc t i on , " and demons t r a t ed that g roup s ize and task s t ruc ture had a def in i t ive impact on " the nature and qual i ty of the d i scuss ions and the phases of knowledge cons t ruc t i on , " as [ s jma l l and average s ized /24 groups per form better and [h] igher phases of knowledge const ruct ion are obse rved wi th in these g r o u p s " (sect ion 7, para 1). Pawan, Pau lus , Ya l c in , and Chang (2003) s tud ied co l laborat ive interact ions in an onl ine teacher educat ion p rog ram in a Midwestern un ivers i ty to ana lyze the pat terns and types of col laborative interactions taking p lace in three onl ine c l a sses ; and to use the f indings as a guide in the des ign of instructional interventions. They found that students tended to present information rather than engage in d i scuss ion , and there were many long posts but relatively few threads or instances in which students deve loped l ines of inquiry presented by peers . Their f indings indicated the need for a stronger instructor p resence , a ' l each ing presence " rather than a "teacher p resence " in onl ine d i scuss ions , as "ove r t faci l i tat ion by instructors p lays a cr i t ical role in gu id ing s tudents toward h igher levels of l ea rn ing " (pp 134-135) and to faci l i tate syn thes i s and integrat ion of knowledge and v iewpoints p resented . They a lso sugges ted that s tudents self-code the i r responses to make t hem more aware of the i r own th ink ing s t ra teg ies . They sugges ted that instructors part ic ipate regular ly th roughout the d iscuss ion and play a more v is ib le role in gu id ing s tudents toward the a ch i e vemen t of those learning object ives . Pena-Shaff (2001) ana l yzed par t i c ipat ion , in terac t ion , and mean ing const ruc t ion on a asynchronous bul let in board in a col lege level course . Like Henr i , the researchers d is t inguished between interact ive and non-interact ive messages , fur ther ca tegor iz ing messages in t e rms of ref lect ive ana lys i s , subject ive ana lys i s , task-re la ted, a sse r t i on , exper ien t i a l , top ic eva lua t ion , and off-task. The i r f ind ings showed that s tudents " t ended to use the ideas of o thers as a s tar t ing point for deve lop ing their own t rend of t hough t , " and many of the messages resembled " a conversa t ion wi th the self in wh i ch part ic ipants posed quest ions for cons ide ra t ion , and th rough ana lys i s and a rgumenta t ion reached the i r own conc lus ions about the i s sue " (p. 55 ) . They conc luded that a synch ronous onl ine env i ronments " c an prov ide s tudents wi th oppor tun i t ies to deve lop soph is t i ca ted cogni t ive sk i l l s " (p. 65 ) . F isher (2002) ' s s tudy of c o m m u n i t y fo rmat ion and onl ine learning looked for ways to suppor t and improve s tudent co l laborat ion in onl ine courses . Her f ind ings showed that requ i rements that s tudents read and respond to o ther s tudents posts fac i l i tated the creat ion of an interact ive d ia logue between s tudents . S imi l a r l y , Lapadat ( 2 0 0 0 ) , observed high engagement and part ic ipat ion when she made part ic ipat ion a requ i rement and gave it a mark , and conc luded that mak ing d iscuss ion a requ i rement , mak ing dead l ines for posts , and mark ing part ic ipat ion " m a y be necessary s t imul i to onl ine e n g a g e m e n t in webcou r ses " (p. 8 ) . /25 S w a n , S h e a , F reder i cksen , & Pickett (2000) looked at " f ac tors af fect ing the success of a synch ronous onl ine l e a rn ing . " F rom the i r rev iew of the l i terature, they identif ied " cou rse des ign fac to rs—cons i s tency in course des ign , contact wi th course inst ructors , and act ive d i s c u s s i o n " wh i ch " h a v e been cons is tent l y shown to s ign i f i cant ly inf luence the success of onl ine cou r ses , " posi t ing " tha t the reason for these f ind ings relates to the impor tance of bui ld ing knowledge bui ld ing commun i t i e s in asynchronous onl ine learning env i ronments , (p. 359 ) . They conc luded that " s tuden t s perce ive onl ine educat ion as more equi tab le and more democra t i c than tradi t ional c l a ss room d i s cuss ions " a n d , in add i t ion , "because it is a s ynch ronous , onl ine d iscuss ion af fords part ic ipants the oppor tun i ty to reflect on the i r c l a s smates ' cont r ibut ions whi le c reat ing the i r own , and on the i r own wr i t ing before post ing i t " wh ich " t ends to create a cer ta in mindfu lness a m o n g s tudents and a cul ture of ref lect ion in the cou r se " (p. 362 ) . F rom the i r rev iew of prev ious s tud ies , they observed that when inst ructors over t ly place va lue on d i scuss ion and require par t i c ipat ion , " f ind ings indicate that interact ion a m o n g s tudents is an impor tant factor in the success of onl ine cou r se s " (p. 363 ) . The i r research s tudy results corre late wi th this obse rva t i on : levels of repor ted sat is fact ion were corre la ted with report ing of o ther fac tors : a) high, levels of interact ion corre la ted wi th high levels of sat is fact ion and perce ived l ea rn ing ; b) the grea ter the percentage of the course grade that was based on d i scuss ion , the more sat isf ied the s tudents were , the more they thought they learned f rom the course , and the more interact ion they though t they had with the inst ructor and wi th their peers ; and c) the greater the percentage of the course grade that was based on cooperat ive or g roup work , the less the s tuden ts thought they learned f rom the course (p. 375 ) . S w a n , S h e a , F reder i cksen , and Pickett conc luded that " th i s combina t ion of factors . . . jo in t l y suppor t the growth of what S ca rdama l i a and Bere i ter call "knowledge-bu i ld ing c o m m u n i t i e s " (p. 379) in which " know ledge bui ld ing . . . t akes place th rough d i s cuss i on " in which " m e a n i n g s are agreed upon , ideas negot ia ted , concepts e vo l ved , knowledge cons t ruc t ed . " As the researchers noted , th is is a t ime-consuming and cha l lenging act iv i ty ; there fore , " f o r s tudents to involve themse l ves . . . they must bel ieve it is both va lued and au then t i c " ; [ t ]hus, " an a synch ronous onl ine course in which d iscuss ion counts for a s ign i f icant percentage of the course g rade , in which f requent part ic ipat ion in d iscuss ion is requ i red , and in which d iscuss ion topics are both open and well speci f ied are more success fu l than those in wh ich it is no t " (p. 380 ) . J a rve la and Hakk inen (2002) looked at s tuden t s ' ab i l i ty to adopt d i f ferent perspect ives in an onl ine env i ronment . Def in ing perspect ive tak ing as " the abi l i ty to see the wor ld f rom another person 's perspect ive or infer another ' s capabi l i t ies , a t t r ibut ions , expec ta t ions , fee l ings , and potent ia l reac t ions " (p. 6 ) , they ana l yzed onl ine d iscuss ion to 726 discover whe ther d iscuss ion th rough "g loba l networked t e chno log i e s " cou ld " ra i se in terpersona l unde r s t and ing " and "educa t iona l l y va luab le higher-leVel d i s cuss i on " co r responded to "h igh-leve l perspect ive t a k i n g " (p. 15) . The i r f ind ings conf i rmed that onl ine d i scuss ion could faci l i tate perspect ive t ak ing . Sunghee Sh in and Eun Kyeong Cho ' s (2003) s tudy of the d i scuss ion boards in four g raduate educat ion courses focused on the s tuden ts ' percept ion of the cul ture of the onl ine c o m m u n i t y in order to unders tand the role of the cu l tura l aspects of interact ion in knowledge product ion . The i r f ind ings demons t ra te the impor tance of in te rac t ion : s tudents who received no responses or felt the i r ideas were ignored , lost interest in par t i c ipat ing . As a result , the d i scuss ion board became a "de l i ve ry s y s t e m " or a repos i tory of c lass notes rather than a fo rum for co l laborat ion and exchange . Lapadat (2004) ' s s tudy of interact ive wr i t ing in an onl ine graduate educat ion course showed that " c lass m e m b e r s became intensely engaged in the cou r se " as they "wro te themse l ves into new unders tand ings , thereby scaf fo ld ing the i r intel lectual work , a n d , in part icular , s tudents "d rew on the i r own personal and profess iona l exper iences to persuade others and to shape g roup d i s cuss i ons " (p. 240 ) . Her f ind ings suppor ted asser t ions by Haras im and others about the potent ia l of on l ine fo rmats to create co l laborat ive learning env i ronments . Lapadat pointed out that the mos t impor tant feature of th is fo rmat is its interact iv i ty . Through onl ine interact ion " r ead ing and wr i t ing were being emp loyed d iscurs ive ly as a means of focus ing m e m b e r s of a v i r tua l c l ass room c o m m u n i t y on mat ters of jo in t interest , pos ing and sugges t ing so lut ions to p rob l ems , and theor iz ing about connect ions between theory , pract ice and pol icy, all of wh ich Lapadat felt " nudged part ic ipants toward ep is temic usage of t e x t " (p. 246 ) . Indeed , m a n y of the researchers interested in onl ine learning have d rawn upon Wel l 's (1990) not ion " ep i s t em i c engagemen t wi th wr i t ten t ex t " as a tentat ive and prov is ional a t t empt on the part of the wr i ter to capture his or her cur rent unders tand ing in an exte rna l f o rm so that it may p rovoke fur ther a t tempts at unders tand ing as the wr i ter or s o m e other reader in ter rogates the text in order to interpret its mean ing , (p. 373) A l though many researchers and theor is ts v iew digital techno logy as a means of fac i l i tat ing co l laborat ive , construct iv is t approaches to l ea rn ing , learner engagemen t , and in terac t ion , such technolog ies a lso lend themse l ves to t rad i t iona l t r ansmiss ion sty les of teach ing and learning as we l l . Hedberg (2006) reported on a ma jor su rvey of f ive large techno log ica l univers i t ies in Aust ra l i a done in 2 0 0 5 . Resul ts showed that " fo r most s tudents and teachers e-learning was little more than the prov is ion of in format ion and / 2 7 " e v e n those learning act iv i t ies that went beyond in format ion prov is ion were cons idered l imited interact ions, with little thought as to what the d i scuss ion was mean t to a ch i e ve " (p. 171 ) , conc lud ing that despi te the cal ls for techno logy to revo lut ion ize teach ing and learn ing pract ices , " i t does not s e e m to have replaced the d o m i n a n t p a r a d i g m s " but has s imp l y made t ransmiss ion eas ier (p. 175) . 1.3.7.2 Teacher's roles In this s tudent-centered , co l laborat i ve , v iew of onl ine l ea rn ing , what role does the teacher play? Pawan, Pau lus , Ya l c in , and Chang (2003) felt that a " t each ing p resence " was required to gu ide s tudents to h igher levels of cr i t ical t h i nk ing , synthes is and integrat ion of in fo rmat ion . Maor 's (2003) qua l i ta t ive case s tudy def ined severa l roles that on l ine instructors p lay , inc lud ing : a) pedagogica l role, in wh ich the inst ructor act ive ly fosters co l l abora t ion ; b) socia l role, which invo lves ask ing ques t ions , prov id ing feedback and inst ruct ion , syn thes iz ing c o m m e n t s , and referr ing to outs ide sources ; 3) manage r i a l / technica l role, inc luding keeping d iscuss ion g o i n g , he lp ing wi th webs i te p rob lems , set t ing guide l ines and cr i ter ia , prov id ing suppor t , and interven ing in d iscuss ions if needed . Maor ana lyzed tasks invo lved and noted that a l though deve lop ing ref lect ive th ink ing was a pr imary inst ruct iona l goal for both instructor and s tudents , more t ime was spent on other tasks and more scaf fo ld ing and strategies to faci l i tate ref lect ion were needed . Mazzol in i and Maddison (2003) d is t inguish between two poss ib le teacher ro les : the const ruct iv i s t " g u i d e , " or low-profi le " g h o s t . " The i r s tudy invest igated the rate at wh ich instructors posted and init iated d iscuss ions and corre la ted th is wi th s tudent responses and results of a s tudent survey on thei r educat iona l exper ience . The results showed that instructor presence inf luenced s tudent par t i c ipa t ion : whi le instructors who posted f requent ly were j udged to be more enthus ias t i c and exper t than those who did not, it was found that f requent post ing by instructors was often fo l lowed by fewer s tudent posts and shor ter on-line d i scuss ions . 1.3.8 Academic literacy practices and academic genres 1.3.8.1 Origins of academic genres In an essay on l i teracy and the oral foundat ions of educa t i on , K ieran Egan reminds us that the Greek word ' l ogos , ' wh ich meant ' w o r d ' or ' s p e e c h , ' was a lso the word f o r ' r e a s o n ' ( Egan , 1 9 9 1 , p. 177) . Rat ional i ty , much va lued by the Greeks , was cons t ruc ted as knowledge ar t i cu la ted f rom a d i sengaged perspec t i ve , one which informs / 2 8 our current not ions of l i teracy, not ions which are pr imar i l y equa ted with wr i t ten language. As the deve lopment of wr i t ing s ys t ems has enab led us to ar t icu late and preserve mean ings , theor ies of l i teracy deve lopment of ten v iew the deve lopment of mode rn academic d isc ip l ines as predicated on wr i t ten tex ts (Goody , 1977 and O n g , 1982 ci ted in Wel ls , 1990 , p. 371 ) . Educa t ion , therefore , has pr iv i leged wr i t ten texts and l i teracy pract ices in which ind iv idua ls engaged wi th t ex ts , in terpret ing and produc ing t h e m as a means of deve lop ing reason. Egan is a lso concerned wi th the role of l i teracy as a cogni t ive func t ion , a set of s t ra teg ies that are "no t on ly ut i l i ta r ian , but a lso bon a penser" ( Egan , 1 9 9 1 , p. 1 8 0 ) - not only good to th ink a b o u t , but good to th ink w i th . In his essay " F r o m Utterance to Tex t , " Dav id O lson (1991) t e rms the invent ion of the pr int ing press an " evo lu t ion in the expl ic i tness of w r i t i n g " at the g raphemic and semant i c leve l . Texts were a s sumed to embody " a u t o n o m o u s representa t ions of m e a n i n g " and this pr inciple was " re f lec ted in the way tex ts were both read and w r i t t en " (p. 162 ) . The pr imary funct ion of school ing was, there fore , to faci l i tate the comprehens ion and product ion of wr i t ten texts . Accord ing to O l son , the genes is of the essay , the a cadem i c genre wi th which we are most fami l ia r , was in emp i r i c i sm and the des ire to codify emerg ing scient i f ic knowledge . The essay evo lved as a s t ructure in which "o r ig ina l theoret ica l know ledge " could be fo rmu la t ed , a " cohe ren t t ex t , " in which ideas were deve loped in a logical order (p. 163) . The emphas i s p laced on coherence , c lar i ty of t h i nk i ng , use of d iscourse marke rs to show how ideas are re la ted , and precise vocabu la ry all ref lect the empi r i c i s t v iew of knowledge as object ive and t ransmiss ib le . A l though we may v iew knowledge as subject ive and cons t ruc ted , both indiv idual ly and th rough interact ion with o thers , we sti l l va lue coherence and c lar i ty in academic wr i t ing . L inda Flower (1994) uses the t e rm " l i t e rac ies " to e n c o m p a s s the "d i ve r se d iscourse pract ices that grow out of the needs and va lues of d i f ferent c o m m u n i t i e s " (p. 2 ) , d raw ing at tent ion to the act of compos i t ion as a cons t ruc t i ve , cogni t ive process in wh ich wr i ters jugg le conf l ic t ing demands and negot iate " a l t e rna t i ve goa ls , const ra in ts , and poss ib i l i t i es " (p. 2) th rough the act of wr i t ing . Wr i ters produce texts wi th in the context of a c o m m u n i t y , w i th its part icu lar convent ions and expec ta t ions , yet at the s a m e t ime , they are const ruc t ing and negot iat ing m e a n i n g , in te rpre t ing , o rgan i z ing , se lec t ing , and connect ing in fo rmat ion , drawing inferences , imag in ing opt ions , all of wh ich are " consc ious , s t ra teg ic a c t i ons " (p. 24 ) . Therefore tex t fea tures , d iscourse pract ices , soc ia l pract ices , and cogni t ion come together in the act of wr i t i ng . F lower 's theory of wr i t ing is t e rmed a " soc ia l cogni t ive theo ry " because it a t t empts to encompass indiv idual /29 cogni t ion and the soc ia l context , and to prov ide wr i t ing instructors wi th a di f ferent way of unders tand ing and assess ing s tudent wr i t ing . The academic essay (in va r ious fo rms , inc luding the research paper , essay e x a m , univers i ty entrance e x a m , TOEFL and IELTS e x a m ) r ema ins the p rominent text th rough which s tudents are assessed in h igher educat ion and ep i tomizes the "Wes te rn t rad i t ion of academic w r i t i n g " based on "p recep t s of rhetor ica l s t ruc tu re " and " a s s u m p t i o n s that the wr i ter wil l sc rupu lous ly pursue t ruth in a rgument and nar ra t ion , str ict accuracy in ascer ta inable fact , lucidity in ex pos i t i on " (Nash , 1 9 9 0 , p. 28 , c ited in Turner , 1 9 9 9 , p. 154) . In short , a cademic l i teracy is inf luenced by an inte l lectual t radi t ion "wh i ch has shaped expecta t ions of l anguage u s e , " (p. 155) wh ich are of ten unc lear to s tudents and poorly ar t icu lated by inst ructors . Like F lower, Lea and S t ree t (1998) use the t e rm ino logy " l i te racy p rac t i ces " to as a f r amework to d iscuss a cademic wr i t ing . Lea and S t reet point out that s tudents are not jus t learning " s tudy sk i l l s " when they seek help wi th the i r wr i t ing ass ignments . Rather , they are being encu l tura ted into spec i f ic l i teracy pract ices wh ich often vary f rom disc ip l ine to d isc ip l ine . Lea and St reet 's research , wh ich exam ined the wr i t ing pract ices in different subject a reas f rom s tudents and academic staff points of v i ew, pointed out that it was " i s sues of ep i s t emo logy " rather than the actua l " sur face f ea tu res " of the wr i t ing which made a piece of wr i t ing better. In o ther words , "unde r l y ing d isc ip l inary a ssumpt ions about the nature of knowledge affected the mean ing g iven the t e rms ' s t ruc ture ' and ' a r g u m e n t ' " (p. 162) which were used to eva luate s tudent wr i t i ng , a n d , in fact , instructors were not able to expl ica te t e rms l ike ' ana l y se ' or ' e va lua te ' a l though they used t hem when descr ib ing a wel l wr i t ten ass ignment . Lea and St reet a lso found cons iderab le d i f ferences in eva lua t ion cr i ter ia between d isc ip l ines , sugges t ing that when s tudents move between d isc ip l ines , they may exper ience di f f icul t ies. Indeed , the s tudents they in terv iewed reported confus ion unders tand ing the requ i rements in d iverse d isc ip l ines , poor recept ion of an essay which emp loyed an approach wh ich had been received favourab ly in a di f ferent d isc ip l ine , as wel l as conf l ic t ing adv ice f rom teach ing staff, all of which resul ted in s tudent f rus t ra t ion . Carol Be rkenkot te r & T h o m a s Hukin are interested in the role of wr i t ten commun i ca t i on in a cademic cul ture in genera l , and remind us that such commun i ca t i on is ins t rumenta l in the product ion of knowledge , the d i ssemina t ion of new knowledge , and the day-to-day tasks wh i ch compr i se academics ' t ime . A c a d e m i c wr i t ing is not l imited to the fo rma l essay , a l though this is one of the genres w i th which all univers i ty s tudents are expected to become fami l ia r . D iverse d isc ip l ines use di f ferent academic genres (lab reports , j ou rna l ar t ic les , rev iews, grant app l i ca t ions , etc) to codify and c o m m u n i c a t e new /30 knowledge , to package and c o m m u n i c a t e in format ion in accordance w i th d isc ip l inary no rms , va lues , and ideology whi le at the s a m e t ime const i tu t ing those no rms th rough the social pract ices invo lved (Be rkenkot te r & Huk in , 1 9 9 5 , p. 4 ) . They have used l inguist ic ana lys is of case s tudy data and the documen t s produced in o rder to unders tand how indiv iduals are encu l tura ted into a cademic d iscourse and genres in di f ferent d isc ip l ines . They looked at the product ion and peer review process in sc ient i f ic j ou rna l ar t ic les , the evo lut ion of a scholar ly fo rum into an academic j ou rna l , character is t i cs of successfu l conference proposa ls , as wel l as an in-depth case s tudy of a f irst y ea r doctora l s tudent ' s " g row ing unders tand ing of the registers and other convent ions of the a cademic d i s cou r se " shared by m e m b e r s of the d isc ip l inary c o m m u n i t y wh ich he was in the process of j o i n i n g . Th is s tudy is of part icu lar interest to us, as it was based on a theoret ica l f r amework of apprent i cesh ip wh ich will be descr ibed in detai l in the fo l lowing chapter . In this f r amework , the s tudent is v i ewed as an apprent ice who is be ing encu l tura ted into the pract ices and convent ions of a par t icu lar d iscourse c o m m u n i t y . By ana l yz ing the s tudent ' s research papers and the responses he received f rom ins t ructors , the researchers ident i f ied specif ic l inguist ic features of his wr i t ing which ref lected the " conven t ions of a cademic w r i t i n g " (p. 140) required of s tudents in a part icu lar d isc ip l inary p r o g r a m " as wel l as aspects of his wr i t ing which were d rawn f rom other aspects of the s tudent ' s exper ience , and wh ich often represented res is tance to the d e m a n d s and convent ions of the new disc ip l ine which he had en te red . In part icular , th is s tudent ' s abi l i ty to write f luent ly and express i ve l y when " f reed f rom the const ra ints of genre and reg is te r " (p. 105) enab led h im to ass imi la te new mater ia l qu ick ly and eas i ly , but he had t rouble swi tch ing f rom the in formal register in wh ich he was comfor tab le to a more fo rma l register expected by his ins t ructors , and , in par t icu lar , fo rmu la t ing his observa t ions in the de tached , fo rma l manne r congruent with the " emp i r i c a l research m e t h o d s " (p. 142) required by the d isc ip l ine in which he was do ing his doctora l s tudy. Be rkenkot te r and Hukin found that these features reflected the s tudent ' s cont inu ing a l leg iance to other g roups and d isc ip l ines to which he be longed , and whose d iscourses he drew upon in act of compos i t i on . They observed that this s tudent was draw ing upon and negot ia t ing dif ferent and often conf l ic t ing d iscourses and va lues th rough the act of wr i t ing . The i r f ind ings conf i rm Lea and St reet 's (1998) observa t ions about the conf l ic t ing and poor ly ar t icu la ted cr i ter ia in di f ferent a cademic d isc ip l ines and the dif f iculty s tudents have in negot ia t ing t h e m , and are of par t icu lar interest in con junc t ion w i th Roz's Ivanic 's (1998) s tudy of e ight mature s tudents and the i r s t ruggles wi th a cademic wr i t i ng , which will be descr ibed at length in a later chapter . / 3 l \ Severa l researchers have focused on the l inguist ic aspects of a cademic wr i t i ng , and the i r work will be d iscussed in detai l in later chapters . Ken Hy land (2000) has under taken an ex tens i ve ana lys i s of d iscourse used in academic jou rna l s in order to identify specif ic l inguist ic s t ra teg ies used in dif ferent d isc ip l ines . The s a m e corpora (Hy land , 2005b ) was used in order to identify speci f ic l inguist ic s t rategies used by academics in order to posi t ion themse l ves in re lat ion to the i r content and the i r readers . He has also compared speci f ic features of texts by s tudents and profess ional academics (Hy land , 2 0 0 2 ) . Hewings and Hewings (2004) a lso used large corpora of texts to compare spec i f ic l inguist ic features doctora l d isser ta t ions and journa l ar t ic les , whi le Coff in (2004) looked speci f ica l ly at in terpersona l features of a cademic essays in the IELTS examina t ion and Coff in and Hewings (2005) e x a m i n e d the l inguist ic features of a rgumenta t ion in e lectronic conferences . They conc luded that " [ e n g a g e m e n t in a rgumenta t i ve d ia logue where it is poss ib le to reread and reflect on di f ferent a rgumenta t i ve pos i t ions (and part icu lar ly when di rected in the fo rm of s t ruc tured tasks ) may faci l i tate the incorporat ion of di f ferent posi t ions into s tuden ts ' own a rgumenta t i ve l ine , " but that s tudents often l imit " the degree of a rgumenta t i ve interplay between the opin ions and v iews put f o r w a r d " and " a p p e a r to be re luctant to cha l lenge the i r pee r s " (p. 4 7 ) . Through this brief overv iew, we have seen the var ie ty and comp lex i t y of the issues involved under the rubr ic of " a c a d e m i c g e n r e " or " a c a d e m i c d i s cou r se . " We wil l conc lude wi th a look at s tud ies of academic wr i t ing in onl ine env i ronments . 1.3.8.2 Academic literacy and writing in online environments Lapadat ( 2 0 0 0 ; 2004 ) and Lea (2001) both s tud ied onl ine graduate courses . Resul ts of the i r s tud ies have been prev ious ly ment ioned and wil l be d iscussed in detai l in conjunct ions wi th f indings f rom th is s tudy in later chapters . Mark Warschauer ( 1 9 9 9 , 2002) focused speci f ica l ly on the use of techno logy in teach ing academic wr i t ing . Observ ing that " [ t e c h n o l o g y does not const i tute a m e t h o d ; rather , it is a resource that can be used to suppor t a var ie ty of approaches and m e t h o d s , " (p. ), Wa rschaue r s tud ied three ve ry di f ferent c l ass room set t ings in which technology was used in di f ferent ways . In one c l a s s room, it was used effect ive ly to scaffold s tudents ' " en t r y into the wor ld of a cademic d i s cou r se " ( conc lus ion , para 1). Warschauer cites Harr is ( 1989 ) , who points out The borders of mos t d i scourses are hazi ly marked and often t rave l l ed , and...the commun i t i e s they def ine are thus often indist inct and over lapping. . .One does not step c lean ly and whol ly f rom one c o m m u n i t y to another , but is caught instead in an a lways chang ing mix of dominan t , res idua l , and emerg ing d iscourses (p. 17 , cited in Warschauer , 2 0 0 2 , conc lus ion ) . /32 Harr is 's observa t ion echoes those made by Lea and Street ( 1998 ) , Ivanic ( 1998 ) , and Carol Be rkenkot te r & T h o m a s Hukin (1995 ) . Warschauer obse rved that th rough the use of digi ta l techno logy , s tudents " cou ld put out the i r own exper iences in a wr i t ten fo rm that o ther s tudents and the teacher could reflect on and respond t o , " and that " th i s proved to be a powerful tool for ass is t ing s tudents in invent ion and re invent ion , d i scovery and exp lo ra t ion , ref lect ion and negot i a t ion—enhanc ing s tudents ' oppor tun i t ies to th ink cr i t ical ly about the a c a d e m y and thei r role in it. Compute r-med ia ted commun i ca t i on was not the on ly means by wh ich the process of cr i t ical ref lect ion occur red , but it d id s e e m to be an effect ive m e d i u m for faci l i tat ing this p rocess " ( conc lus ion , para 4 ) . Warschauer a lso noted that the s tudents began network ing th rough onl ine interact ions, deve lop ing a sense of c o m m u n i t y and affi l iation^with others when they could share p rob lems and exper iences with t h e m . Warschauer notes that s tudents in compos i t ion c lasses usua l ly f ind themse l ves "a re a lmost a lways wr i t ing wi th an u l t imate ly unreal rhetor ica l purpose , s eek ing not to persuade or inform or enter ta in but to comple te an ass ignment in a requi red cou r se " (Hei lker , 1 9 9 7 , p. 7 1 , cited in Warschauer , 1 9 9 9 , p. 140) . Both Lapadat (2004 ) and Warschauer obse rved improvemen t in s tudent wr i t ing when the s tudents wrote for a real aud ience rather than jus t for the i r teacher . Whi le the s tudents in Lapadat 's s tudy wrote for one another , they shared prob lems and worked together to deve lop connec t ions between educat iona l theory and c l ass room pract ice. The s tudents in one of the c lasses in Warschauer ' s s tudy created web pages and other documen t s for c o m m u n i t y o rgan iza t ions , put t ing more effort into the i r wr i t ing and f inding more sat is fact ion with the product . Warschauer draws upon Bakht in 's d ia logica l perspect ive in order to " ga i n perspect ive on the apparent d i chotomies that ex is t between the const ruc t i v i s t a p p r o a c h -based on wr i t ing as an indiv idual cogni t ive p rocess—and the socia l const ruc t ion is t app roach , wh ich sees wr i t ing as conforming to the norms of a d iscourse c o m m u n i t y " (conc lus ion para 7 ) . Warschauer observes that Bakht in 's v iew of d iscourse " a s a fo rum where the forces of indiv idual cogni t ion and socia l ideology and convent ion 'd ia lect ica l ly in terpenet ra te ' each o ther in a co-const i tut ive re la t ionsh ip " (Volosinov, 1929/1973, p. 4 1 , c ited in Warschauer , 2 0 0 0 , conc lus ion , para 7) perhaps is best rea l ized " i n the era of onl ine c o m m u n i c a t i o n " : when s tudents can most readi ly and rapid ly appropr ia te the d iscourse of others into the i r l anguage use. S tudents need no longer choose between the advan tages of speech (which a l lows rapid interact ion) and of wr i t ing (which ma in ta ins a 733 permanen t record for ref lect ion) . Rather , us ing the speech-wr i t ing hybr id of compute r-med ia ted d i s cuss ion , the i r own d iscuss ion takes a wr i t ten f o r m , thus a l lowing s tudents ' interact ion to itself become the basis of ep i s temic engagemen t (Warschauer, 1997). This review of the l i terature, wh ich has moved f rom the socia l and economic affect ing univers i ty educat ion and creat ing increas ing d e m a n d for innovat i ve , effect ive onl ine courses to a v iew of onl ine commun i ca t i on as the rea l izat ion of Bakht in ian d ia logic re lat ions, demons t ra tes the comp lex i t y of the issues we are address ing when we invest igate onl ine learn ing. In our ana lys i s of onl ine interact ion in a part icu lar course , we will revis i t issues of l anguage , cogn i t i on , a cademic l i teracy pract ices and genres , cr i t ical t h ink ing , interact ion and interpersona l re la t ions , as wel l as Bakht in 's not ions of d ia logue and appropr ia t ion . 1.3.9 Bourdieu's notions of "legitimacy/' "symbolic capital/' and "cultural capital" Drawn f rom Bourd ieu 's not ion of s ymbo l i c cap i ta l , the words " l e g i t i m a c y " and " c a p i t a l " are imbued with Marx is t ideo logy and wi th the many ways in wh ich Bourdieu 's theoret ica l f r amework has been appropr ia ted to s i tuate and interpret recent research . Bourdieu def ines capita l not in t e rms of e conomic cap i ta l , but as s ymbo l i c cap i ta l , a form of capita l wh i ch^ though mater ia l in nature , is not recognized as s u c h : S ymbo l i c cap i ta l , a t r ans fo rmed and thereby d isgu ised fo rm of phys ica l ' e conomic ' cap i ta l , produces its proper effect i n a s m u c h , and only i n a s m u c h , as it concea ls the fact that it or ig inates in 'ma te r i a l ' f o rms of capi ta l which are a lso , in the last ana lys i s , the source of its effects (Bourd ieu , 1 9 7 7 , p. 183) For Bourd ieu , it was symbo l i c f o rms , inc luding language , dress codes , body postures , and the messages conveyed by objects were " i n s t r umen t s of knowledge and d o m i n a t i o n " (Mahar , Harker & Wi lkes , 1 9 9 0 , p. 5) , th rough wh ich ' l eg i t imate ' def in i t ions of the socia l wor ld could be imposed . Bourd ieu used the t e rm ' s ymbo l i c v io lence ' to descr ibe the s t ruggle between s ymbo l i c s y s t ems to impose conf l ic t ing percept ions of the socia l wor ld and to ' l eg i t imate ' t h e m of capi ta l broadens the not ion of e conomic capi ta l to include mater ia l objects , wh ich may have symbo l i c va lue or confer pres t ige , s ta tus , or author i ty upon those who possess it (Mahar , Harker , & Wi lkes , 1 9 9 0 , p. 13) . Bourd ieu inc ludes mater ia l objects (and the symbo l i c prest ige or author i ty they may convey ) , prest ige , s ta tus , and author i ty , and cul tura l capita l in his de f in i t ion : " a l l the goods , mater ia l and symbo l i c , w i thout d i s t inc t ion , that present themse l ves as rare and wor thy of being sought a f te r " ( Bourd ieu , 1 9 7 7 , p. 178) . We are part icu lar ly interested in Bourd ieu 's not ion of cu l tura l cap i ta l , the " cu l tu re of the e l i te , (Ha rke r ,1990 , p. 87 ) , wh ich compr i ses fami l iar i ty and unders tand ing of the / 3 4 ach ievements def ined as " the best " by the dominan t c lass . Cu l tura l competence is def ined by fami l iar i ty with such ach i e vemen ts , and it is obta ined th rough courses ent i t led "C i v i l i za t ion , " "Great Works of A r t , " or "Great Works of L i te ra ture . " Like economic cap i ta l , cul tura l capita l conveys leg i t imacy , a leg i t imacy regulated by inst i tut ions wi th in the soc iety , and speci f ica l ly by a cademic inst i tut ions. Cul tura l capita l also serves as a ma jor factor in c lass def in i t ion . In order to mainta in the leg i t imacy of cultural cap i ta l , the educat iona l s y s t em creates a marke t in cultural capita l wi th cert i f icates as the cur rency . (Ga rnham & Wi l l i ams , 1 9 9 0 , c i ted in Lane Lawlor ) . There fore , in Bourd ieu 's f r amework , the educat iona l s y s t em itself, and part icu lar ly a cademia , is impl icated in ma in tenance of the economic and socia l c lass s y s t em In Bourd ieu 's f r amework , a c adem ia funct ions to leg i t imate cul tura l capita l and has a cons iderab le s take in cont inu ing to ensure its leg i t imacy , and chi ldren of the soc ioeconomic elite receive " b o t h more of and the right k ind of cu l tura l capi ta l for soc ioeconomic success " (L in, 1 9 9 9 , 3 9 4 ) , whi le ch i ldren f rom d i sadvantaged fami l ies receive less, thereby reproduc ing socia l s t rat i f i cat ion. 1.4 Research Design 1.4.1 Rationale The des ign of this s tudy emp loy s qual i ta t ive methodo logy wi th d iscourse ana lys i s . The t e rm "qua l i t a t i v e " is a ve ry broad one and has many connota t ions . Denz in and Lincoln (1998) def ine it as an approach in which researchers " s t udy th ings in the i r natural se t t i ngs " in order to " m a k e sense of, or interpret , phenomena in t e rms of the mean ings people br ing to t h e m " (p. 3) . E r ickson (1990) character izes c l a ss rooms as "soc ia l l y and cul tura l ly o rgan ized env i ronments for l e a rn ing . " Fu r thermore , they are " re f l ex ive learning e n v i r o n m e n t ^ ] " in which the " m e a n i n g - m a k i n g perspec t i ves " of teachers and learners cont r ibute to the "educa t iona l p rocess " (p. 79 ) , so qual i ta t ive methodo logy enables us to unders tand the perspect ives and mean ings that teachers and learners br ing to c l a s s rooms . S imi la r l y , the te rm " d i s c o u r s e " has been used in m a n y contex ts and conveys a var ie ty of mean ings . Schif fr in (1994) def ines d iscourse as a s y s t em th rough which par t icu lar funct ions are rea l ized . Ana l y s i s of d iscourse , there fore , de te rmines the purposes of the d iscourse , and the var ious mean ings , inc luding soc ia l , cu l tu ra l , and interpersona l mean ings , wh ich it may convey . As an ana ly t i c f r amework , s ys temic funct iona l l inguist ics (SFL) v iews language as a sys tem of mean ing in which the funct ions of l anguage are real ized wi th in and inseparab le f rom the soc ia l contexts in which interact ions take place. S y s t em i c funct iona l l inguist ics is pr imar i ly concerned with the 735 ways in which language is used for part icu lar purposes in par t i cu lar contex ts , examin ing the l inguist ic features of the d iscourse in order to identify the ways in which they The purpose of th is s tudy was to obta in an e thnograph ic perspect ive f rom inst ructors ' and s tudents ' perspect ives on how learning was fac i l i tated in this context . The focus of the ana lys is was the onl ine d iscourse . A l l the da ta obta ined in this s tudy , inc luding on-line d iscourse , face-to-face interact ions between learners and between instructors and learners , and interv iew da ta , was used to obta in an " ins ider ' s pe rspec t i ve " on learn ing f rom learners and inst ructors ' v i ewpo in ts in the context of th is part icu lar s i tua t ion . The pr imary ana ly t ica l tool was d iscourse ana lys i s of the onl ine d ia logue . D ia logue is centra l to an e thnograph ic perspect ive a s : With in any socia l se t t ing , and any socia l scene wi th in a se t t i ng , whe ther great or s m a l l , socia l actors are car ry ing on a cul tura l ly const ruc ted d ia logue . Th is d ia logue is expressed in behav ior , words , s ymbo l s , and in the appl i ca t ion of cul tura l knowledge to make ins t rumenta l act iv i t ies and socia l s i tuat ions work for one. We learn the d ia logue as chi ldren and cont inue learning it all our l i ves , as our c i r cumstances change . This is the phenomenon we s tudy as e thnographe rs—the d ia logue of act ion and interact ion (Sp indler & Sp ind ler , 1987 , p. 2, cited in Gee , & G reen , 1998 , p. 126) . D iscourse ana lys i s , there fore , is a means of ident i fy ing the socia l pract ices in which m e m b e r s of a socia l g roup part ic ipate , a n d , in the case of c l ass room d iscourse , " how d iscourse shapes both what is ava i lab le to be learned and what is, in fact, l e a rned " (Gee & G reen , 1998 , p. 126) . Potter and Wethera l l (1990) remind us that , because " m u c h of the t ime we deal wi th the wor ld in te rms of d iscurs ive const ruct ions or v e r s i o n , " " o u r access to wor ld events , the f ind ings of sc ience , o r how a part icu lar f i lm shou ld be eva luated are v ia const ruc t ions in texts and ta lk , " ana lys is of d iscourse revea ls " t he actua l work ing of d iscourse as a const i tut ive part of socia l pract ices s i tuated in speci f ic con tex t s " (para 2) . D iscourse ana lys is was used , there fore , to unders tand " the actua l work ing of d i s course " in the const i tu t ion of socia l pract ices in this part icu lar course . 1.4.2 Data Collection All on-line data was co l lec ted , inc luding the int roduct ion to each modu le , all sect ions of the modu le f rom " K e y T e r m s " to " M a k i n g Connec t i ons , " posts f rom all four d i scuss ion sect ions , th reads in response to quest ions posed in all sect ions of the modu le , th reads in the "Pass ing No tes " sec t ion , the course in t roduct ion , ove rv i ew and descr ip t ion , and t ime l ine ) . Interv iews were conducted with three of the four course TAs , the course coord inator , and the course consu l tan t , who was invo lved in creat ion of the course and / 3 6 was a course TA when the course was f irst of fered in mixed-mode fo rmat . Focus group interv iews were conducted with three g roups of s tuden ts : two groups of two and one group of three . In add i t ion , the researcher a t tended and observed the formal course introduct ion at the beginning of the course and a dif ferent week l y d iscuss ion sect ion and took informal notes on the proceed ings to record impor tant points made as well as to observe di f ferent pedagogica l s t ra teg ies used in the course , ques t ions posed by the instructor or raised by s tudents , the use of on-line posts in face-to-face d i scuss ion , and to note any other issues that contr ibuted to a better unders tand ing of how students engaged wi th the texts and with one another as the course p roceeded . 1.4.3. Participants in the study The course coordinator, who deve loped and was in charge of the course . He also taught the course in t radi t ional lecture fo rmat and had done so for many years . He was respons ib le for choos ing many of the read ings , a l though often incorporated texts at the sugges t ion of others . He read all the onl ine posts , and s o m e t i m e s responded to posts in the " C o m m e n t a r y " or " Pass ing No tes " sec t ions , but did not cont r ibute to d iscuss ion on the d iscuss ion boards . He a lso v is i ted one of the d iscuss ion sect ions each week and act ive ly par t ic ipated, often referr ing to s tudent post ings and inv i t ing further ref lect ion and response to the issues ra ised . The course consultant, who a lso deve loped the course and had taught it twice in m ixed-mode fo rmat as a teach ing ass is tant (TA). He was not teach ing the course dur ing the period in which data was col lected but was interv iewed for his perspect ive on the creat ion of the course , his exper ience teach ing it, and the course a ims and object ives . The TAs, all of w h o m were g radua te s tudents in the Engl ish depa r tment . Two were second yea r M.A. s tudents and two were Ph.D. s tudents , one of w h o m as comple t ing his thes is and the other a f irst yea r doctora l s tudent . One TA had taught the course prev ious ly in the mixed-mode fo rmat and also had done the course eva luat ion after the course was offered in mixed-mode fo rmat for the f irst t ime . He was therefore , very knowledgeab le about the course object ives and about how the course worked on a dai ly bas is . The other two TAs interv iewed were teach ing an onl ine course for the first t ime but had taught first year Engl ish f ict ion before. Three of the four TAs were in terv iewed. Each TA was respons ib le for all the post ings in his or her d iscuss ion board and for leading a week ly face-to-face d i scuss ion sec t ion . The TAs were a lso responsib le for mark ing the in-class essay , home essay , and final examina t i ons . 737 The students, the major i ty of w h o m were f irst or second year univers i ty s tudents , but also inc luded many s tudents who were non-nat ive Engl ish speakers , mature s tudents , and s tudents f rom a wide var ie ty of a cademic d isc ip l ines , inc luding history , eng ineer ing and bus iness . 1.4.4 Data Pr imary sources of in format ion for the s tudy inc luded onl ine t ranscr ip ts , notes made dur ing c l ass room observa t ions , and aud io taped interv iews. Indiv idual interv iews were conducted wi th the inst ructors , course coord inator , and course consu l tant , whi le focus g roup interv iews were conducted wi th the s tudents . Secondary sources inc luded documents and on-line quest ionna i res f i l led out by the s tudents af ter the last c lass . Individual interviews: Semi-st ruc tured interv iews were conducted in the th i rd month in which the course was of fered. The interv iewer drew f rom a set of prepared ques t ions , but let the interv iewees focus on the topics that interested t hem most . Each interv iew exp lored a di f ferent aspect of the course in deta i l . Focus groups: Focus g roup interv iews were conduc ted wi th three g roups of s tuden ts : one group of three s tudents , and two groups of two s tudents . The interv iews were conducted in the th ird month of the course , r ight af ter the s tudents handed in the i r home essay ass ignments and e i ther dur ing the penu l t imate or f inal week of c lasses . Interv iews were semi-s t ruc tured . The interv iewer used speci f ic quest ions as spr ingboards for d iscuss ion in order to get the s tudents ' v iew of par t ic ipat ion and learning in the course , but refra ined f rom act ive ly d i rect ing the interv iews once the s tudents began speak ing freely. I ssues covered in interv iews ranged f rom w h e n , where , and how students part ic ipated onl ine , how they composed the i r posts , the di f ference between posts and formal a cademic wr i t ing a ss ignments , the d i f ferences between high school and univers i ty educa t ion , the texts s tud ied in the course , par t ic ipat ion in onl ine d iscuss ion ve rsus part ic ipat ion in d iscuss ion groups , and other issues that emerged dur ing d i scuss ion . 1.4.5 The Researcher's Role The researcher v is i ted the d iscuss ion sect ions to introduce hersel f dur ing the second week of the course . A t that t ime , she exp la ined the purpose of the s tudy , d is t r ibuted in format ion sheets and consent fo rms . The researcher did not part ic ipate act ive ly in the course , but read the onl ine d iscuss ions wi th interest and col lected all the onl ine t ranscr ipts every week. She a lso v is i ted each of the d iscuss ion sect ions (after being g iven permiss ion by the TA leading the sect ion) at least once and took notes on the d i scuss ion , greeted the s tudents but did not part ic ipate act ive ly in d i scuss ion . A handout descr ib ing the focus g roup interv iews was c i rculated dur ing the th ird month of the course /38 for s tudents to s ign up if they were in teres ted . The researcher contac ted interested s tudents by ema i l to a r range t imes and dates for the focus g roup interv iews. 1 . 4 . 6 D a t a C o l l e c t i o n P r o c e d u r e s Onl ine t ranscr ipts were read and col lected week ly . The researcher made notes dur ing v is i ts to d iscuss ion sec t ions , focus ing main ly on the range of approaches the TAs used in d i scuss ion sec t ions , how issues or quest ions that emerged dur ing the onl ine d iscuss ion were taken up in d iscuss ion sec t ion , or issues that were not a focus of onl ine d i scuss ion the TAs chose to supp l emen t or to explore in d iscuss ion sec t ion . In terv iews were t ranscr ibed and ana l yzed to identify c o m m o n issues . As d iscussed above , the not ion of engagemen t was ident i f ied as a c o m m o n theme and onl ine data was ana l yzed to identify ways in which the s tudents engaged wi th peers and wi th the texts . 1 . 4 . 7 . O v e r v i e w o f t h e f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r s In Chap te r 2, I wil l review speci f ic t e rmino logy wh ich is used in my d iscuss ion in order to c lear ly def ine t e rms . I wil l a lso rev iew theoret ica l perspect ives wh ich connect d i scourse , l ea rn ing , d ia logue, and socia l pract ices , and the theoret ica l mode l of learning as th rough apprent i cesh ip in a c o m m u n i t y of pract ice . I wil l a lso rev iew the concept of a rgument and a rgumenta t ion in con junct ion wi th academic wr i t ing and l i teracy pract ices as the ma jor content of the course in this s tudy is a rgumenta t i ve prose wr i t ing and the onl ine d iscuss ion was s t ructured as an debate in which the s tudents were asked to deve lop an a rgumen t and present ev idence to suppor t it. In Chap te r 3, I look at on l ine d iscourse to identify d iscurs ive s t ra teg ies wri ters used to posi t ion themse l ves and the i r readers in the d iscourse focused on Mil l 's text , inc luding the features of a rgumenta t i ve wr i t ing used in s tudent t ex t s , d i scurs ive s t rategies used in the webs i te , and s tance , a t t i tude , and moda l i t y in s tudent d iscourse . In Chapte r 4, I focus on the use of ev ident ia ls in s tudent wr i t i ng , compar ing the ways in wh ich s tudents emp loyed Mil l 's text as ev idence to the o ther t ypes of ev idence they used and how they integrated it into the i r a rguments . In par t icu lar , I examine issues of ident i ty in relat ion to a cademic wr i t i ng , and look at character is t i cs of the onl ine env i ronment which faci l i tate se l f-express ion and integrat ion of d i f ferent aspects of ident i ty into academic d iscourse . In Chap te r 5, I s u m m a r i z e the f ind ings in relat ion to the or ig ina l research ques t ions and sugges t avenues for fur ther exp lo ra t ion . 7 3 9 C h a p t e r 2 K e y I s s u e s : L e a r n i n g , S o c i a l P r a c t i c e , D i s c o u r s e , I den t i t y , a n d A r g u m e n t a t i o n My ana lys i s of the ways in which learning is faci l i tated by spec i f ic soc ia l pract ices in this par t icu lar on-line c o m m u n i t y is in formed by severa l key theoret ica l cons t ruc ts that connec t d i s course , l ea rn ing , d ia logue , and soc ia l pract ices . Before exp lo r ing spec i f i c examp l e s d rawn f rom on-line interact ions in this course , I wou ld l ike br ief ly rev iew the ongo ing d ia logue between educators and educat iona l researchers regard ing learn ing as a soc ia l ly const ruc ted process and the role of d iscourse in learning order to s i tuate m y ana lys i s and f ind ings in re lat ion to a mode l of l ea rn ing . In par t i cu lar , I wou ld l ike to d r a w connec t ions between learn ing , d i scourse , and " e n g a g e m e n t , " a t e r m of ten found in the l i terature on on-line learning and also used by all instructors in this s tudy f r ame the i r learning object ives for the course . I wou ld also like to def ine some of the t e rm ino logy wh ich is of ten used by educat iona l researchers and theor is ts but wh i ch m a y convey di f ferent nuances of mean ing when used by di f ferent researchers and theor i s ts in o rder to c lear ly exp la in how I unders tand and use this t e rmino logy in re lat ion to this s tudy and to conceptua l i ze how I env is ion the interact ion between par t i c ipants , d i s course , t ex t s , and socia l pract ices that faci l i tate knowledge-bui ld ing in this d iscourse c o m m u n i t y — a c o m m u n i t y which uses a part icu lar type of d iscourse to bui ld knowledge . 2.1 L e a r n i n g , d i s c o u r s e a n d s o c i a l p rac t ices In her s tudy of c l ass room d iscourse , Cour tney Cazden emphas i ze s the impor tance of s tudy ing c l ass room d iscourse in order to bet ter unders tand how it enacts the re la t ionsh ip between the " the cogni t ive and the s o c i a l " as " the bas ic purpose of school is se rved th rough c o m m u n i c a t i o n " (p. 2). Because of " the impor tance of l anguage in the goals of s choo l s , " it is impor tant to ana l yze or " m a k e t r anspa ren t " the " m e d i u m of c l a s s room d i s cou r se " (p. 4). She notes tha t as concept ions of know ledge and learn ing have moved f rom a t r ansmiss ion to a construct iv is t mode l , ana lys i s of c l a s s room d iscourse can p inpoint d iscourse pat terns that faci l i tate "p rocesses and s t ra teg ies for learn ing and d o i n g " (p. 5). Her def in i t ion of " d i s c o u r s e , " there fore , can be in terpreted as the l inguis t ic pat terns o r t ypes of l anguage c o m m o n l y used in c l a s s room s i tua t ions . Con tempora r y educat iona l theor ies and pract ices have moved f rom a t r ansm i s s i on mode l of learn ing to a v iew of learning as a socia l ly const ruc ted process in wh ich language plays a fundamenta l role. V ygo t sky v iewed language as a semio t i c med ia to r be tween ind iv idua ls and the wor ld a round t h e m , propos ing that cogn i t ion are f i rst exper i enced on the " in ter-menta l p l ane " before they are in terna l ized to the " i n t ra-menta l /40 p l ane . " In o ther words , our pr ivate menta l ref lect ions ar ise f rom exper i ences that have f irst been interna l ized through socia l in teract ion. In Vygo t sky ' s v iew, there fore , l anguage med ia tes between indiv idual consc iousness and the exte rna l wor ld as the ind iv idua l interacts wi th others and with the env i ronment , interna l iz ing concepts as l inguist ic menta l representa t ions . Learn ing , therefore , occurs th rough interact ion wi th o the r s ; there fore , it is not surpr is ing that the role of d ia logue is a centra l concern to m a n y educators and educat iona l researchers . In order to unders tand the ways in which concepts are in terna l ized and menta l l y r ep resen ted , we need to unders tand the ways in which this process is med ia ted th rough " s em io t i c dev i ces , " inc luding language , and to unders tand how th is process is fu r ther med ia ted th rough " c o m m u n i c a t i v e prac t i ces " so that " h u m a n commun i ca t i v e pract ices g ive rise to menta l funct ion ing in the ind i v idua l " (Wer tsch , 1 9 9 1 , pp 12-13 , c i ted in Be rkenkot te r & Huck in , 1 9 9 5 , p. 12) . V ygo t sky env is ioned learning as med ia ted th rough interact ion w i th more exper ienced learners , whe the r fel low s tudents or teachers in wh ich a learner m o v e d f rom his or her " base level of a ch i e vemen t " to a h igher level of a ch i evement , t e rm ing the d i f ference between a learner 's ach ievement wi thout interact ion and the potent ia l a ch i evement that could be made through interact ion the " z o n e of p rox ima l d e v e l o p m e n t " : The ZPD is def ined as the zone between what a chi ld can do una ided and the upper l imit of 'potent ia l deve lopment as de te rmined th rough p rob lem so lv ing under adu l t gu idance or in co l laborat ion with more capable peers ' ( 1978 ,p . 86 ) . Go rdon Wel ls ( 1995 ) , who has wr i t ten extens ive ly on the re la t ionsh ip be tween d ia logue , ta lk and text , emphas i zes the impor tance of d ia logue in the learn ing p rocess : " Fo l low ing Vygo t sky , I a rgue that the p reeminen t " t o o l " used to med i a t e a c h i e v e m e n t of goa ls . . . is l inguist ic d i s course " (p. 233) Drawing upon Vygo tsky ' s f r amework , Wel ls cont inues : " t h r o u g h interact ion wi th others and wi th the env i r onmen t , " " the re levant patterns of d i scourse are g radua l l y in terna l ized and t rans formed to become the m e d i u m of some inner d ia logue of though t , and when re-externa l ized for the more formal spoken and wr i t ten modes of com m un i c a t i o n (p. 233 ) , re i terat ing that " the goals of educat ion . . . are not ach ieved by one-way t r ansmiss ion of knowledge . . . but th rough a d ia logue between teacher and learner that has as its a ims co-construct ion of m e a n i n g , in re lat ion to t asks and top ics that are of mutua l conce rn " (pp 234-235 ) . / 4 1 The not ion of d iscourse is therefore fundamenta l in this v iew of learn ing as ach ieved th rough d ia logue , a n d , accord ing to J ames Paul Gee and Judi th L. G r e e n , " the s tudy of d iscourse has become an impor tant theoret ica l perspect ive for those conce rned wi th the s tudy of learn ing in socia l se t t i ngs " as it enables researchers to bet ter unders tand "ways in which knowledge is soc ia l ly constructed in c l a s s r o o m s " and " h o w knowledge const ruc ted in c l a ss rooms . . . shapes , and is shaped by, the d iscurs ive act iv i ty and socia l pract ices of m e m b e r s " ( 1998 , p. 119) . Ana lys i s of d i scourse revea ls the "pa t t e rns of p rac t i ce " t h rough wh ich m e m b e r s of a c o m m u n i t y par t ic ipate , and ways in wh i ch ta lk and act ion const i tute socia l act iv i ty . Gee and Green point out that " l anguage a lways takes on a spec i f ic mean ing f rom the actual context in which it is u sed , wh i l e , s imu l t aneous l y , helping to construct what we take that context to mean in the f i rst p l a ce " ( 1 9 9 8 , p. 127) . Before under tak ing any ana lys is of the comp lex interre la t ionship be tween soc ia l pract ices , t ex t s , and d i scourse , it is wor thwhi le to look at the ways in wh i ch these t e rms have been def ined in re lat ion to one another by researchers and theor i s ts who are interested in d iscourse and textua l ana lys is in socia l research . No rman Fa i r c lough , who is par t icu lar ly interested in d iscourse related to the polit ical e conomy of new cap i t a l i sm , def ines l anguage as capable of def in ing " a certa in potent ia l , cer ta in poss ib i l i t i es " f rom the l inguist ic s y s t em whi le at the s a m e t ime exc lud ing o the rs ; in other wo rds , " ce r t a in ways of comb in ing l inguist ic e l ements are poss ib le , others are no t " ( Fa i rc lough, 2 0 0 3 , p. 24 ) . Th is process is not s imp ly a mat ter of choos ing between l inguist ic f o r m s ; ra ther , it is soc ia l ly med ia ted as " ce r ta in poss ib i l i t ies " are se lected and used in par t i cu lar soc ia l contexts and for part icu lar funct ions . For e x a m p l e , wi th in the c l a ss room contex t , " c l a s s r o o m teach ing art icu lates together part icu lar ways of us ing l anguage (on the part of both teachers and learners ) wi th the soc ia l re lat ions of the c l a s s r o o m , the s t ruc tu r ing and use of the c l a ss room as a phys ica l space , and so f o r t h " ( Fa i rc lough, 2 0 0 3 , p. 25 ) . Fa i rc lough 's def in i t ion of socia l practice is a ve ry broad one ; for ins tance , he g ives an e x a m p l e of " the socia l pract ice of c l ass room teach ing in con tempora r y Br i t ish e d u c a t i o n " ( Fa i rc lough, 2 0 0 3 , p. 25 ) , but, in my v|ew, such broad pract ices e n c o m p a s s spec i f ic and s i tuated pract ices wh ich are rea l ized in part icu lar s i tuat ions and for par t i cu lar purposes and enacted th rough d iscourse . Cer ta in ly , the socia l pract ices , with the i r a t tendant tex ts , va lues , bel iefs , and ways of do ing th ings in a sc ience c l ass room will differ radical ly f rom those in an Engl ish c l a s s r o o m , but di f ferent Engl ish c l ass rooms will a lso differ as the teach ing approaches favoured by the inst ructor intersect wi th the interests and part ic ipat ion s ty les of ind iv idua l s tuden ts , the se lect ion of texts s tud ied , a s s i gnmen t s , g rad ing r equ i r ements /42 and expec ta t ions . Soc ia l pract ices evo lve in speci f ic set t ings and in for spec i f ic purposes . A cer ta in set of pract ices may be assoc ia ted with a part icu lar f r amework ; for e x a m p l e , " a c a d e m i c w r i t i ng , " yet instructors who teach a cadem i c wr i t ing m a y e m p l o y d i f ferent teach ing pract ices in the i r c l ass rooms and encourage the i r s tudents to engage in the pract ices the inst ructor bel ieves are most ef f icac ious. For e x a m p l e , m a n y wr i t ing instructors encourage s tudents to wr i te j ou rna l s , but this pract ice is less c o m m o n in c lasses on essay wr i t ing where instructors often feel tha t it is " ex t r a w o r k " and wi l l not serve a re levant purpose . S imi la r l y , instructors who do inc lude journa l wr i t ing in the i r c lasses va ry in the length and fo rmat of journa l entr ies , the t ype of content tha t shou ld be inc luded , and in teacher response. ' The not ion of soc ia l pract ice , therefore , is a comp l ex one , e n c o m p a s s i n g both the speci f ic soc ia l pract ices (d iscuss ion groups , on-line posts , deba tes , etc. ) e m p l o y e d in a part icu lar context and the ways in which teachers and s tudents use l anguage to as they part ic ipate in these socia l pract ices in a part icu lar learning env i ronment . Spec i f i c soc ia l pract ices evo lve in di f ferent c l ass rooms as s tudents and teachers interact ove r t i m e , and these pract ices are a lso s i tuated wi th in a w ider context ( schoo l , educat iona l s y s t e m , cu l tura l context ) wh ich inf luences the choices ava i lab le to s tudents and teachers in par t i cu lar se t t ings . Soc ia l pract ices , there fore , are both g lobal and s i tuated wi th in a spec i f ic con tex t , and any ana lys is of socia l pract ices needs to take both the g loba l factors and the spec i f ic factors wh ich inf luence them into account . Broad genera l i za t ions cannot be m a d e about the impl icat ions of research that identif ies s i tuated pract ices . In her in t roduct ion to d iscourse ana lys i s , S tephan ie Tay lo r beg ins by de f in ing language as " a vehic le for m e a n i n g . " Th is impl ies that its purpose is to produce and convey mean ings , and that language is, above a l l , an ins t rument , one of m a n y semio t i c tools wh i ch convey mean ing with in the context of a group or cu l ture . C l o th i ng , j ewe l r y , ges tu res , our choice of words which we use all convey powerfu l mean ings . We s igna l our aff i l iat ion or d is tance f rom a part icu lar group or cu l ture , and th rough the i r use , we interna l ize the group or cul ture 's def in i t ions of appropr ia te ways of do ing th ings and perce iv ing the wor ld . B loome and Egan-Robertson (1993) observe that all ac t ions and react ions we make as we interact wi th one another are l inguist ic processes invo lv ing semio t i c s y s t ems which range f rom ges ture , u t te rances , p roxemics , and the use of space to the semio t i c s y s t ems in our env i ronment (bu i ld ings, roads , s igns , etc . ) . A s Tay lo r points out , l anguage is not neut ra l . Rather , it is cons t i tu t i ve : t h rough language we create , convey , and change mean ings wi th in the context of a s i tua t i on , and this process is a d ynam i c one , as language use is s i tuated wi th in the " p rocess of an /43 ongo ing in te rac t ion " (p. 7 ) . We cannot separa te an ut terance f rom its response . T a k e n out of con tex t , it loses its capac i ty to convey its o r i g i na l—s i tua t ed—mean ing . The t e rm " d i s c o u r s e " recurs t ime and aga in in academic l i terature , ye t concre te def in i t ions are not easy to f ind . We can begin with a genera l concept of d i scourse as " a cer ta in type of t a l k " wh ich is used in and character is t ic of spec i f ic soc ia l s i tua t ions or socia l con tex ts . This broad def in i t ion encompasses the choice of words wh ich m a y be used , the ways in which people are addressed and posi t ion themse l ves in re lat ion to one another , the type of g rammat i ca l const ruct ions and l inguist ic s t ruc tures wh i ch are c o m m o n l y u sed , the appropr ia te non-verbal aspects of c o mm u n i c a t i o n in that s i tua t ion , etc. In other words , d iscourse inc ludes the re lat ionship between the speake r s , who m a y speak , what may be sa id , and how it may be sa id (both verba l l y or non-verba l l y ) . Whi le a spec i f ic text may be representat ive examp le of a certa in d i scourse , the d i scourse i tself is a resource f rom wh ich part ic ipants draw as they interact wi th one another . 2.2 Discourse, texts, and social practices Jay Lemke points out that the t e rm " d i s c o u r s e " is a " r a the r protean concep t " wh ich can be used to " re fe r to a genera l p h e n o m e n o n , the fact that we c o m m u n i c a t e wi th language and other s ymbo l i c s y s t ems , or to part icu lar k inds of th ings we say (e .g . the d iscourse of love, or the d iscourse of polit ical sc ience) ( L emke , 1 9 9 5 , p. 6 ) . L emke uses the t e rm social semiotics as a " r e m i n d e r that all mean ings are made wi th in commun i t i e s and that the ana lys is of mean ing should not be separa ted f rom the soc i a l , h i s tor i ca l , cu l tura l and polit ical d imens ions of these c o m m u n i t i e s " ( L emke , 1 9 9 5 , p. 9 ) . Th is t e rm reminds us that any d iscourse is pr imar i ly a vehic le for mak ing m e a n i n g , and that this is a socia l ly s i tuated enterpr ise . Mean ing-mak ing , the re fo re , is above a l l , a "social practice in a c o m m u n i t y , and its occurrence is part of what binds the c o m m u n i t y toge ther and helps to const i tute it as a c o m m u n i t y . " At the s a m e t i m e , a c o m m u n i t y can be s e e n , " no t as a sys t em of interact ing ind iv idua ls , but as a s y s t em of in te rdependent soc ia l pract ices : a s y s t em of do ings , rather than a sys t em of d o e r s " ( L emke , 1 9 9 5 , p. 9 ) . Lemke ' s v i ew is of interest to us, as this s tudy is concerned wi th the socia l pract ices in a part icu lar c o m m u n i t y of l earners ; however , it is not the " s y s t e m of d o i n g s " wh i ch is our p r imary focus in this s tudy. We are concerned with how the ind iv idua ls are soc ia l ized into and adopt the socia l pract ices of this c o m m u n i t y and the d iverse ways in wh i ch they posi t ion and identify themse l ves as indiv iduals in relat ion to these socia l pract ices . D iscourse is soc ia l ly s i tua ted , and socia l context governs the "wha t , w h e n , and w h o " can speak in that part icu lar context . For e x a m p l e , we recogn ize c l a s s room d iscourse as di f ferent f rom the d iscourse used at the fami ly d inner tab le , a l t hough , as /44 researchers such as E leanor Ochs (1992) and Sh i r ley Brice Heath (1998) have po inted out , the d iscourses emp loyed in seeming l y eve ryday s i tuat ions soc ia l ize ch i ld ren in par t i cu lar ways of speak ing and prepare t h e m for part ic ipat ion in c l a s s room d i s course . Spec i f ic d iscourses have been c losely examined by researchers in order to unders tand the soc ia l pract ices in which they are used , the prescr ibed ways in par t i c ipants in a part icu lar socia l s i tuat ion or socia l context interact wi th one another and the purposes of the d iscourse they emp loy (mak ing a t ransact ion in a s tore , te l l ing a story to a g roup of ch i ld ren , persuad ing a ju ry ) . Soc ia l prac t i ces may be broadly def ined as soc ia l l y sanct ioned or appropr ia te ways of doing th ings in part icu lar socia l contexts or s i tua t ions . T ransac t ions in grocery s tores , expens i ve bout iques , and on p laygrounds are pe r fo rmed as soc ia l pract ices in which the part ic ipants know who can speak , what can be s a i d , and how it can be said in that part icu lar s i tua t ion . John Paul Gee f rames tex ts , d i scourse , and socia l pract ices in t e rms of l i teracy, or the abi l i ty to read someth ing with unde rs tand ing : A text of a certa in type is read in a certa in way and requires d i f ferent background knowledge and ski l ls to be read wi th unders tand ing . . . . The abi l i ty to read in a certa in way is embedded in (apprent iced as a m e m b e r of) a social practice "whe re i n people not only read texts of this type in this way but a lso talk about such tex ts in cer ta in ways , hold certain attitudes and values about t h e m , and socially interact over them in certa in w a y s " ( 1996 , pp. 2-3). Gee emphas i zes that " t ex t s are parts of lived, talked, enacted, value-and-belief-laden practices carr ied out in speci f ic places and at speci f ic t i m e s " (p. 3) . Tex t s cannot be separa ted f rom the " l i v ing social prac t i ces " in wh ich " t hey are acqu i red and in wh i ch they are a lways e m b e d d e d " (p. 3) . D is t inguish ing between " d i s c o u r s e " as " a s t re tch of spoken or wr i t ten l anguage ' or ' l anguage in use ' " (p. 3) and " a re lated set of soc ia l p rac t i ces " wh ich " cons t i tu te a D i scourse , " wh ich encompasses " w a y s of t a l k i n g , l i s ten ing , r ead ing , w r i t i ng , ac t ing , in terac t ing , be l iev ing , va lu ing and us ing tools and objec ts , in part icu lar set t ings and at speci f ic t imes , so as to d isp lay or to recogn ize a par t i cu lar soc ia l ident i t y " (p. 10) . For e x a m p l e , the related socia l pract ices invo lved in law school const i tute the Discourse of the law, and Law schoo l teachers and s tudents enact speci f ic soc ia l ident i t ies or ' soc ia l pos i t ions ' in the Discourse of law schoo l . The Discourse creates socia l pos i t ions (or perspect ives ) f rom which people are ' i nv i t ed ' ( ' summoned ' ) to speak , l i s ten , act , read and wr i te , th ink , fee l , bel ieve and va lue in cer ta in charac ter i s t i c , h is tor ica l ly recognizab le ways (p. 10) . L ike Fa i r c lough , Gee is pr imar i l y interested in the ways in wh i ch par t i cu la r D i s courses opera te in produc ing "new kinds of learners , s tudents , c i t i zens , leaders , and w o r k e r s " wh ich are "be ing created as we speak by the new c a p i t a l i s m " (p. 11) / 4 5 2.3 Social practices, education, and academic genre A great deal of research has been done on socia l pract ices in the context of educa t ion . Researchers are interested in how certa in types of d i scourse or "d i s cu r s i ve ac t i v i t y , " as Gee and Green t e rm it, and the "pa t t e rns of p rac t i ce " in wh ich they are used " s i m u l t a n e o u s l y suppor t and cons t r a i n " s tudents ' access to a cademic content (p. 119 ) . Gee and Green f rame d iscourse as a process , and contend that th rough an unders tand ing of d i scourse processes , we can div ine the ways in which d iscourse and d i scourse pract ices " shape what counts as k n o w i n g " (p. 120) . Mary Sch leppegre l l ' s research on the l inguist ic features of the language of schoo l ing ana l yzes the register (both oral and wr i t ten) of language used in c l a s s rooms . Draw ing her def in i t ion f rom a Hal l idayan funct ional l inguist ic mode l , Sch leppegre l l ident i f ies a reg is ter as " the conste l la t ion of lexica l and g rammat i c a l features that cha rac te r i zes par t icu lar uses of language (Hal l iday & Hasan , 1 9 8 9 ; Mar t in , 1992 , c i ted in S ch l eppegre l l , 2 0 0 1 , p. 431-432 ) . Registers va ry because "wha t we do wi th language var ies f rom context to con tex t " and " the choice of di f ferent lexical and g rammat i ca l opt ions is re lated to the funct iona l pu rposes " of language used in context . Tex ts (whether oral or wr i t ten) produced " f o r di f ferent purposes in different contexts have di f ferent fea tures . For any part icu lar text t ype , these features can be descr ibed in te rms of the lexica l and g rammat i c a l features and the organ izat iona l s t ructure found in that text t y p e " ( Sch leppegre l l , 2 0 0 1 , p. 4 3 2 ) . These features are the textua l rea l izat ions of the par t i cu lar contex t in wh ich the language is used . 2.4 Text types and genres All contex ts , f rom bus iness off ices to k indergar ten c l a ss rooms to hosp i ta l s , have part icu lar text t ypes assoc ia ted with t hem which reflect the context in wh ich they are produced and used . Th is s tudy is part icular ly concerned wi th the text t ypes character i s t i c of a cademic contexts , text types which are " ins tan t i a ted th rough g r ammat i c a l features that are c o m m o n to school-based uses of l anguage and reflect the purposes for which language is typ ica l ly used in s choo l i ng . " These " t e x t t y p e s " a re often t e rmed genres , and each genre " h a s its own reg is ter f ea tu res " (p. 432 ) depend ing on the context in which it is used . It should be noted that the not ion of genre is used to ta lk about genera l text t ypes (newspaper ar t ic les , poems , a cademic essays ) wh i ch have cer ta in fea tures , but is a lso used to d is t inguish between text t ypes that are found in a s imi la r contex t and are used for a s imi la r purpose (e.g. an a rgumen ta t i v e a cademic essay vs a process essay ) . Genres a lso differ between d isc ip l ines . The conven t ions gove rn ing publ ished art ic les in the human i t i es , socia l sc iences , and phys ica l and 746 biological sc iences va ry great ly , yet all are encompassed by the g lobal t e rm " a c a d e m i c gen re . " As this s tudy is pr imar i ly concerned with academic genre , we shou ld also note that the t e r m " a c a d e m i c gen re " is a lso used to encompass all the features of wr i t ing found in fo rma l a cademic se t t ings , f rom s tudent essays to publ ished art ic les in j ou rna l s . A great deal of recent research has been done to compare the s imi lar i t ies and d i f ferences between texts produced by profess ional a cademic and graduate s tudents in d i f ferent d isc ip l ines , and by s tudents and profess ional academics in the s a m e d isc ip l ine in o rder to ident i fy spec i f i c features of a cademic texts wh ich can be t aught to unde rg radua te s tudents . The f r amework of " g e n r e " broadens the not ion of " t ex t t y p e " to inc lude the soc ia l purposes for wh ich language may be used in part icu lar socia l or cu l tura l con tex ts . The not ion of genre is useful for ana lys i s , there fore , because it enab les us to ident i fy how a text is s t ruc tured to ach ieve its purpose and specif ic l anguage features or t ex tua l e l ements wh ich can be used to convey the kind of in format ion or content appropr ia te to the genre to m e m b e r s of the comm u n i t y which produces and emp loys the genre . Genre knowledge is therefore intr insic to the " conceptua l tool kit of profess iona l a c a d e m i c s " whose tex ts mus t d isp lay the " too ls of the i r t r ade , " whe the r the socia l sc ient is t ' s abi l i ty to stat is t ica l ly ana l yze results and demons t ra te the i r re levance , the h is tor ian 's abi l i ty to syn thes ize in format ion f rom arch ives , or the sc ient ist 's abi l i ty to interpret p ic tures t aken wi th an e lectron mic roscope . Profess ional academics draw upon genre knowledge to demons t r a t e the i r fami l ia r i ty with the research and theoret ica l f r ameworks in the i r f ie ld , and " c rea te an appropr ia te rhetor ica l and conceptua l con t ex t " in wh ich to s i tuate the i r research methodo logy and knowledge c la ims (Berkenkot te r & H u c k i n , 1 9 9 5 , p. 13 . Sch leppegre l l ' s research identif ies ways in which even the mos t s eem ing l y innocuous tasks such as " sha r i ng t i m e " in k indergar ten and e l ementa r y schoo ls ask ch i ld ren to " adop t a s tance that presents t hem as exper ts who can prov ide in format ion that is s t ruc tured in convent iona l w a y s " (p. 433 ) so that " r e sea r che rs , t eachers , and s tudents have more spec i f ic knowledge about what is va lued in school-based t e x t s " (p. 4 3 5 ) . Ident i fy ing " convent iona l i zed patterns of d iscourse that are created by speake r s/ wr i ters in response to the di f ferent contexts in which they f ind t h e m s e l v e s " ident i f ies , in t u rn , the ways in wh ich l inguist ic and g rammat i ca l choices " e v o k e for the par t i c ipants cer ta in socia l mean ings that the language itself helps ins tant ia te . " Ana l ys i s of the d iscourse used in specif ic con tex ts , there fore , enables us to unders tand how regis ters /47 operate to convey and inculcate part icular " soc ia l m e a n i n g s " (p. 4 3 6 ) , a process wh i ch occurs cont inua l l y w i thout our consc ious awareness . Ana l ys i s of a c adem i c d iscourse se rves a s im i l a r purpose wh i le at the s a m e t ime it enab les us to better unders tand how knowledge is const ruc ted and va l ida ted f rom a d isc ip l inary rather than a c l ass room perspect ive . The d iscourse (s ) of a c adem i c wr i t ing have a lso a t t racted increas ing at tent ion as "d i sc ip l inary d iscourse is cons idered to be a r ich source of in format ion about the socia l pract ices of a c a d e m i c s " and "g i ve exp ress ion to the mean ings and va lues " of a cademic d isc ip l ines and inst i tut ions , thereby revea l ing " h o w knowledge is cons t ruc ted , negot iated and made pe r suas i ve " (Hy l and , 2 0 0 0 , p. 2-3). A c a d e m i c tex ts do not s imp ly reflect the current interests and a rgumen t s of a c adem i c s wi th in va r ious d isc ip l ines but instant iate the ways in which researchers and theor i s ts v iew the wor ld and construct know ledge : what p rob lems are most re levant to t h e m ; how prob lems are f r a m e d ; and how current research can be s i tuated in re lat ion to prev ious research , theoret ica l f r ameworks , and re levant author i t ies . Wr i t ing , whe ther it is research proposa l s , grant app l i ca t ions , scholar ly ar t ic les , t ex tbooks , books , book rev iews , reference let ters , conference papers , peer rev iews, or research notes , ema i l s , eva lua t ions , handouts , or s tudy gu ides (handouts or in ternet-based) , is the mos t impor tan t work academics do . However , a research proposa l and the scho la r l y art ic le based on the research will take a much dif ferent f o r m , jus t as a d i scuss ion of the research in an in formal emai l looks very di f ferent f rom the way it is p resented in a t ex tbook mean t for an undergraduate course . Academ i c d isc ip l ines are def ined both by content and by the way in which they choose to convey it: . . . it is how they write rather than s imp ly what they wr i te that m a k e s the cruc ia l d i f ference . . . A m o n g the th ings we see are di f ferent appea l s to backg round know ledge , di f ferent means of es tab l i sh ing t ru th , and dif ferent ways of engag ing wi th readers . Scho lar l y d iscourse is not un i form and mono l i th i c , d i f ferent ia ted mere l y by spec ia l i s t topics and vocabu lar ies . It is an ou t come of a mul t i tude of pract ices and s t ra teg ies , where what counts as conv inc ing a rgument and appropr ia te tone is carefu l ly m a n a g e d for a par t icu lar aud ience . These d i f ferences are a p roduc t then of inst i tut ional and interact ional forces, the result of d iverse socia l pract ices of wr i ters wi th in the i r f ie lds (Hy land , 2 0 0 0 , p. 3) . D i scourse , t hen , can be understood in t e rms of the interact ions poss ib le in a spec i f ic socia l s i tuat ion and/ or socia l space . Spec i f ic d iscourses have been c lose ly e x a m i n e d by researchers in order to unders tand the socia l pract ices wh ich gove rn who can speak , what can be said and how it can be sa id in that part icu lar con tex t , f r om a spec i f ic c l a ss room set t ing to an academic d isc ip l ine to the conven t ions gove rn ing the a cademic register . Ana lys i s of d i scourse , whether local ly s i tua ted , a compa r i son ac ross a cademic d isc ip l ines , or between s tudent texts and publ ished ar t ic les , enab les us to 748 identify how d iscourse and socia l pract ices " shape what counts as k n o w i n g " (Gee & G r e e n , p. 120 ) . Ana l y s i s of a cademic genre has been useful in ident i fy ing features of a c a d e m i c texts in par t icu lar d isc ip l ines to help s tudents (both nat ive speakers and second language speakers ) whose wr i t ing pract ices are often " m a r g i n a l i z e d " by the a c a d e m y if they do not con fo rm to s tandard fo rms (Hy land 2 0 0 0 ; Swa les , 1 9 9 0 ; Lea & S t reet , 1998 ) . By " m a k i n g s tudents aware of how l i teracy pract ices are g rounded in soc ia l s t r u c tu r e s " and help ing s tudents " unpack the requ i rements of the i r d i sc ip l ines , " (Hy land 2 0 0 0 , p. 147 ) , the ins ights ga ined f rom this ana lys is enables s tudents to improve the i r abi l i ty to wr i te in ways acceptab le to academics in the i r f ie ld . Language , text , and socia l context are therefore inextr icab ly re la ted : " t he g r ammat i c a l cho i ces " typ ica l of socia l contexts " re f lect and cons t i tu te " those con tex t s , wh i le , in t u rn , " the g rammat i c a l cho ices , in tu rn , evoke for par t ic ipants cer ta in soc ia l mean ings that the language itself helps ins tant ia te " ( Sch leppegre l l , 2 0 0 1 , p. 4 3 6 ) . Tex t s , whe the r they take l inguist ic , v i sua l , or any other f o r m , are an integral part of th is process . Tex ts are produced and interpreted as part of socia l pract ices , as they " s imu l t aneous l y represent aspects of the wor ld . . . enact soc ia l re lat ions be tween par t i c ipants and the a t t i tudes , des i res , and va lues of par t i c ipants . . . connec t par ts of texts toge ther , and connect texts with the i r s i tuat ional con tex t s " (Ha l l iday , 1 9 7 8 , 1994 cited in Fa i rc lough, 2 0 0 3 , p. 27 ) . Fa i rc lough d is t ingu ishes between three tex tua l mean ings (ac t ion, representa t ion , and ident i f icat ion) whi le Hal l iday f r ames tex ts in t e rms of the i r funct ions ( ideat iona l , in te rpersona l , and tex tua l ) , but both v i ew p roduc ing and interpret ing texts as part of the "p rocess of mean ing-mak ing in socia l e v e n t s " Fa i r c lough , 2 0 0 3 , p. 25 ) . 2.5 Discourse communities and academia Researchers interested in academic d iscourse of ten use the f r amework of "d i s cou r se c o m m u n i t y " to descr ibe academic d isc ip l ines in (Swales , 1 9 9 0 ; B a z e r m a n , 1 9 9 4 ; Woodward-Kron , 2 0 0 4 ) . Th is f r amework " fo regrounds the l inguist ic and tex tua l d imens ions of d isc ip l inary know l edge , " encompass ing shared uses of l anguage , knowledge d o m a i n , and f r ameworks used to interpret exper ience and const ruc t what counts as research . The te rm "d i scourse c o m m u n i t y " is often used to descr ibe commun i t i e s in which certa in d iscourses are used between m e m b e r s , soc ia l iz ing t hem into shared va lues , no rms , and convent ions . Within the d iscourse c o m m u n i t y , the d iscourse const i tu tes and reif ies socia l real i ty, as m e m b e r s const ruc t and reconst ruc t the i r unders tand ing of the wor ld . Such commun i t i e s , there fore , are know ledge-mak ing /49 commun i t i e s as "d i s cou rse , commun i ca t i v e convent ions , and socia l interact ional pa t t e rns " shared by m e m b e r s " re f lect and susta in the i r shared or ienta t ions to know l edge " (Canagara j ah , 2 0 0 2 , p. 163) . Sha red d iscourse is the centra l focus of any d iscourse c o m m u n i t y , and its "pa r t i c ipa to ry m e c h a n i s m s " are pr imar i ly l i teracy pract ices of some kind (Swa les , 1 9 9 0 , p. 2 4 - 2 7 ; I van ic , 1 9 9 8 , p. 79) pr imar i ly tho rough wr i t ten d iscourse cha rac te r i zed by norms and convent ions shared by the c o m m u n i t y m e m b e r s . In a cademic d iscourse c o m m u n i t i e s , such pract ices may range f rom wr i t ing , rev iew ing , or peer rev iewing journa l ar t ic les to wr i t i ng , prov id ing tutor ing and rev is ion or mark ing and annota t ing s tudent essays . The m e m b e r s of profess ional academic commun i t i e s and s tuden ts are pr imar i l y aff i l iated with other profess iona ls , but they a lso share a c o m m o n aff i l iat ion th rough the broader academic d iscourse commun i t i e s as they read each other ' s t ex ts and sha re c o m m o n no rms and convent ions . S tud ies of a cademic genre include ana lys is of the l inguist ic resources used by profess ional a cademic wr i ters to "negot ia te with prior texts and persuade the c o m m u n i t y to a c c o m m o d a t e new and possib ly conf l ict ing c l a i m s " (Woodward-Kron , 2 0 0 4 , sec t ion 2.1 para 1). Compara t i v e s tudies have also been under taken in order to ident i fy the di f ferences between s tudent wr i t ing and wr i t ing found in scholar ly a cademic j ou rna l s in order to identify d iscourse marke rs which reflect encu l tura t ion into the d i scourse c o m m u n i t y (Hy l and , 2 0 0 0 ; Cand l in and P lum, 1 9 9 9 ; Woodward-Kron , 2 0 0 4 ) and to better unders tand the ways in which specif ic d iscourse commun i t i e s cons t ruc t know ledge . As Roz Ivanic points out , " l i t t le ment ion is made of the spoken d i scourse in a cademic d iscourse c o m m u n i t i e s " or of " the interplay between spoken and w r i t t en " ( Ivanic , 1 9 9 8 , p. 80 ) . It is impor tant to note that d iscourse pract ices in academic c o m m u n i t i e s are both spoken and wr i t ten . Ivanic is interested this d is t inct ion with regard to cu l tura l d i f ferences in a cademic d iscourse commun i t i e s and their pract ices , but I wou ld add that the increas ing use of e lect ronic m e d i a , whether ema i l c o m m u n i c a t i o n , the large n u m b e r of onl ine j ou rna l s with va ry ing fo rmats , increased rel iance on the internet for resea rch , or the inc lus ion of bul let in boards and other onl ine fo rms of learn ing have a lso c reated new d iscourse pract ices and blurred the line between formal a cademic wr i t ten reg is ter and a the more in formal spoken register character is t ic of many onl ine documen t s and onl ine com m un i c a t i o n in academic tex ts . 2.6 Discourse and social practices in the context of this study My ana lys i s begins wi th the genera l pract ices that charac ter ized the par t i cu lar group of s tudents in the part icu lar course s tud ied and a t tempts to relate those to the /50 character is t i c d iscourse used in this speci f ic context in order to unders tand how s tudents engaged wi th one another and with the texts they s tud ied . As one aspect of th is s tudy is a deta i led ana lys is of the g rammat i ca l features of the l anguage used by the inst ructors in the on-l ine mater ia l s deve loped for the webs i te and the on-line s tudent posts , it is a lso impor tan t to d is t ingu ish between the g rammat i ca l s t ructures and the d iscourse func t ions they may per form in this part icu lar s i tuat ional context G rammat i c a l funct ion and d iscourse funct ion are di f ferent yet re la ted . As S u z a n n e Eggins and Diana S lade (1997) point out , " the g r ammat i c a l fo rm ' i n te r roga t i ve ' and the d iscourse funct ion ' ques t i on ' " are obv ious ly related as are " the g r a m m a t i c a l fo rm ' impe ra t i v e ' and the d iscourse funct ion ' c o m m a n d ' " (p. 178-179) . However , s im i l a r f o rms m a y se rve d i f ferent purposes depend ing on the d i scourse con tex t , j u s t as d i f ferent f o rms m a y se rve s imi la r purposes , and we need to v iew d ia logue in two w a y s : F rom the point of v iew of g r a m m a r . . . and f rom the point of v iew of d i scourse . . . The f irst te l ls us pr imar i l y about the l inguist ic r ights and pr iv i leges of soc ia l ro les . . . the second tel ls us pr imar i ly how, whi le enact ing those socia l ro les, par t i c ipants are cons tant l y negot iat ing re lat ionships of sol idar i ty and in t imacy (p. 179) 2.7 Learning, participation, and social practices My ana lys i s of the re lat ionship between tex ts , socia l pract ices , and d i scourse a lso draws upon the work of Lave and Wenger (1994) and Wenger (1998 ) . In his book " C o m m u n i t i e s of P rac t i ce , " Et ienne Wenger (1998 ) proposes a soc ia l theory of l ea rn ing wh ich deve lops the theory of " l eg i t imate per iphera l pa r t i c ipa t ion " f irst put forward in Lave and Wenger ' s (1994) " S i tua ted l ea rn ing : Legi t imate per iphera l pa r t i c ipa t i on . " D i s t ingu ish ing between " l e a r n i n g " and " in tent iona l i n s t ruc t i on " (Lave and Wenger , 1 9 9 4 , p. 4 0 ) , Lave and Wenger examined e thnograph ic s tud ies of appren t i cesh ip to see what " m i g h t cont r ibute to a genera l theory of l e a rn ing " (Wenger , 1 9 9 8 , p. 11 ) . They b roadened the not ion of apprent i cesh ip f rom the t rad i t iona l one of mas te r/ t ra inee to a not ion of " chang ing part ic ipat ion and ident i ty t rans fo rmat ion in a c o m m u n i t y of p rac t i ce , " theor iz ing that it is th rough member sh ip in a c o m m u n i t y and act ive par t ic ipat ion in its socia l pract ices or c o m m u n a l enterpr ises that learners g radua l l y acqui re the sk i l ls and concepts they need in order to part ic ipate ful ly in that c o m m u n i t y . Learn ing is conceptua l ized as a t ra jectory of increas ing part ic ipat ion in a c o m m u n i t y of pract ice rather than as the mas te ry of a set cu r r i cu lum, and learners as move f rom " p e r i p h e r a l " or part ia l part ic ipat ion to full part ic ipat ion in the c o m m u n i t y , they acqu i re compe tency . Wenger (1998) built on his and Lave's prev ious work by carefu l ly def in ing theoret ica l const ructs such as " p r a c t i c e , " " m e a n i n g , " " c o m m u n i t y , " " l e a r n i n g , " " i d e n t i t y , " and " pa r t i c i pa t i on " in relat ion to a socia l theory of l earn ing . He proposed a mode l of /5l learning as an apprent i cesh ip th rough mutua l engagemen t in jo in t enterpr i ses in a " c o m m u n i t y of p rac t i ce . " As Wenger expressed it, " k n o w i n g is a mat te r of par t i c ipat ing . . . o f ac t ive e n g a g e m e n t in the w o r l d " and therefore " m e a n i n g - the ab i l i ty to expe r i ence the wor ld and our engagemen t with it as mean ingfu l - is u l t imate ly what learn ing is to p rod uce " (p. 4 ) . Wenger ' s not ion of socia l pract ice, wh ich he def ines as " the product ion and reproduct ion of speci f ic ways of engag ing with the w o r l d , " resonates wi th the repeated way in wh ich part ic ipants in this s tudy f ramed l ea rn ing : " engag ing wi th the t e x t " ; or " engag ing with other s tuden t s . " Wenge r emphas i zes that " the concept of pract ice h ighl ights the soc ia l and negot ia ted charac te r of both the expl ic i t [ things we are expl ic i t ly taught ] and the tacit [va lues , a s sumpt ions , and beliefs which shape pract ices] in our l i ves" (p. 4 7 ) . Pract ices may be repea ted , yet they are not s tat ic : every t ime we part ic ipate in a pract ice we have par t ic ipated in before, whether it is wr i t ing an a rgumenta t i ve essay or go ing to lunch wi th co l l eagues , "we produce aga in a new s i tua t ion , an impress ion , an expe r i ence : we produce mean ings that ex t end , redirect , d i smiss , re interpret , modi fy or con f i rm—in a w o r d , negot ia te anew—the histor ies of mean ings of wh ich they a re a pa r t " (p. 52-53 ) . As Wenge r env is ions it, negot iat ion of mean ing " i s the process th rough wh i ch we exper i ence the wor ld and our engagemen t in it as m e a n i n g f u l " ; there fore , " h u m a n e n g a g e m e n t in the wor ld is f irst and fo remost a process of negot ia t ing mean ing (p. 53 ) . Our engagemen t in the wor ld and the ways in which we negot ia te mean ing are const i tu ted by language wi th in the "p rocess of an ongo ing in te rac t ion " (Taylor , 2 0 0 1 , p. 7) . 'We are in constant d ia logue with ourse lves and with o thers , a d ia logue wh i ch invo lves both in terpreta t ion and ac t ion . As Wenger env is ions i t : . . . th is perspect ive does not imply a fundamenta l d is t inct ion be tween in terpret ing and ac t i ng , do ing and th ink ing , or unders tand ing and respond ing . Al l are part of the ongo ing process of negot iat ing mean ing . . . mean ing ex is ts in this process of negot ia t ion (p. 54) Whe the r " i n a p layground c l ique or a work t e a m , " our "pa r t i c ipa t ion shapes not on ly what we do , but a lso who we are and how we interpret what we d o " (p. 4 ) , and part ic ipat ion in socia l pract ices which " e n c o m p a s s shared histor ical and socia l resources , f r ameworks , and pe rspec t i ves " and foster " m u t u a l engagemen t in a c t i o n " or " sus t a i ned pursu i t of a shared en te rp r i se " (p. 45) results in the creat ion of a c o m m u n i t y . A c o m m u n i t y may be " a group of office workers engaged in the s a m e task who learn f rom one ano the r and create a col lect ive a p p r o a c h " or " a g roup of s tuden ts engaged in learn ing tasks who deve lop shared prac t i ces " (p. ) in wh ich mean ing is cons tan t l y negot ia ted . /52 Wenger observes that " teachers talk about s tudents ga in ing ownersh ip of the ma te r i a l , and by this they refer to the i r ach iev ing not only per functory mas te r y but persona l mean ing as w e l l . " Const ruc t ion and negot ia t ing of m e a n i n g , there fore , is bound up wi th ident i ty . Through par t ic ipat ion, engagemen t , const ruc t ion of persona l mean ing and negot ia t ion of mean ings through interpretat ion and ac t ion , mean ings " b e c o m e part of who we a r e " (p. 2 0 1 ) : There fo re , to know in pract ice is to have a cer ta in ident i ty so that in format ion ga ins the coherence of a fo rm of par t ic ipat ion, (p. 220 ) . A l though Wenger ' s s tudy was done in the context of a large corpora t ion rather than in a fo rma l educat iona l se t t ing and he m a k e s l itt le re ference learn ing and know ledge in a cademic con tex ts , he does ment ion the potent ia l of onl ine env i r onmen t s to fac i l i tate the deve lopmen t of new kinds of learning commun i t i e s : In mak ing in format ion more wide ly ava i lab le , what the techno log ica l advances of a so-cal led in format ion soc iety real ly do is to create wider , more c o m p l e x , and more d ivers i f ied economies of mean ing and commun i t i e s . . . w i th respect to the potent ia l for learn ing commun i t i e s , issues of ident i f icat ion and negot iabi l i ty are then he ightened and t ranscended (p. 220-1) Wenger ' s v iew of learning revolves a round the not ion of e n g a g e m e n t , and there fore is exp lored in greater detai l in relat ion to the not ion of e n g a g e m e n t as f r amed by par t i c ipants in this s tudy . I ssues of ident i ty are centra l to th is f r amework , as we internal ize negot iated and constructed mean ings so that they become part of who we are. In her s tudy of the exper ience of mature s tudents , ident i ty , and a cadem i c w r i t i ng , Roz Ivanic (1998) focused on issues of ident i ty in relat ion to the act of wr i t i ng . In her v iew, there are " three ways of th ink ing about the ident i ty of a person in the act of w r i t i n g " ( Ivanic, 1998 , p. 24 ) . She d is t inguishes between the ' au tob iograph ica l self , ' or a wr i ter 's pe rsona l , subject ive sense of ident i ty in formed both by the even ts in wh i ch the wr i ter has exper ienced and by how the wr i ter has represented t hem to h im or herse l f ; the 'd i scoursa l self , ' or the 'se l f as au thor , ' the ' s e l f const ruc ted th rough the d i scourse character is t i cs of a text and conveyed th rough wr i t i ng ; and the 'se l f as au thor , ' or the wr i ter 's pos i t ion , op in ions , and beliefs ( Ivanic, 1 9 9 8 , pp. 24-26) . Th is self is concerned wi th es tab l i sh ing an author ia l ' vo ice ' or an author i ta t ive s tance the wr i ter es tab l i shes . Th is aspect of the self is part icular ly s igni f icant in re lat ion to a cademic wr i t i ng , as "wr i t e r s dif fer cons iderab ly in how far they c la im author i ty as the source of the con t en t " and " h o w far they es tab l i sh an author ia l presence in the i r w r i t i n g " ( Ivanic, 1 9 9 8 , p. 26 ) . The author ia l self is part icular ly prob lemat i c for newcomers to an academic d isc ip l ine , in / 53 which they mus t negot iate between the i r personal op in ions , bel iefs , and va lues and those of the es tab l i shed exper ts in the i r f ie ld . There fore , the author ia l self in any fo rm of a cademic wr i t ing tel ls us the k ind of " au thor i t y that the s tudent feels she can lay c l a im t o " (Lea, 1 9 9 9 , p. 108) . In my ana lys i s of the evo lv ing socia l pract ices in this on-line c o m m u n i t y , I d rew upon Lave and Wenger ' s (1994) concept of " l eg i t imate per iphera l pa r t i c ipa t ion " and Wenger ' s (1998 ) mode l of learn ing as an apprent i cesh ip th rough mutua l e n g a g e m e n t in j o in t enterpr i ses in a " c o m m u n i t y of prac t i ce . " Lave and Wenger c lear ly d i s t ingu ish be tween " l e a r n i n g " and " in tent iona l i ns t ruc t ion " (Lave and Wenger , 1994 , p. 4 0 ) . The i r mode l is not based on a t r ansmiss ion mode l of learning but on a v iew of learn ing as a soc ia l act iv i ty . Th rough m e m b e r s h i p in a c o mm u n i t y and act ive part ic ipat ion in its soc ia l pract ices or c o m m u n a l enterpr i ses , learners gradua l l y acqui re the sk i l ls and concepts they need in order to part ic ipate fu l ly , mov ing f rom " p e r i p h e r a l " or part ia l par t ic ipat ion to full part ic ipat ion in the c o m m u n i t y . Learning is conceptua l ized as a t ra jectory of increas ing part ic ipat ion in a comm u n i t y of pract ice rather than as the mas te r y of a set cu r r i cu l um. Lave and Wenger ' s v i ew is re i terated by Prior 's a r g u m e n t tha t " k n o w l e d g e const ruc t ion and commun i ca t i on are ach ieved by engagemen t , par t i c ipa t ion , and pe r fo rmance , not by de tached learning of abst ract ru l es " (c i ted in Pa l t r idge, 2 0 0 4 , p. 87 ) . I a lso drew on Ivanic 's f r amework , one in which wr i ters negot ia te between d ive rse and often conf l ic t ing posi t ions as they appropr ia te academic d iscourse and a t t empt to integrate d isc ip l inary knowledge and fo rmats into the d i scourses wh ich compr i se the i r au tob iograph ica l se lves th rough the act of wr i t ing . The c o m m u n i t y presented here can be charac ter ized as an a cadem i c d i scourse c o m m u n i t y whose pract ices revolve a round reading and wr i t ing a cademic prose t ex ts . Th rough mutua l engagement in onl ine d iscuss ion of mode l t ex t s , par t i c ipat ion in face-to-face d i s cuss ion , and wr i t ing essays and e x a m s , the s tudents are be ing appren t i ced into the pract ice of wr i t ing a rgumenta t i ve academic essays . Th is pract ice e n c o m p a s s e s m a n y speci f ic pract ices , inc luding identi fy ing key t e rms , s tat ing an a rgumen t , incorpora t ing tex tua l ev idence to suppor t an a rgument , and c lear ly war rant ing the ev idence , as wel l as knowledge of fo rma l essay s t ruc ture , acknowledg ing and incorporat ing sources , a cademic c i ta t ion , etc. A l though didact ic mater ia ls and mode ls are presented on the course webs i te , these are s t ructured to engage s tudents rather than present abst rac t concep ts , and the mos t impor tan t learn ing act iv i ty is compos ing and answer ing on l ine pos t ings . As the major i ty of s tudents in this course were in the i r f irst or second yea r of fo rma l un ivers i ty educa t ion , they were " n o v i c e s " in t e rms of part ic ipat ing in this a c adem i c /54 discourse c o m m u n i t y , where many encountered new and s o m e t i m e s unfami l i a r l i teracy pract ices and ways of knowing and confronted new ideas, an unfami l i a r a c adem i c d isc ip l ine , and d iverse and often conf l ic t ing v iews. Th is was conf i rmed in the s tudent in terv iews , where many s tudents , who had been good s tudents in h igh s choo l , exp ressed the i r f rust ra t ion at the diff icult ies they had exper ienced in unders tand ing and mee t ing the expec ta t ions of the i r un ivers i ty professors . Enter ing a univers i ty or col lege requi res ad jus tmen t to a new env i ronment , new ways of th ink ing , and di f ferent expec ta t i ons : [L jearn ing in h igher educat ion involves adapt ing to new ways of k n o w i n g : new ways of unde r s t and ing , interpret ing and organ is ing knowledge . A c a d e m i c l i terary pract i ces—reading and wr i t ing wi th in d isc ip l ines—const i tute centra l p rocesses th rough which s tudents learn new subjects and deve lop the i r knowledge about new areas of s tudy . (Lea & St reet , 1998 , p. 158) S tudents in this course acqui re the knowledge of and abi l i ty to use a rgumen ta t i v e rhetor ica l s t rategies by part ic ipat ing in a rgumenta t i ve d iscourse th rough on-l ine in terac t ion . They are gu ided through the process by the webs i te , wh ich prov ides mode l s for ways to approach the mode l texts as wel l as th rough face-to-face d i s cuss ion . On-l ine interact ion is s t ruc tured to prov ide s tudents wi th oppor tun i t ies to use the rhetor ica l s t ra teg ies in di f ferent fo rms of a rgumenta t i ve d iscourse exempl i f i ed in the t ex ts . The webs i te itself does not present a rgumenta t i ve s t rategies as a set of " abs t rac t ru l e s , " but presents the in format ion as interact ive ly as poss ib le in order engage the s tuden ts and ac t i ve ly invo lve t h e m in l ea rn ing . Th rough gu ided ana lys i s of the mate r i a l on the webs i te , par t ic ipat ion in face-to-face d iscuss ion and act ive ly contr ibut ing to on-line d i s cuss ions , s tudents are engaged in what Lave and Wenger te rm " leg i t imate per iphera l pa r t i c ipa t ion , " modi f ied fo rms of part ic ipat ion though which m e m b e r s of a c o m m u n i t y are ini t iated into its pract ices . The per iphera l posi t ion occup ied by learners who are not yet able to ful ly part ic ipate in the pract ices of the c o m m u n i t y "p rov ides an app rox ima t i on of full par t ic ipat ion and gives exposure to actual pract ice" (Wenger , 1 9 9 8 , p. 100 ) , j u s t as part ic ipat ion in on-line d iscuss ion and debate prepares s tudents for wr i t ing a rgumenta t i v e essays and examina t ion ques t ions : . . learning [ . . . ] impl ies becoming able to be involved in new act iv i t ies , to per fo rm new tasks and funct ions , to mas te r new unders tand ings . Ac t i v i t i es , t a sks , func t ions , and unders tand ings do not ex is t in i so la t ion ; they are part of b roader s y s t e m s of re lat ions in wh ich they have mean ing . These s ys t ems of re lat ions ar ise out of and are reproduced and deve loped wi th in socia l commun i t i e s (Lave and Wenger , 1994 , p. 53 ) . f The course can be v iewed as a c o m m u n i t y of pract ice wi th its own soc ia l pract ices mean t to faci l i tate the abi l i ty to unders tand and emp loy a var ie ty of s t ra teg ies used in /55 wri t ing a rgumenta t i ve texts . Through wr i t ing on-line posts , learners improve the i r abi l i ty to e f fect ive ly a rgue a posi t ion and use textua l ev idence to suppor t a c l a im . Par t ic ipat ion takes the fo rm of soc ia l izat ion into a part icu lar d i scourse . As Lave and Wenge r put it, " i s sues of l anguage . . . may well have more to do with leg i t imacy of par t ic ipat ion and wi th access to per iphera l l y , " i.e. wi th d iscourse soc ia l i za t ion , " t han they do wi th know ledge t r a n s m i s s i o n " (Lave and Wenger , 1 9 9 4 , p. 105 ) . In o rde r to ac t i ve ly part ic ipate in a c o m m u n i t y and be recognized by its m e m b e r s , learners need to acqu i re the d iscourse used by its m e m b e r s . Using language is therefore cruc ia l to pa r t i c ipa t ion ; there fore , a c lose ana lys is of d iscourse emp loyed by m e m b e r s of a c o m m u n i t y of pract ice enab les us to better unders tand what const i tutes knowledge and how learn ing is fac i l i tated in the context of a part icu lar c o m m u n i t y . Th rough part ic ipat ion in this on-line c o m m u n i t y , learners acqui re the d i scourse and s t ra teg ies required to part ic ipate in the broader c o m m u n i t y of a cademic wr i te rs . S tuden ts are encu l tura ted into academic d iscourse , and , in part icu lar the abi l i ty to wr i te in the academic genre of a rgumenta t i on . The socia l pract ices that m e m b e r s of the c o m m u n i t y part ic ipate in and the ways in which they use d iscourse can be ident i f ied in order to e x a m i n e the "p rocesses th rough which wr i ters and speakers acqu i re genre knowledge and what it is that people learn in this process that is needed for the success fu l per fo rmance of the g e n r e " (Pa l t r idge, 2 0 0 4 , p. 8 7 ) . The course can be seen as an e x a m p l e of genre-based pedagogy in which s tudents are engaged in an interact ive learning cyc le in which they acqui re knowledge and unders tand ing of the ta rget genre ( a rgumenta t i ve essays ) and how to apply to the i r own indiv idual texts . Ana l y s i s of the d i scourse revea led that s tudents d rew upon and negot ia ted be tween a va r ie ty of d i scourses and interpret ive f r ameworks dur ing the act of wr i t i ng , in tegrat ing the i r au tob iograph i ca l , author ia l and d iscoursa l se lves in the act of wr i t i ng . 2.8 Analyzing Argument 2.8.1 Toulmin's structure of argument As the focus of this course was on the s tudy of a rgumenta t i v e wr i t ing and the purpose was to deve lop s tudents ' abi l i ty to engage in a rgumenta t i on and e m p l o y the a rgumenta t i v e s t rategies they had stud ied in the i r own wr i t ing , I wil l begin with a brief ana lys i s of a rgumen ta t i on . The c lass ic work on the s t ructure of a r g u m e n t is Tou lm in ' s (1958) "The Uses of A r g u m e n t . " Tou lmin ' s ana lys is d iv ides a r g u m e n t into three in terconnected e l emen t s : Let it be supposed that we make an asser t ion , and c o m m i t ourse lves the reby to the c la im wh ich any asser t ion necessar i ly involves . If th is c l a im is cha l l enged , we mus t be able to estab l ish i t—that is, make it good , and show that it was jus t i f i ab le . . . we /56 shal l normal l y have s o m e facts to which we can point in its suppor t : if the c l a im is cha l l enged , it is up to us to appea l to these facts , and present t h e m as the foundat ion upon wh ich our c l a im is based (p. 97) Tou lm in c lear ly d is t ingu ishes between the " c l a im or conc lus ion whose mer i t s we are seek ing to e s t ab l i sh " and " the facts we appea l to as a foundat ion for the c l a i m — w h a t I shal l refer to as our d a t a " (p 97 ) . In addi t ion to " d a t a " or the facts wh i ch suppor t a c l a i m , a fur ther e l emen t is needed for any conv inc ing a r g u m e n t : in o rde r to " s h o w that , tak ing these data as a s tar t ing point , the step to the or ig ina l c la im is an appropr i a te and leg i t imate o n e , " we need to include what Tou lm in te rms " w a r r a n t s " in order to s h o w that the c l a im and data are logical ly connec ted . Accord ing to T o u l m i n , war ran ts a r e : gene ra l , hypothet ica l s t a tements , wh ich can act as br idges , and author i se the sort of step to wh ich our part icu lar a rgument commi t s us . . . Propos i t ions of th is k ind I shal l call war rants to d is t inguish t hem f rom both conc lus ion and data (p. 98 ) War rants funct ion to leg i t imate the c la im being made on the bas is of the da ta as a war rant " exp l i c i t l y " registers " the leg i t imacy of the step i n vo l v ed " and " re fer [s ] it back to a larger c lass of steps whose leg i t imacy is being p r e s u p p o s e d " (p. 100 ) . Tou lm in was concerned wi th phi losophica l a rgument rather than wi th l i terary tex ts or rhetor ica l s t ra teg ies , but concept of a rgumen t is one which ident i f ies the c o m m o n e l ements in a ma themat i c a l , ph i losophica l , or ju r i sp rudent a r g u m e n t have in c o m m o n and shows how these e l ements are re lated. Th is not ion of a va l id a r g u m e n t as one wh ich suppor ted by ev idence which can be " l e g i t i m a t e d " by a war rant , or an expl i c i t logical connec t ion to the a rgumen t , is a f r amework used in different a cademic d isc ip l ines . A l though the te rmino logy may differ, the s a m e concept is found in a r g u m e n t s m a d e about l i terary tex ts and is fundamenta l to the social pract ices c o m m o n to l i terature c l a s s rooms where s tudents learn to m a k e c la ims about a l i terary tex t and suppor t t h e m wi th c lear ly war ranted textua l ev idence . S imi la r l y , the s tudents in this s tudy demons t ra t ed that they were able to " e n g a g e " wi th texts they read by us ing re levant textua l ev idence to suppor t the i r c l a ims . 2.8.2 Argumentation and literary texts In an e thnograph ic s tudy of a high school Engl ish l i terature c l a s s r o o m , Margare t Early (2003) ident i f ied speci f ic socia l pract ices in a re lated to Tou lm in ' s a r g u m e n t s t ruc ture . The first of the " d o m i n a n t socia l pract ices the s tudents were being soc ia l ized into in this c l a s s r o o m " was " tha t of mak ing a c a se " (para 5) . In the face-to-face d i scuss ion , the instructor used ques t ions very carefu l ly to gu ide the s tudents into fo rmula t ing a rguments . A quest ion l ike " S o , f irst impress ion of /57 these two cha rac te r s ? " asks the s tudents to fo rmula te a hypothes is . Af ter a hypothes i s or c la im has been advanced , the inst ructor then invi tes the s tudents to " s u p p o r t " the " c l a i m " by a ques t ion such as "Wha t makes you say tha t ? " As Ear ly o b s e r v e d , it is th rough the socia l pract ice of gu ided quest ion and answers and the carefu l pat tern ing of responses to fo l low the sequence " c l a i m , " " e v i d e n c e , " and " l i nk , that the s tudents are apprent i ced into knowing what it means to m a k e case when d iscuss ing l i terature, i.e. to form a hypothes is that related a c l a im to a piece of textua l ev idence and to begin to link these var ious pieces to the overa l l thes is s t a tement . Th is pat tern ( c l a im, textua l ev idence , l ink) "was pract iced repeated ly in c l a s s room d i s cuss i ons " (para 5) . When mak ing c la ims or a rguments about l i terary t ex t s , the " d a t a " wh ich " l eg i t ima t e s " the c la im is " t ex tua l e v idence " or a speci f ic c i tat ion f rom the tex t wh ich mus t be demons t r ab l y re levant . C lose at tent ion to l i terary d i scourse is there fore pa ramount . S tudents need to be able to read between the l ines of a text , m a k e connec t ions between dif ferent parts of the text , to unders tand ways in wh ich l anguage can be used to convey content , to make inter textua l mean ings , and open up a tex t to di f ferent readings th rough the use of words which recall o ther words , e voke phys ica l sensa t ions , c reate aud i tory o r v isua l ef fects , etc. No thes is can be war ranted wi thout an aggregate of re levant tex tua l ev idence ach ieved th rough a c lose reading of the text . Th rough c lose ana lys i s of the l inguist ic fo rm of a text , hypotheses can be advanced about the content . There fo re , c lose reading and suppor t ing a c la im through reference to the text are the most impor tan t soc ia l pract ices s tudents learn in a l i terature c l ass room as s tudents are " soc i a l i zed into a l i terary d i scourse c o m m u n i t y " (para 6) . As a l i terary text is a lways open to interpretat ion and re- interpreta t ion , " r e cou rse to textua l ev idence is not the only socia l prac t i ce " in which instructors and s tudents engage in the s tudy of l i terature. In the c l ass room Early obse r ved , the t eache r cont inua l l y i ssued inv i tat ions to the s tudents such as " So . . . how wou ld you react , l ike Ralph or P iggy? . . . " wh ich Early t e rms a "ca l l for a more personal read ing of the tex t , for the pr ivate reading to be made pub l i c " (para 8 ) . Such ques t ions also inv i ted a l te rnate read ings of the text , and made s tudents aware of the d iverse read ings wh ich could be cons t ruc ted . Th rough such quest ions , the instructor encouraged s tudents to respond persona l l y to the text , to ground the i r response in textua l ev idence , and to pay a t tent ion to ways in wh ich the author 's part icu lar use of l anguage engendered the i r sub jec t i ve response to the text . /58 The webs i te in this s tudy uses a s imi la r approach . The d idact ic mater ia l s on the webs i te use a var ie ty of ques t ions and interact ive s t ra teg ies to encourage the s tuden ts to fo rmu la te and share the i r personal responses to the text , wh i le , at the s a m e t i m e , g round ing t h e m in " t ex tua l ev idence . " The mater ia l s a lso focus on the l inguist ic and rhetor ica l s t ra teg ies emp loyed by di f ferent au thors in order to raise s tuden t s ' awa reness of the re la t ionship between fo rm and content and also of the way in wh ich l anguage can be used to p rovoke subjec t i ve , emot iona l responses rather than s imp l y convey factua l i n fo rmat ion . S tudents are encouraged to scrut in ize the i r persona l responses to the tex ts and to m o v e f rom immed i a t e emot iona l response to a more ana ly t i ca l pe rspec t i ve . Early a lso observed that ev idence were not l imited to ev idence f rom the tex t under s tudy but could a lso be ex tended to another " source of au tho r i t y , " such as l i terary c r i t i c i sm. The s tudents were free to suppor t the i r c la ims wi th ev idence f rom " reader-response c r i t i c i sm, histor ical c r i t i c i sm" or new c r i t i c i sm , " but " these c l a ims , howeve r , did not go uncha l l enged , " (para 6). S tudents were cont inua l ly required to demons t r a t e the leg i t imacy of the i r ev idence and to show that it could be c lear ly l inked to the c l a im . All c l a ims were cons idered equa l ly va l id yet equa l ly open to in te r rogat ion . In a l i terature c l a s s room, unl ike a ma themat i c s c l a ss room (at the h igh school leve l , at least ) , there is no "one r ight answe r " or one f ixed in terpretat ion of a text . Read ing and interpretat ion of a l i terary text is a process of cons tant negot ia t ion and re -negot ia t ion of m e a n i n g . The text is const ructed th rough the process of read ing and acqu i res mean ing th rough the reader 's interpretat ion and the exper i ence ( read ing o ther t ex t s , persona l exper i ences , knowledge f rom other doma ins , etc. ) the reader br ings to his or her in terpreta t ion . As Early no ted , in the c lass she obse r ved , the teacher " i n v i t e d " responses rather than prov ided author i ta t ive interpretat ions and re i terated the impor tance of g round ing any response in textua l ev idence by ask ing the s tuden ts to prov ide textua l c i tat ions and to c lear ly demons t ra te the connec t ion be tween the tex tua l ev idence and the i r in terpretat ions or c l a ims . Both the webs i te mater ia l s and the instructors adopted s imi la r approaches in th is course . The course coord ina tor exp la ined that webs i te mater ia l s were de l ibera te ly const ruc ted so as to avo id " avo id . . . spe l l ing every th ing out for s t uden t s . " Ins tead they were intent iona l ly " in te r rogat i ve in na tu re " as poss ib le so that " s tuden t s are not prov ided wi th exhaus t i ve answe r s . " Th is is part of a genera l need to "ge t away f rom undergradua te educat ion that proceeds by. . . memor i za t i on and the i nges t i on " and to deve lop " a k ind of f irst y ea r educa t ion . . . in wh ich s tudents have to do s o m e t h i n g for t h e m s e l v e s . " The coord ina tor felt that this was impera t i ve for real learn ing to take p lace : /59 I th ink there 's a d is t inct ion between learn ing . . . in which s tudents . . are to ld f rom the f ront of the r oom. . . what the answers are . . . and they wr i te d o w n the answers and m e m o r i z e t h e m . . . learning type A . . . on the o ther hand . . . learn ing type B where . . . no answers p rov ided . . . or few answers p rov ided . . . sugges t i ons . . . about ways in which you might approach a text . . . and then the s tuden ts th ink it th rough for themse l ves . . . that 's real ly fundamenta l The coord inator ' s v iews were echoed by the teach ing ass i s tants . One TA felt tha t : the mater ia l on the m ixed-mode web page is ve ry genera t i ve , and that ' s intent ional ly so. . . and I th ink that 's one of the great successes of the course . . . because what it does is it gets the group ta lk ing about the issues rather t h a n , you know, Herr Professor in front of the room say ing you know ' th is is what V i rg in i a Wool f is say ing . . . wri te that d o w n ' The TAs agreed that , as graduate s tudents in Eng l i sh , they all had the i r own interpretat ions of the tex ts read in the course , and the i r own perspect i ves as to wha t aspects of the text were the most important . Yet they act ive ly refra ined f rom tak ing an author i ta t i ve s tance when conduct ing d iscuss ion sect ions . Even when br ing ing up points which they cons idered impor tant , one TA careful ly phrased it as "he re ' s m y in terpreta t ion ' . . . 'here 's someth ing that I've been th ink ing about " . . . in order to avo id the a s s u m p t i o n that hers was " the author i ta t i ve response " because , as she put it , "I th ink , of course , there is none . " Whenever she presented her own in terpreta t ion of a text , she inv i ted the s tudents to add the i r own v iews , whe ther or not they agreed wi th her, a s k i n g : " does anyone want to cr i t ique that . . . does anyone have any th ing to add to t ha t ? " S imi l a r l y , when a s tudent came to one of the TAs for a fu l ler exp lana t ion of why he lost points on an examina t i on ques t ion , the TA chose to d i rect h im back to the reading and to ask ques t ions to help h im d i scover the connec t ion be tween d i f ferent par ts of the text ra ther than to prov ide an author i ta t ive exp lanat ion such as "he re ' s whe re you went w r o n g " or " y o u d idn ' t unders tand what the author was s a y i n g . " He exp la ined that . . . I th ink if I j u s t sa id , you know, you shou ld read it th is way . . . t hey m igh t r e m e m b e r that and they might not. . . but if they can go back. . . and look at it and see how it's be ing put together . . . then they ' l l a lways r e m e m b e r that . . . and they ' l l actua l ly have a better apprec ia t ion for. . . for how texts can work Like the teacher in the c l ass room Early obse r ved , the inst ructors in th is course felt that the i r role was to gu ide the s tudents back to the text rather than impose interpretat ions on it : I th ink that k ind of tends to be the role of the ins t ructor . . . if no one e lse has a l ready brought it back to the text . . . to kind of say okay l ike 'we l l , where ' s s o m e . . what wou ld Mill say about th is? ' . . . 'where 's the textua l ev idence for that? ' . . . /60 By re i terat ing the impor tance of " t ex tua l e v idence , " the inst ructors are in i t iat ing s tudents into the pr imary socia l pract ices in l i terary c l asses : suppor t ing a c l a im us ing ev idence f rom the text and es tab l i sh ing a c lear connec t ion be tween the c la im and the ev idence . The p r imary object ive of course is to engage s tudents in d ia logue , a "pedagog i ca l commun i ca t i v e re l a t ion " (Burbules , 1 9 9 3 , p. x) th rough which s tudents are gu ided to a better unders tand ing of, as the course coord inator phrased it, " h o w an a r g u m e n t can be . . . cons t ruc ted . . . how one can argue a case. . . how a piece of prose works . . . how a piece of non-fict ional prose works . . . rhetor ica l l y . " The course content focuses on " the modes of deve lop ing a r g u m e n t s , " deepen ing s tudents ' unders tand ing of essay s t ruc ture th rough ana lys i s of var ied rhetor ica l s t rategies used in a rgumenta t i ve e s says . T h o u g h ana lys i s of the connect ion between form and content as wel l as on-line exerc i ses in wh i ch s tudents are asked to argue speci f ic po ints , the s tudents make connec t ions be tween theory and pract ice , between rhetor ica l s t rategies in the texts they read in the course and rhetor ica l s t ra teg ies in the texts they encounte r in the i r eve ryday l i ves , connec t ing the s t ra teg ies they ana l yze in other texts to the i r own wr i t ing . As Mike s u m m e d it u p : . . . that 's sort of the stated purpose of the first year Engl ish p r o g r a m . . . it 's not to turn eve rybody into Engl ish majors . . . It's to get t hem to th ink more cr i t ica l ly about—in some cases a lot more cr i t i ca l ly—about how they ' re r ead ing . . . it 's not jus t to read it at face va lue . . . but to real ly think about what 's be ing sa id and how it 's be ing sa id . . . and hopeful ly to s tar t to app ly s o m e of tha t to the i r own wr i t i ng . . . if we th ink more about how we persuade others , we' l l have a bet ter unders tand ing of how it's happening to us. . . 2.8.3 Argumentation and academic literacy practices In her d i scuss ion of the or ig ins and assumpt ions beh ind o u r not ions o f a c a d e m i c l i teracy, Joan Turner points out that academic th ink ing , wh ich is " t i ed up wi th not ions of rat ional i ty and logic, a s sumes the possibi l i ty of absolute c lar i ty in the representa t ion of know l edge " (Turner , 1 9 9 9 , p. 151) . This a s sumpt ion s t ems f rom its or ig ins in the inte l lectual t rad i t ions , and in part icular , an object iv is t ep i s temo logy wh ich inf luenced the essay fo rmat mos t c lose ly assoc iated wi th the academic genre . C o m m o n not ions of academic l i teracy are a lso conf lated with a mode l of l i teracy wh ich " a s s u m e s that the acquis i t ion of l i teracy enhances cogni t ive ab i l i t i es , " (p. 152 ) , and deve lops reason ing abi l i t ies and abst rac t thought (Street , 1984 , Egan (1991) Turne r sugges ts that what she t e rms the "d i s course of t r anspa rency " cont inues to inf luence the ways in wh ich a cademic essays are read and as sessed , r emind ing us that cr i ter ia such as " c l a r i t y , " " f o c u s , " and " e x p l i c i t n e s s " are often used to eva luate s tudent wr i t ing . Lea and S t ree t (1998) found that whi le instructors looked for " a r g u m e n t " and " s t r u c t u r e " as key e l ements in s tudent /61 wr i t i ng , they were often unable to prov ide speci f ic detai ls to exp la in what the t e r m s meant in t e rms of a speci f ic piece of wr i t ing . Turner identi f ies " a r g u m e n t " as a " k e y concept in the a cademic l i teracy pract ices of the a cademic e s s a y . " S h e po ints ou t that it refers both to " m a k i n g a speci f ic point or c l a i m " and a lso to " the end product of the essay as a w h o l e " and therefore v iews the essay both in t e rms of its " rhe to r i ca l f o r ce " and its overa l l shape (p. 156) . The essay fo rmat is t radi t ional ly a l inear one in which causes are fo l lowed by effects and c la ims are fo l lowed by ev idence . The s t ructure of an essay , the re fo re , shou ld "a f ford the reader cons is tency of g a z e , " wh i ch , as Turner t e rms it, ' i n t e rm ing les ' w i th " the conceptua l const ruct ion of rat ional i ty and knowledge a cqu i s i t i on " : The 'pursu i t of t ruth as it were , is l inked with a terr i tor ia l impera t i ve to c lear the g r o u n d , s take a c l a i m , and const ruct a van tage point . A s w i th co lon iza t ion , of wh i ch the d iscourse of ' the west and the rest ' is a re f lect ion, so it is wi th know ledge product ion . Even in a l ready es tab l i shed ' f i e lds ' of know ledge , there is an impu ls ion to ' push back the f ront iers ' and for the pract i t ioners w i th in , to be 'at the cut t ing edge . ' Th is genera l co lon iz ing mind-set might be seen to s t em f rom the en l i gh tenment menta l i t y where sc ient i f ic rat ional i ty is poised to conquer all (Turner , 1 9 9 9 , pp 156-157 ) . Return ing to issues of eva luat ion and assessment of s tudent wr i t i ng , Tu rne r points out that " a s sess ing the indiv idual on the extent to which he/she is in contro l of the a rgumen t in an academic essay may be seen as a genea log ica l t race of th is va lue s y s t e m " (p. 157) . In the fo l lowing chapters , we will look at specif ic e x a m p l e s of on l ine d i scourse to ident i fy part icu lar d iscurs ive s t rategies the s tudents used to posi t ion t hemse l ves and address the i r readers . In part icu lar we will identify ways in wh i ch par t ic ipat ion in on l ine d i scuss ion helped s tudents to integrate the d iscourses wh ich compr i sed the i r au tob iograph ica l se lves wi th a cademic d iscourse and fac i l i tated i m p r o v e m e n t in fo rma l a cademic wr i t i ng , exped i t ing the s tudents ' p rogress ion f rom nov ices to full par t i c ipants in the a cademic c o m m u n i t y . /62 Chapter 3 Engagement and Interaction: The Case of John Stuart Mill 3.1 Rationale In order to better unders tand how s tudents used a rgumenta t i v e s t ra teg ies as they engaged wi th the text and with others in on-line d i scourse , I focused on the on-l ine interact ions regard ing Mil l 's " O n L iber ty . " The ana lys i s inc luded ident i f icat ion of the soc ia l pract ices used by m e m b e r s of this on-line c o m m u n i t y , a n d , in part icu lar , soc ia l pract ices re lated to the i r g rowing unders tand ing and use of a rgumenta t i ve s t ra teg ies in the i r wr i t ing . Th is was fo l lowed by an in-depth d iscourse ana lys i s of the on-l ine d i scourse to look at the l inguist ic s t rategies s tudents used to posi t ion themse l ves in re lat ion to the text and to each other . "On L i b e r t y " was se lected for severa l reasons . The f irst was that , in m a n y ways , it is the focal text in the course , as it exempl i f i es the most impor tant t h e m e s in the course read ings . In the int roductory sess ion , the course coord ina tor ident i f ied the centra l t h e m e of the course as the indiv idual in relat ion to soc iety , exp la in ing that m a n y of the tex ts exp lore ways in wh ich indiv iduals negot iate the ba lance between ind iv idua l des i res and soc ia l / pol i t ical o r thodoxy . This was fo l lowed by a brief overv iew of th is t h e m e in re lat ion to Orwel l ' s Politics and the English Language, the first course read ing . Even at th is init ial s t age , the course coord inator ment ioned that s imi la r t hemes could be ident i f ied in a text the s tudents wou ld read later in the t e r m , John S tuar t Mill 's "On L i be r t y . " "On L i b e r t y " has been inc luded in the course read ings for as long as the course has been taught . The instructors and TAs agreed that it is a cha l leng ing text because of Mil l 's prose s ty le , but felt that s tudents benefi t by grapp l ing with Mil l 's ideas. The course consu l tant c o m m e n t e d that "On L i be r t y " is u l t imate ly the text f rom wh ich the s tudents often "ge t the most sa t i s fac t ion " : . . . it real ly real ly cha l lenges them . . . they are not used to that k ind of d i s course . . . the ideas I th ink in On Liberty are cha l lenging but they are . . . a l so . . . in m a n y ways the g roundwork of our soc iety . . . l ike t hem or not, they real ly are fundamenta l to . . to how we s t ructure our wor ld The TAs invo lved in the course ag reed . Mike noted that " a lot of the tex ts are dea l ing w i th s im i l a r i ssues , and that 's why "On L i be r t y " is at the cen te r of the cou rse . . . it m a k e s a good sort of centerp iece for the course because a lot of the essays are dea l ing with a lot of the s ame sorts of th ings . . . personal f r eedom ve rsus soc ia l con t ro l . . . minor i t y and major i ty i s sues . " "On L i b e r t y " is read about h a l f w a y through the course , so by the t ime s tuden ts c o m e to it, they have a l ready encountered and engaged in d i scuss ion of s o m e of the issues centra l to Mil l 's text . By the t ime they read "On L iberty , " the s tudents are /63 comfor tab le wi th post ing on-line and have met in face-to-face d i scuss ion sec t ions severa l t imes , so they know and interact comfor tab ly wi th one another . The s tudents are a lso fami l i a r wi th the course webs i te , a n d , in part icular , wi th the sect ions of the webs i te m e a n t t o g u i d e t h e m th rough the reading process , inc lud ing " K e y T e r m s , " Po in te r s for Read ing , and " G o Read the Essay . " By this t ime , they have been exposed to a var ie ty of di f ferent a rgumenta t i ve s t ra teg ies and are aware that there are m a n y approaches wh ich a wr i ter may emp loy to present an a rgument and persuade a reader of its va l id i ty . S tuden ts are wel l aware of the impor tance of inc luding ev idence , a n d , in par t icu lar , ev idence f r om the text , to suppor t any a rgument they make . "On L i be r t y " is the only book-length text that the s tudents read in its ent i re ty ( they read excerp ts f rom all o ther longer texts col lected in The Norton Reader), and two full weeks are devoted to reading and d iscuss ion of the text . Onl ine d i scuss ion is carefu l ly s t ruc tured in order to engage the s tudents wi th the text . In the f irst week , the s tudents part ic ipate in a formal on-line debate on a propos i t ion based on one of the centra l i ssues in "On L iber ty " ; there fore , ana lys is of the first week ' s post ings can help us to unders tand how the s tudents engaged with Mil l 's text . 3.2 Social practices: Academic genre and argumentation In rev iewing the da ta , I began by ident i fy ing the part icu lar soc ia l pract ices that had evo lved on-line as s tudents engaged with the texts . In par t icu lar , I looked for ways in wh ich s tudents had begun to adopt the approaches to textua l ana lys i s mode l ed by thei r inst ructors and by the instruct ional mater ia ls on the webs i te . I was interested in the ways in wh ich the s tudents engaged with one another in onl ine d i s cuss ion , incorpora ted ev ident ia l s into the i r a rguments , and conveyed the i r part icu lar a t t i tude or pos i t ion in re lat ion to the ideas or in format ion presented . As both in terpersona l and textua l funct ions var ied great ly depend ing upon the ideat ional content of the pos ts , a n d , in part icu lar , the types of ev idence s tudents used to argue the i r p ropos i t ions , I have focused on the g rammat i ca l s t ructures used to d iscuss two di f ferent t ypes of ev idence . As Pal tr idge (2004) observes , when enter ing a part icu lar d i scourse c o m m u n i t y , s tudents need to unders tand the "genera l d iscourse c o m m u n i t y expec ta t ions and convent ions for the i r t e x t " the intended audience for the i r t e x t " and the " c r i t e r i a they wil l use for eva lua t ing and r e spond ing " to the s tudents ' wr i t ing as wel l as the " b a c k g r o u n d know ledge va lues and unders tand ings it is a s s u m e d they wi l l share w i th the i r a u d i e n c e " (p. 97 ) . Th is is a comp lex and cha l lenging task. Th is chapter focuses on the ways in which s tudents engaged wi th the propos i t ion they were asked to argue and how they posi t ioned themse l ves in re lat ion to the /64 a rgumen t and to Mi l l . The fo l lowing chapters d iscuss the ways in wh ich s tudents incorporated other types of ev idence as suppor t for the i r a rgumen t . 3.3 Engagement with the Text In the f irst week that the s tudents read "On L iber ty " , the inst ruct ions for post ing on the webs i te exp la ined the procedure : Th is week we are go ing to fo l low Mil l 's pr inc ip le of hear ing both s ides-we are go ing to have a debate on the fo l lowing propos i t ion : Society can be a worse tyrant than Government If y o u r s u r n a m e begins w i th M-Z you are on the AFFIRMATIVE-supporting the propos i t ion . If you r su rname begins wi th A-L you are on the NEGATIVE-opposing the propos i t ion . Each m e m b e r of the AFFIRMATIVE t e am wil l post an a r g u m e n t in f a vou r o f the propos i t ion by Monday February 21st 12 midn ight . Each m e m b e r of the NEGATIVE t e am wil l post an a rgument aga inst the propos i t ion by Tuesday February 22nd 12 midn ight . A n d , as usua l , you are encouraged to respond to o ther people 's post ings vo luntar i l y as we l l . Note that th is topic requires a good unders tand ing of mater ia l in th is week ' s Mil l modu le , and of at least the first chapter of "On Liberty" . Try to inc lude appropr ia te quota t ions f rom "On L ibe r t y " in your pos t ing , and keep you r post ing brief; make one persuas ive point . Your post ing shou ld not exceed 250 words , and it could be qui te a bit shor ter than that . The s tudents were arbi t rar i ly d iv ided into pros and cons and spec i f ica l ly inst ructed to use Mil l 's text to argue the propos i t ion . Ask ing the s tudents to adopt a v i ewpo in t that they m igh t not necessar i ly agree with was a del iberate s t ra tegy that , as the course consu l tant put it, " m a k e s t hem remove themse l ves . . . f rom the mater ia l and th ink object ive ly about the ma te r i a l . " Th is s t rategy was adopted in order to get the s tudents to th ink more ana ly t ica l ly about the mater ia l instead of respond ing emot iona l l y . Al l the instructors agreed that this was benef ic ia l for the s tudents and he lped t h e m deve lop the i r abi l i ty to argue rat ional ly about i ssues : . . . they sti l l feel s o m e t i m e s they have to preface by say ing 'I don ' t real ly bel ieve th i s ' but that 's f ine. . . they are th ink ing . . . ana ly t ica l l y . . . th is is a s tep towards real ana lys i s . . . w i th s tudents so you want to say 'ok force yourse l f on th is . . . here 's an exerc ise that forces you to do s o ' Th rough part ic ipat ion in this commun i t y of instructors and learners , s tuden ts are apprent i ced into wr i t ing academic genres , and in part icular , the a cadem i c genre of the /65 a rgumenta t i v e essay . Part ic ipat ion enta i ls a var ie ty of socia l pract ices in wh i ch the s tudents engage wi th the texts and with other m e m b e r s of the c o m m u n i t y . Pract ices inc lude reading the exemp la r y texts which embody d iverse a rgumenta t i v e s t ra teg ies , read ing the mater ia l ava i lable on the webs i te , a n d , in part icu lar , the "Po in te r s for R e a d i n g " and "A rgumen ta t i v e S t r a teg ies " sect ions of each modu le wh ich focus on the rhetor ica l s t ra teg ies adopted by dif ferent wr i ters , post ing on-line responses to ques t ions posed by the instructors ( inc luding ass igned post ings and vo luntary post ing in response to ques t ions posted in the "A rgumen ta t i v e S t r a teg ies " sec t ion of the webs i te as wel l as post ing or respond ing to posts in the "Pass ing No tes " sec t ion ) . In add i t i on , s tuden ts a t tended a week l y face-to-face d iscuss ion sec t ion , and wrote an in-class essay , a fo rma l essay , and a f inal examina t ion which cons is ted of severa l essay ques t ions . A l t hough reading and gu ided ana lys is of the course mater ia l s was mean t to deve lop s tuden t s ' unders tand ing of an abi l i ty to write an a rgumenta t i ve essay , it was th rough par t ic ipat ion in on-l ine d iscuss ion that the instructors expec ted the s tudents to ana l yze a rgumen ta t i v e texts and use a rgumenta t i ve strategies in the i r own wr i t ing as they in teracted wi th one another on-l ine. 3.4 Features of argumentative writing identified in the on-line posts Many s tudents made inter textua l references to texts they had a l ready read , inc lud ing Mart in Luther K ing , and Orwe l l , as wel l as one reference to Orwel l ' s 1984, which they had not read , to suppor t the i r propos i t ions . Al l the s tudents were aware that they needed to inc lude ev idence of some kind to suppor t the i r c l a ims , a l t hough , as we will see in the next chapter , s ome s tudents did not inc lude ev idence to suppor t the i r a rgument . The ways in which s tudents used language to introduce the type of ev idence used and to war rant its leg i t imacy will a lso be ana l yzed in detai l in later sec t ions . Ev ident ia ls inc luded speci f ic c i tat ions f rom the text , such as " to paraphrase f rom M i l l , " " a s ment ioned by M i l l , " " i n the words of John S tuar t M i l l , " and " acco rd ing to M i l l , " as wel l as ve rbs : Mill " n o t e s , " "po in t s ou t , " " s t a t e s , " " c o n c e d e s , " and " a r g u e s . " Here , the lexica l cho ices a re d rawn f rom an academic register , mos t l ikely to appea l to the course instructors and TAs and to estab l ish an author i ta t ive s tance . Other references were used , inc luding genera l references such as "peop l e s a y " or " i t is s a i d " wh ich genera l ize beyond the indiv idual wr i ter 's op in ion to a gene ra l , n o n -speci f ic au thor i t y of some k ind . A l though the instruct ions on the webs i te did not require th is , m a n y s tudents a lso inc luded a var ie ty of con tempora ry or histor ical examp les to suppor t the i r c l a ims in the first Mill modu l e , inc luding Nazi Ge rmany , Sta l in is t Russ ia , the French Revo lu t ion , the /66 invas ion of I raq , and T i ananmen Squa re , and severa l of the posts which d i scussed speci f ic examp l e s inc luded a hyper l ink to an on-line resources as ev idence to back up the i r c l a ims . Th is reference to outs ide sources is th rough a link was felt to be an advan tage of onl ine posts and evo lved as a c o m m o n pract ice , as more and more s tudents began to include onl ine l inks in the i r posts as the t e rm went o n . Both the webs i te mater ia l s and the d iscuss ion sect ions re i terated the impor tance of us ing c lear ly def ined te rmino logy . Each modu le inc luded a " K e y T e r m s ' sec t ion wh i ch def ined and expl i ca ted vocabu la ry which may have been unfami l i a r , and the face-to-face d i scuss ion sect ions often focused on how speci f ic wr i ters used and def ined t e rms . Th is was ref lected in an onl ine pract ice of def in ing te rmino logy , often wi th a reference to an onl ine d ic t ionary . In this modu le , and many s tudents began the i r post by def in ing the key t e rms " t y r a n t " and " g o v e r n m e n t . " In terest ing ly , a l though some s tudents incorpora ted persona l def in i t ions of soc ie ty in the i r posts , ve ry few d ic t ionary def in i t ions of soc ie ty , probably the most amb iguous of the t e rms , were inc luded . Ano the r pract ice which evo lved in the posts as the course cont inued and s tudents became fami l i a r wi th the te rmino logy , inst ructors ' expec ta t ions , and a rgumen ta t i v e prose essay genre was adopt ing a more academic register in the posts , a n d , in part icu lar , us ing the t e rm ino logy of a rgumen ta t i on . Many of the posts in this modu le used ve rbs such as " r e f u t e , " " c o n t e n d , " " a r g u e , " and " c o n c e d e , " wh ich are drawn f rom the language of a rgumen ta t i on , whi le others used ve rbs d rawn f rom an academic register , such as " d i s c u s s , " " po in t ou t , " and " s t a t e . " 3.5 Introduction to the Module In the int roduct ion to the modu le , "On L ibe r t y " was in t roduced as " cha l l eng ing r e a d i n g " wh ich wou ld require " d e m a n d i n g inte l lectual w o r k " on the s tuden t s ' par t , and the rat ionale for inc luding this diff icult text was c lear ly exp l a i ned : Why Read On Liberty? Reason 1: It is an impor tant text in Engl ish l i terature, and in Weste rn c iv i l izat ion over the past 150 years . Reason 2: It is a part icu lar ly good examp le of a careful ly worked out a rgumen t . Reason 3: It requires a good deal of intel lectual effort to read it, and thus wil l prepare you for levels of reading that you might expect in Un ivers i ty courses dur ing the com ing years-and for the k inds of careers that un ivers i ty g radua tes are l ikely to pursue . Reason 4 : There is p leasure to be had in work ing wi th a cha l l eng ing tex t unt i l you are able to read it with crit ical unders tand ing . Or , to put th is in s l ight ly d i f ferent /67 t e rms , ser ious th ink ing can be en joyab le , wh ich is what we hope you have been f inding in this course all a l ong . Reason 5: Mil l 's emphas i s on free indiv idual inqui ry , and 'on the fruitful encoun te r between oppos ing ideas, is a centra l va lue in a Univers i ty . Reason 6: On Liberty raises issues that are very much on our minds today - issues of persona l f r eedom and socia l cont ro l , wh ich we wrest le with in such contex ts as abor t i on , an t i-smok ing regula t ions , "hate l i terature , " po rnography , etc etc. Mi l l 's book can clar i fy your th ink ing about comp lex and diff icult issues such as these . 3 . 6 On l i ne d i s c o u r s e in t he debate on Mi l l The course instructors identi f ied the sense of wr i t ing for an aud ience as one of the most impor tan t aspects of wr i t ing on-line posts . A s the purpose of a rgumen ta t i v e wr i t ing is pr imar i l y to "pe r suade readers to accept a part icu lar content ion or point of v i e w , " (Love, 1 9 9 9 , p. 198 ) , the instructors began by showing s tudents how rhetor ica l s t ra teg ies both inform a wr i ter 's message and are chosen to appea l to a par t i cu la r aud ience . Th is is the pr imary focus of essay ana lys i s on the webs i te , and it is th is aspect of a rgumen ta t i v e wr i t ing that all the inst ructors c o m m e n t e d on in in te rv iews , whe re they f r amed it in t e rms of unders tand ing the re lat ionship between fo rm and content or how l inguist ic fo rm can be man ipu la ted in order to convey or mask a par t i cu lar content . The " C o m m e n t a r y " and "A rgumen ta t i v e S t ra teg ies " sect ion of each modu le ana l yzed speci f ic passages f rom the text in detai l and drew the s tudents ' a t tent ion to the rhetor ica l s t ra teg ies used by each au thor in o rde r to raise the i r awareness of ways in wh ich l inguist ic fo rms could be emp loyed to convey different types of content . In examin ing the l inguist ic s t rategies used by the s tudents , I have d rawn on the f r amework of Hal l iday 's funct ional l inguist ics . Unl ike t radi t ional g r ammat i c a l ana l ys i s , wh ich focuses on the way in which informat ion is organ ized at the sentence leve l , Hal l iday 's funct iona l g r a m m a r focuses on the purposes for wh ich language is u s e d : the l inguist ic choices ava i lab le to ach ieve speci f ic purposes in speci f ic contexts f rom the sentence level to the level of the text in its ent i rety (Hal l iday, 1 9 9 4 ; T h o m p s o n , 1 9 9 6 ; Love, 1 9 9 9 ; De rew ianka , 1999 ) . Hal l iday identif ies three broad funct ions rea l ized by l anguage : the ideat ional func t ion ; the interpersonal func t ion ; and the tex tua l func t ion . The ideat ional funct ion is concerned with the use of language to represent exper i ence and ideas , whi le the interact ional funct ion is concerned wi th the roles we adopt in we interact and engage wi th o thers , and the textua l funct ion refers to the way in wh i ch language opera tes to organ ize a text , es tab l i sh ing a coherent re la t ionsh ip between the text , the g loba l context , and the reader (Hal l iday, 2 0 0 5 ; De rew i anka , 1 9 9 9 ; T h o m p s o n , 1996 ) . For Hal l iday, the " m e a n i n g of a text lies in the integrat ion of all three func t ions , 768 each of which is understood in relation to the others," (Hyland, 2005, p. 26), and we need to look at texts holistically rather than limiting ourselves to analysis of one feature or aspect. We cannot focus on one function without considering how it is informed by the others. Although I feel that Halliday's framework is an extremely useful way to identify relationships between and functions of specific aspects of discourse, I have not used Halliday's terminology in my analysis, and, in fact, have tried to use linguistic or grammatical terminology only in conjunction with specific examples in order to ensure that the way I used specific grammatical terms could be clearly understood. Although I have not tried to use Hallidayan analytic frameworks used in analyses of academic writing, my overall approach is framed by Halliday's emphasis on the function which language serves in a particular context. The overall question that frames all the linguistic analysis included here is: "For what purposes are the participants using language in this particular context?" In looking at the choices these students made, whether in choosing what they wanted to say, how they addressed their readers or acknowledged the reader's presence in their text, the connections they made between their text and the other discourses and texts from which they drew in their own writing, I asked, "Who can speak?" "What can be said?" and "How can it be said?" in this particular context. 3.7 Instructors' views All the instructors agreed that the on-line debate was a worthwhile exercise, one that got students "thinking . . . analytically" and a way to make students argue rationally rather than emotionally about an issue. The term "analysis" was used repeatedly by the instructors in reference to the objectives for the course, whether they were discussing the overall course goals, the aims of a particular on-line exercise, or what they hoped to accomplish during a particular meeting of the discussion section. Examples include "analytical thinking,'" "analyze the literature," "in-depth analysis," and "analyze key terms." The first thing I examined, therefore, was the linguistic strategies students employed to appeal to the intellect and give their texts a factual, academic tone. I would like to quickly note that all the examples of student writing have been taken directly from the website and that all spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and typing errors are appended with an invisible [sic] and reflect the variety of ways in which different students composed, edited, and posted their on-line messages. By the time the students read Mill, they were halfway through the course and were familiar with many of the terms used to talk about argument. As previously noted, students often used the terminology of argument during the focus group interviews, and this terminology was also found in the online posts. Terms such as "evident," "evidence," /69 " a r g u e , " " a r g u m e n t , " " c o n t e n d , " "po in t , " "po in t ou t , " " r e fu te , " " v a l i d / inval id a r g u m e n t , " " v a l i d a t e , " " a d v o c a t e , " " a s s e r t i o n , " " e x a m p l e , " " t h e o r i z e , " " p l a u s i b l e , " and " a s s u m e " are used in m a n y post t aken f rom the f irst Mil l modu le , subt ly demons t ra t i ng the user ' s know ledge of the pr inc ipal course content to the inst ructors read ing and mark i ng the posts as wel l as g iv ing the posts an author i ta t ive f lavor . In teres t ing ly , a sea rch of the webs i te mater ia ls revea led that , a l though the t e rms " a r g u e , " " a r g u m e n t , " " r e fu te , " and " re fu ta t i on " were used f requent ly in the ana lys is of e x a m p l e s f rom Mil l 's tex t in the " A n a l y s i s " and " C o m m e n t a r y " sec t ions of the webs i te , the o ther t e r m s e m p l o y e d f requent ly by the s tuden ts were not c o m m o n l y used by the i r ins t ruc tors . The l anguage used in the webs i te , in fact, is ve ry c lear and s t ra igh t fo rward . Litt le j a rgon or techn ica l t e rm ino logy is used in any of the d idact ic mater ia ls , a n d , a l though mos t of the f o rm is dec la ra t i ve as the pr imary purpose is to prov ide the s tudents wi th in fo rmat ion wh ich they wou ld have rece ived f rom lectures in a t radi t ional fo rmat , the reader is of ten a d d r e s s e d d i rect ly th rough impl ied impera t i ves and ques t ions posed th roughou t the ma te r i a l . 3.8 A n o n l i n e i n v i t a t i o n : W h y read " O n L i b e r t y " ? I began my ana lys i s by look ing at the webs i te i tself to ident i fy s o m e of the rhetor ica l s t ra teg ies used by the inst ructors in the d idact ic mate r ia l s . The in t roduct ion to Mi l l a s k s the rhetor ica l ques t ion " W h y read "On L i b e r t y ' ? " and then g o e s on to a n s w e r it: Reason 3 : It requ i res a good deal of intellectual effort to read it, and thus wil l p repare you for levels of reading that vou m ight expec t in University cou rses dur ing the coming y e a r s - a n d for the k inds of ca reers that university graduates are l ike ly to pu rsue . Reason 4 : The re is pleasure to be had in work ing wi th a challenging text unt i l vou a re ab le to read ]t wi th critical understanding. Or , to put th is in s l igh t ly di f ferent t e r m s , serious thinking can be enjoyable, wh ich is wha t we hope vou have been f ind ing in this course al l a long . Reason 5: Mi l l 's e m p h a s i s on f ree ind iv idua l inqu i ry , and on the f rui t fu l e n c o u n t e r be tween oppos ing ideas, is a cent ra l va lue in a University. Reason 6: On Liberty ra ises issues that are ve ry m u c h on our m inds today - i ssues of persona l f reedom and soc ia l cont ro l , wh ich we wres t le wi th in such con tex ts as abor t i on , an t i - smok ing regu la t ions, "hate l i terature," po rnog raphy , e tc etc . Mi l l 's book can c lar i fy your th ink ing about comp lex and diff icult i ssues such as t hese . Th is tex t is pr imar i ly d idact ic . In o ther wo rds , its p r imary func t ion is to g ive the s tuden ts in format ion about the rat ionale for read ing Mi l l . Howeve r , the tex t is a lso a h ighly pe rsuas ive a rgumen ta t i ve text , and is carefu l ly s t ruc tured to conv ince the s tuden ts that Mi l l 's tex t , though diff icult and cha l leng ing , is wor th the effort requ i red to read it. In Reason 3, the reader is add ressed d i rect ly as " y o u , " and the not ion of "e f for t , " wh i ch is PO what the text mus t persuade the reader to put for th , is equated wi th " i n t e l l e c tua l . " " In te l lec tua l e f for t " is equated wi th " r e a d i n g , " the pr imary act iv i ty of all un ivers i ty s tudents . The word Univers i ty is used tw ice : " in te l lec tua l e f for t " is required for "Un i ve r s i t y cou r ses " a n d , by ex tens ion , in the cha l lenging careers that "un i ve r s i t y g raduates are l ikely to pu r sue . " Here, the reader is subt ly pos i t ioned as a m e m b e r of a c o m m u n i t y — t h e "Un i ve r s i t y " and "un ive rs i t y g radua tes . " One of the p r imary act iv i t ies of any m e m b e r of this c o m m u n i t y is reading and unders tand ing tex ts , an act iv i ty wh ich prepares t hem for " i n t e l l e c tua l " work in the i r future s tud ies and careers . In Reason 4, the wr i ter (a col lect ive " w e " that encompasses all the inst ructors ) addresses the reader d irect ly three t imes , us ing the " y o u " p r o n o u n : " in te l l ec tua l effort wil l prepare you"; "you are able to read it with crit ical unde r s t and ing " ; "we hope you have been f i n d i n g . " The reader, d i rect ly addressed as " y o u , " is a l igned wi th the mos t impor tan t act ions he or she must t ake : " r e a d " the " t e x t , " and " r e a d " the " t e x t " wi th " u n d e r s t a n d i n g . " The paral le l s t ructure critical understanding and serious thinking echoes the pr imary impor tance of this overa l l course object ive . Here , the ad jec t i ves " c r i t i c a l , " " c h a l l e n g i n g " and " s e r i o u s " are careful ly ba lanced wi th " e n j o y a b l e . " A l t hough reading th is text is a ser ious enterpr ise , its ser ious nature is ba lanced by the p leasure it can prov ide . The p ronoun " w e " is used af ter the direct address to the reader and inc ludes all the instructors who " h o p e " that the i r readers have been f ind ing p leasure as m e m b e r s of the un ivers i ty c o m m u n i t y in meet ing the cha l lenges posed by ser ious t ex ts . In Reason 5, the emphas i s on " t h i n k i n g " in Reason 4 is echoed by the word " i d e a s . " The sole top ic of this shor t pa ragraph is Mil l 's text , a n d , whi le ne i ther the reade r nor the instructors are men t ioned , the text re i terates the impor tance of Mil l 's book in re lat ion to the centra l i ty of " i d e a s " to the "un i ve r s i t y " c o m m u n i t y , and there fo re , by ex tens ion , to the s tudents who are now included as m e m b e r s . In Reason 6, the book is re lated to " i s s u e s " that are of interest to e ve r yone—no t j us t m e m b e r s of the Univers i ty . Here, the pronouns " w e " and " o u r " are used severa l t imes . They do not refer only to the inst ructors , but inc lude both s tudents and inst ructors as m e m b e r s of a wider c o m m u n i t y , one which " w r e s t l e s " wi th " i s s u e s . " In other words , life in the univers i ty c o m m u n i t y wil l prepare the s tudents to take the i r place as c i t izens after they leave the univers i ty . Like the issues in Mil l 's text , the issues at s take in this larger c o m m u n i t y are " c o m p l e x " and "d i f f i cu l t , " but Mil l 's book is impor tan t in re lat ion to this context : it can serve a larger purpose , to "clarify your thinking." Here , the text addresses the reader d i rect ly , re i terat ing the pr imary purpose of read ing the book, and carefu l ly persuad ing h im or her mak ing the effort required to read ing it wil l / 7 l pay off in both academic success and the abi l i ty to part ic ipate as a wel l- in formed c i t izen in the wor ld outs ide the un ivers i ty gates . Th is examp le shows how careful ly fo rmula ted the webs i te mater ia l s are . The pronouns posi t ion the s tudent/reader s t rategica l ly in relat ion to Mil l 's book and impl ic i t l y inc ludes h im or her as a m e m b e r in a larger c o m m u n i t y engaged in pursu i ts that are se r ious , impor tan t , and also p leasurable in order to persuade the reader of the va lue of reading Mil l 's work . The " C o m m e n t a r y " sect ion in the first modu le on Mill a lso addresses the reader d i rect ly . A l though it is s t ructured d idact ica l ly , the text invi tes the reader to engage wi th Mil l 's work in di f ferent w a y s : Th is case of the corn-dealer 's house is a good one to keep in m ind when you are considering such con tempora ry issues as "hate l i terature" in re lat ion to "On L iber ty " . Th is excerpt points ahead to the next modu le , when the s tudents wi l l be asked to relate Mil l 's ideas to con tempora r y issues. It a lso points out the way in wh ich Mill uses speci f ic examp l e s to suppor t and i l lustrate his a rgument in "On L iber ty " , a s t ra tegy wh ich the s tudents are asked to emula te in this week 's post ing a s s ignmen t , where they are asked to use Mil l 's text to suppor t or a rgue aga inst a speci f ic p ropos i t ion . In the next e x a m p l e , the reader is addressed th rough an impera t i ve to "pos t your t h o u g h t s " wh ich invites h im or her to engage in " s e r i o u s " yet " e n j o y a b l e " t h i n k i n g : Think of other , ana logous examp l e s in which soc iety wou ld , accord ing to Mi l l , be just i f ied in punish ing the express ion of an opin ion (Post your thoughts in the " M 9 . C 3 : Corn-dea ler " thread) 3.9 S p e a k i n g up : S p e a k i n g as a n "I" The webs i te mater ia l s reflect va lues and concerns of the course coord ina to r and other inst ructors who were involved in creat ing the course and deve lop ing the on-line mate r i a l . One o f the p r imary course themes is the impor tance of ind iv idua l ident i ty and indiv idual thought . These are crucia l concerns to s tudents in the i r f irst yea r of un ivers i t y , as they are often undergo ing a t r emendous ident i ty cr is is . The course consu l t an t c o m m e n t e d : I wou ld imag ine that . . . f irst yea r un ivers i ty s tudents . . . feel as if they have . . . because they ' re in a very big env i ronment that they . . . have become name less . . . com ing into a big place like a univers i ty . . . wa lk ing into big lecture thea te rs . . . perhaps be ing ove rwhe lmed . . . feel less and less as if they . . . have a vo ice . . . that they are contr ibut ing some th ing . . . because they ' re j us t one a m o n g so m a n y . . . we jus t want to . . . remind t hem that . . . this is not indeed the case . . . tha t /72 eve ryone is one a m o n g so many . . . and . . . that j us t because you ' re in a big group doesn ' t mean that the group thought shou ld be any s t ronger . . . but . . . they shou ld be . . . ma in ta in ing . . . the i r own points of v iew. . . the i r i ndependence . . . it works wi th . . . ideas of d ivers i ty . . . it works with . . . u m . . . bas ic ideals of the human i t i es I th ink The course mater ia ls reflect the va lues and intent ions exp ressed by the course coord ina tor and the course consu l tant , both of w h o m were ve ry much invo lved in the i r c rea t ion . Unl ike t rad i t iona l academic tex ts , wh ich are fo rmu la ted as dec la ra t i ve s t a t emen t s , and adopt an author i ta t ive s tance toward the in format ion c o n v e y e d , ( S ch leppegre l , 2 0 0 1 ; Love , 1999 ) , present ing it in a seeming l y ob jec t i ve , unb iased fash ion and in a mono log ic fash ion rather than dia logic one wh ich wou ld " r e l y on the interact ion of in te r locutors " in its " c rea t ion and in te rpre ta t ion " ( Sch leppe lg re l , 2 0 0 1 , p. 4 4 4 - 4 4 5 ) , the webs i te mater ia l s a re s t ruc tured as d ia log ica l ly as poss ib le . The d idac t i c mater ia l s address the reader d irect ly repeatedly us ing the pronoun " y o u " and interspers ing the dec larat ive sentences conta in ing in format ion wi th in ter rogat ive and impera t i ve sentences to invi te the reader 's par t i c ipat ion . The s tudents/ readers a re addressed and as equals whose response to the quest ions are of va lue . Inv i ta t ions to "pos t y o u r t h o u g h t s " are found aga in and again in the webs i te mater i a l s , g i v ing the s tudents oppor tun i t ies to voice the i r thoughts . S tudents are addressed as equa l s who have some th ing to contr ibute to an ongo ing d ia logue regard ing Mi l l , a n d , by ex t ens i on , to the un ivers i ty c o m m u n i t y , even if they , l ike eve ryone e lse , are " one a m o n g so m a n y . " One of the pr incipal s t rategies used to engage s tudents w i th the mater ia l is to have t hem relate the a rguments presented in the texts they read to the i r persona l expe r i ence , to th ink deep ly about the issues and to relate t h e m to the i r own l ives , and to look for weaknesses and incongruenc ies in the a rguments . The in terac t i ve , d ia log ic nature of the webs i te is part icular ly ev ident in the f requent ques t ions w o v e n in be tween d idact ic passages of expos i t i on . The webs i te is s t ructured so that s tudents can r e spond eas i ly and immed ia te l y by c l ick ing a l ink, shar ing the i r personal ref lect ions and persona l responses . The ques t ions , genera l l y couched in the impera t i ve , inv i te the s tuden ts to part ic ipate in an interact ive , ongo ing d ia logue : Ask yourself, as you read , whe ther Mill bel ieves there is such a th ing as abso lu te t r u t h ; Th is is not a passage that would have at t racted much a t tent ion in 1 8 5 9 , but how do vou react to it in 2005? But wha t if the major i ty knows that it is r ight, and that the minor i t y pos i t ion is an error? Why a l low error to be expressed? Why confuse and mis lead people? Try to answer this question now, tak ing wh ichever s ide vou w i s h ; /73 And here is a cha l l enge : Can vou yourself supply a really radical argument aga ins t the ma in assumpt ions of "On L iberty" , an a rgumen t that real ly cal ls the va lue of the book into quest ion? Give it a try... By g iv ing s tudents as m a n y opportun i t ies as poss ib le to respond to ques t ions posed on the webs i te and to share the i r thoughts , the course g ives s tudents an oppor tun i t y to speak up . . . to . . . express the i r v iews and to be respect fu l of o the r peop le ' s v i ews . . . and to va lue . . . the confl ict of ideas . . . the encounte r of oppos ing ideas . . . to resist o r thodoxy and . . . not jus t to run wi th the herd . G i ven that the a ims of the course are to foster and ce lebrate ind iv idua l t hough t and tha t the webs i te is so careful ly worded to engage s tudents and get t h e m to respond persona l l y to the ques t ions , I init ial ly a s sumed that the major i ty of s tuden ts wou ld asser t the i r persona l beliefs on-line debate in the form of " I" s t a t ements . Many of the responses are couched in the first pe r son ; for e x a m p l e , "I de f ine " ; " b y this I m e a n ' " " w h y I sa id that is because " ; "I feel that is it impor tan t " ; " there fore I t h i nk " ; "I t h i nk " ; "I have to ag r ee " ; "I ag r ee " ; "I do not ag ree " ; "I d isagree wi th your pos t " ; " the re fo re , I be l i e ve " ; "I be l i e ve " ; "I honest ly bel ieve tha t " "I wou ld jus t l ike to point out tha t " ; " r e ad ing th rough the post ings , I have observed that most have " ; " i n fact , I a m on the oppos i te s i d e " ; "I wil l egage this a rgument head o n " ; "I would say tha t " ; "I d raw the c o n c l u s i o n , " and "I object to the idea tha t . " Two of these responses , ""I de f ine " and " b y this I m e a n , " ref lect the s tuden t s ' awareness of the need to def ine the i r t e rms before engag ing in an a r g u m e n t as prev ious ly noted in the d iscuss ion of socia l pract ices. Most of the ve rbs used in re lat ion to subject ive pos i t ions are ve rbs of cogn i t ion ("I believe"; I think") or ve rbs that express personal op in ion ("I agree"; "I disagree"; "I wou ld say tha t " ) . O ther ve rbs are related to see ing processes ("I have observed"; "I wou ld like to point out"). Only one verb used in the debate has an emot i ve conno ta t i on : "I feel that is it impor tan t , " and this verb was used in only one post . Al l o ther ve rbs expressed belief, thought , or op in ion , sugges t ing that even when express ing sub jec t i ve responses and expl ic i t l y pos i t ion ing themse l ves in re lat ion to the top ic , the s tuden ts eschew verbs of feel ing and emot ion in favour of verbs of cogn i t ion wh ich will g ive the i r a rgumen t a more rat ional and object ive over tone . As the a s s ignmen t for th is modu le expl ic i t ly asked the s tudents to express ag reemen t or d i sag reemen t with a specif ic propos i t ion and to suppor t it wi th c i ta t ions f rom Mil l 's text , it is interest ing that roughly three t imes more s tudents who responded us ing a direct " I " s t a tement used express ions like "I be l i eve " (15) or "I t h i n k " (19) than /74 "I a g r e e " (7) or "I d i s ag ree " (5). In a total of 95 responses in this modu l e , o n l y half (51) used " I " s t a t emen ts to express the i r v i ews . Many s tudents , even when they expressed the i r v iews as " I " s t a t emen t s , used moda l s and moda l adverbs to make the i r s ta tements more indirect and less fo r ce fu l : "I have to ag r ee " ; "I honestly bel ieve tha t " ; and "I would say tha t . " On ly one post used a ve rb s t ronger than " t h i n k " or "be l i e ve " : "I contend." Ano the r s tudent prefaced an indirect s t a t ement of ag reement by l imit ing the extent of his or her bel ief to spec i f ic c i r cums tances : "The only way I see it plausible." In cont ras t , s t rong report ing verbs were used to when report ing Mil l 's v i ews : a l though the major i ty of responses used neutra l report ing verbs such as " s a y " (says (12), is saying (2), goes on to say (2), and states (6),), Mill a lso asserts (1), argues (4), comments (1), contends (1), denounces (1), speaks out (1), and criticizes (1). He a lso remarks (1) and points out (3). Like the s tudents , Mill thinks (1) and believes (2), but he also defines (1), discusses (2), puts it (1), theorizes (1), comments (1), notes (1), refers to (1), makes reference to (1) and mentions (1). In a total of 48 re ferences to Mi l l , 22 emp loyed the neutra l ve rbs " s a y " or " s t a t e , " 10 used s t rong report ing verbs such as " c r i t i c i z e " or " d e n o u n c e , " 13 used neutra l report ing ve rbs character i s t i c of academic texts such as e x a m quest ions or paper top ics , " d e f i n e " and " d i s c u s s , " and three used verbs of cogni t ion " t h e o r i z e , " " be l i e v e , " and " t h i n k . " The s tudents cited Mill as speak ing direct ly f rom a subject pos i t ion , but two s tudents chose to cite Mil l 's text much more indi rect ly : "M i l l appears to have v a l i d a t e d " (1); and seems to be saying (1). Others used pass ive f o r m s : " a s mentioned by Mill (1); " a s described by M i l l " (1); and "in the words of John S tuar t M i l l " (1), t he reby d i s tanc ing themse l ves f rom Mil l 's ideas . Th is pre l iminary ana lys is shows that the s tudents are more comfor tab le c i t ing Mil l 's v iews direct ly than wi th direct ly express ing the i r ideas. It a lso revea ls that the s tudents s e e m more comfor tab le express ing s t rong v iews (cr i t ic ize, asser t , a rgue , denounce ) when they are at t r ibuted to Mill than express ing t h e m di rect ly , and they emp loy ve rbs wi th a dist inct ly academic assoc ia t ion—verbs often found in essay and e x a m ques t ions—when they are c i t ing a source (def ine, d i scuss , note , c o m m e n t ) . Al l the posts used s o m e kind of ev idence to suppor t the a rgumen t , even if they chose not to use Mill 's text . Th is was one of the most impor tant socia l pract ices that charac te r ized the g roup , and the major i t y s tudents unders tood and par t ic ipated comfor t ab l y in th is manner . Even this pre l iminary ana lys is of the g rammat i ca l fo rms used in the on-line posts demons t r a t e s that , in addi t ion to using ev idence to suppor t the i r a r g u m e n t , the s tudents /75 had appropr ia ted vocabu la ry assoc iated with the academic genre and were able to use it jud i c ious l y . I wou ld specu la te that that the use of the academic register is a de l iberate cho ice , whe the r consc ious or unconsc ious , on the s tuden ts ' part . The s tudents know that the i r posts are read by other s tudents and graded by the i r ins t ructors , and the lexica l choices and inc lus ion of c lear ev idence for the i r c la ims demons t ra t es the s tuden t s ' awareness of the i r ins t ructors ' expec ta t ions . The interv iew data con f i rmed that the s tudents unders tood what was expected of t h e m : they ask you speci f ica l ly what they want . . . they ' l l ask g ive ev idence for y o u r v i ew . . . so basical ly with a couple of paragraphs . . . you can cover what they ' ve asked for there 's some type of point and then there 's a couple of pa ragraphs t r y ing to suppor t that point . . Most s tudents felt that the purpose of a post was to "ge t to the po in t , " and make sure it was c lear : " y o u jus t have to make sure eve rybody unde r s t ands . " In fact , as the s tudent above c o m m e n t e d , s tudents often perce ived the need to "use all these technica l t e r m s " as interfer ing with the i r abi l i ty to state the i r point c lear ly and succ inc t l y . A l t hough ana lys is of the on-line d iscourse reveals that the s tudents d i d , in fact , emp loy m a n y features of academic genre , the s tudents themse l ves c lear ly d i s t ingu ished be tween wr i t ing posts and wr i t ing more formal academic essays : in wr i t ing an essay , " you ' r e t ry ing to make a point . . . but you have to make it in a way that , the teacher . . . g ives you m o r e m a r k s I g u e s s , " mak ing the s tudents m u c h more a t tent i ve to the i r o w n w r i t i ng : " you ' re more consc ious of" " the way you have to word i t " when wr i t ing an essay than when wr i t ing an onl ine .post . When wr i t ing a research essay , s tudents are aware of the need to present t hemse l ves asser t ive ly as "know ledgeab le expert [s ] prov id ing object ive i n f o r m a t i o n " ( Sch leppegre l l , 2 0 0 1 , p. 444-445 ) . However , when const ruc t ing the i r on-line pos ts , s tudents do not feel the s ame pressure . Cogn izant that others of ten read the i r posts (even if they do not respond) , they adopt a d ia logic rather than a mono log i c s tance . Whi le s tudents do not rely on interact ion as they fo rmula te the i r thoughts they do ant ic ipate " the interact ion of in te r locutors " dur ing the " c rea t ion and i n t e rp re t a t i on " of the i r posts ( Sch leppegre l l , 2 0 0 1 , p. 444-445 ) . This may part ly exp la in why s tudents are re luctant to adopt too author i ta t ive a s tance in the i r on-line posts . 3.10 S p e a k i n g u p : I n t e r p e r s o n a l i n t e r a c t i o n Only two posts in the f irst Mill modu le s ta ted direct d i s ag reemen t w i th an idea expressed by another s tudent : "I wil l egage th is a rgumen t head on" and "I object to the idea tha t . " The wr i ters are part icular ly careful to use indirect express ions when they /76 are point ing out def ic ienc ies in o thers ' a r g u m e n t s : "I would just like to point out t ha t " ; and " r ead ing th rough the post ings , I have observed that most h a v e . " In the f i rst , the wri ter uses an extended moda l express ion (would jus t l ike to) to d is tance h im or herse l f ("I") f rom the def ic iency being "po in ted ou t , " whi le in the second the wr i te r d i s t ingu ishes between his or her posi t ion as observer and what " m o s t " of the other s tudents have sa id . The major i ty of posts are f r amed as dec larat ive sentences in wh ich the wr i te r s imp ly offers op in ions , facts , and a rgumen t s , and only one post expl ic i t ly inv i tes a response : "I look forward to engag ing in debate over these po in t s . " Th is is the on ly post out of the 95 in this modu le that echoes the ways in which the inst ructors invi te response th roughou t the mater ia l s on the webs i te . The s tuden ts ' re luctance to use st rong ve rbs such as " a r g u e " (only one post used a s t rong ve rb , " con tend " ) or to express d i sag reement was surpr i s ing to the ins t ruc tors , espec ia l l y when the course was first offered in the mixed-mode fo rmat . The course consu l tant told me that they had ant ic ipated "hea ted d i s cuss i ons " in the on l ine env i r onmen t : you can wri te someth ing . . . when you ' re not face to face wi th s o m e b o d y , m a y b e they ' re go ing to wr i te some th ing wh ich is might be of fens ive . . . so we had d isc la imers eve rywhere . . . it never came up In fact , one of the major p rob lems the instructors found init ia l ly was the s tuden t s ' re luc tance to express d i sag reemen t wi th one ano the r : if we had a prob lem in the first year of teach ing it was that we. . . cou ldn ' t get t h e m to d isagree wi th each other . . . The inst ruct ions for manda to ry post ing in the f irst Mill modu le asked the s tuden ts to present an a rgumen t for or aga inst the propos i t ion using Mil l 's text to suppor t the i r a rgument . S tudents who chose to address the reader used a var ie ty of s t ra teg ies . One st ra tegy was the " inc lus i ve imperat ive ' l e t ' s ' " (Eggins & S lade , 1 9 9 7 , p. 8 8 ) : • Let us make an ana logy • Let me d raw a s imp le i l lustrat ion. • Let me c o m m e n c e by not ing This s t ra tegy , wh ich inc ludes the reader and wr i ter as sub jec ts , a lso pos i t ions reader and wr i ter in a l ignment and f rames the post as an impl ied d ia logue rather than a mono log i c address to the reader . As d i scussed prev ious ly , the s tuden ts were wel l aware that the i r posts were being read by others and that they might wel l rece ive c o m m e n t s and responses . S o m e t i m e s , " you get responses and . . . then that m a k e s . . . k ind of /77 l ike a conve r sa t i on . " A l though wr i t ing a post init ial ly appears to be a so l i tary ac t iv i ty , it does , in fact , have m u c h in c o m m o n with part ic ipat ing in a conve rsa t ion . Th rough the act of w r i t i ng , wr i ters clarify the i r ideas and put t hem in intel l ig ible f o r m , fo rmu la t ing ideas wi th potent ia l readers in m ind . As S w a n , S h e a , F reder i cksen , & Pickett o b s e r v e d , the oppor tun i t y to reflect on the i r wr i t ing before post ing it fac i l i tates " m i n d f u l n e s s " and " a cu l ture of ref lect ion in the cou r se , " and th is " cu l tu re of re f l ec t ion " is enhanced by the knowledge that others are reading what you wr i te . In this env i ronment , wr i ters are mindfu l of how thei r wr i t ing will be read and in te rpre ted , and therefore more l ikely to shape the i r wr i t ing in ant ic ipat ion of a response . Wr i t ing in ant ic ipat ion of a response , the wr i ter posi t ions h im or hersel f in the wr i t ing and pos i t ions the reader as we l l . Just as speakers interact with one ano ther th rough l anguage , " es tab l i sh ing a re lat ionship between the person speak ing now and the person who wi l l p robab ly speak n e x t " (Eggins & S l ade , 1 9 9 7 , p. 180 ) , wr i ters interact w i th readers th rough language to estab l ish a re lat ionship with the i r readers . Even when the wr i ter phrases it as " le t m e , " the phrase is a subt le request for pe rmiss ion wh ich the reader tac i t ly grants . Here , the d ia logic s t ructure of the tex t is mos t v is ib le . Even when on-line posts are not s t ructured as threads in which responders take up ideas in a prev ious post and c o m m e n t , ques t i on , or respond to t h e m , the wr i te r es tab l i shes a re lat ionship between h im or herself and the reader . In Ha l l iday 's ( 1984 , 1994) mode l of d ia logue , d ia logue can be ana lyzed and interpreted " as the express ion of in terpersona l re lat ions, " a process of e x c h a n g e " that involves e i ther a " c o m m o d i t y to be e x c h a n g e d : e i ther in format ion or goods and se r v i ces " and the a t t endant roles assoc ia ted w i th e x c h a n g e , " e i the r g iv ing or d e m a n d i n g " (Hal l iday, 1 9 8 4 , 1 9 9 4 , pp . 6 8 - 7 1 , (c i ted in Eggins & S l ade , 1 9 9 7 , p. 180-181) . Hal l iday identi f ies four bas ic speech func t ions : offer , c o m m a n d , s t a tement , and ques t ion , l inking them wi th respond ing speech func t ions ( receive a request for act ion or in fo rmat ion , receive in format ion or goods and se rv i ces , or respond to a quest ion) and wi th g rammat i ca l c lause s t ructure (dec lara t i ve , in te r rogat i ve , impera t i ve , and shades of the prev ious three) (Eggins & S lade , 1 9 9 7 , p. 183 ) . Hal l iday extends his ana lys is f rom d iscourse s t ructure to e n c o m p a s s the soc ia l role(s) enacted by part ic ipants in any exchange : . . . the socia l role that part ic ipants are occupy ing in an interact ion wil l cons t ra in the speech funct ions they have access to when interact ing with speci f ic o thers . Thus , for e x a m p l e , the socia l role of the ' teacher g ives access to the full range of in i t iat ing speech funct ions when interact ing with s tudents , whi le the socia l role of the ' s tuden t ' p laces const ra in ts on both the f requency and types of in i t iat ions that can be made to the teacher (and to other s tudents (Eggins & S lade , 1 9 9 7 , pp. 182-183 ) . /78 Ana lys i s of the g rammat i ca l s t ructures used by the s tudents in the i r pos ts , there fore , can tel l us a great deal about the l inguist ic s t ra teg ies used to es tab l i sh and negot ia te in terpersona l re lat ions between themse l ves . Every text in terpo la tes and addresses a reader , whether overt ly or impl ic i t ly . The inc lus ive impera t i ve is one of the l inguist ic cho ices ava i lab le to s tudents when they want to address and pos i t ion the i r readers , but it was used infrequent ly by this g roup , and was used in on ly three posts in the f irst modu le and in only one post in the second Mill modu le . A far more c o m m o n s t ra tegy was the use of " w e " to include the reader and posi t ion h im or h e r ( i n a l i gnmen t wi th the wr i ter 's ideas : . . . whe the r or not the gove rnmen t produces the soc iety to wh ich we are bound We can al l agree that soc iety can be a tyrant , but is it worse then a t y rann i ca l gove rnmen t ? In fact , it is negat ive as our f r eedom will lessen when we don ' t have to s t rugg le aga ins t any th ing . In actua l i ty , the gove rnmen t is a more potent sub juga to r of our f r eedom of thought and express ion . Given th is asse r t ion , we shou ld still s tr ive for a gove rnmen t wh ich does the best to meet eve ryone ' s best interest . I th ink that gove rnmen t is an imperat i ve part of human c i v i l i za t ion , and whether we agree or d isagree with some of its act ions -the " l ess- than-sat i s fac tory " ones due to the fact that we are not infal l ible as mentioned by Mill-, we have to r e m e m b e r that it has worked relat ively wel l for most h u m a n popu la t ions , and s o m e good usua l l y comes f rom it. In all these posts , the wr i ter has used an inclusive " w e " pronoun to inc lude reader and wr i ter as m e m b e r s of a c o m m o n group who therefore share s im i l a r bel iefs and va lues . Th is is ev ident in "we can all ag ree , " where the wr i ter const ruc ts the readers as hav ing the s a m e va lues and bel iefs. In other posts , " w e " is a l igned wi th or def ined as soc ie ty . In one post , th is a l i gnment is c lear ly expressed as " the soc iety to wh i ch we are b o u n d , " whi le in o thers , it is imp l i ed . The wr i ters make the d is t inct ion made in the propos i t i on : " s o c i e t y " is opposed to " g o v e r n m e n t , " and our f r eedom is th rea tened by gove rnmen t , the "po ten t sub jugator of f r e e d o m , " and " impe ra t i v e par t " of c iv i l izat ion wh ich "does the bes t " for everyone . Interest ingly , the one text wh ich re ferences Mill does so to suppor t an a r g u m e n t which may not please readers : "we are not infal l ible as mentioned by Mill." The reference is formula ted in a double nega t i ve : " no t in fa l l ib le , " rather than direct ly stat ing "we are fa l l ib le , " and the reference to Mi l l—"as men t ioned /79 by "—d is t ances Mill f rom his own s ta tement and uses a weak report ing ve rb to downp l a y the asser t ion as much as poss ib le . Rather than us ing a direct " I" s t a tement , two wr i ters have chosen to use moda l s to indi rect ly convey a t t i tudes : "we should st i l l s t r ive for a g o v e r n m e n t " and "we have to r e m e m b e r . " Both moda l s convey a degree of obl igat ion and therefore an impl ied impera t i ve , but the s t rength of the obl igat ion is mi t igated by the adve rbs " r e l a t i v e l y " wel l and " u s u a l l y " comes f rom it in the second e x a m p l e . These examp les demons t ra te dif ferent s t rategies s tudents use to over t l y pos i t ion t hemse l ves in re lat ion to the ideas in the i r wr i t ing and to the i r readers . In a n o t h e r e x a m p l e , the wr i ter uses the inclusive we in an impl ied cr i t ique of prev ious pos t s : It's clear we need a def in i t ion of t e rmino logy , after read ing the prev ious posts . Define soc iety as the col lect ion of all indiv iduals in a count ry Us ing " w e " inc ludes the wr i ter in the group and softens the cr i t ique . The post cont inues w i th an impera t i ve : "Define soc ie ty , " imply ing that the reader and wr i te r both accept the Writer's def in i t ion . Another post uses a s imi la r s t ra tegy , mov ing f rom an inc lus ive impera t i ve to an overt imperat i ve which gu ides the reader th rough a spec i f ic line of r eason ing : Let me d raw a s imp le i l lustrat ion. Assume that c i t i zens , who act as a g roup of p layers in a g a m e , certa in ly have to fol low the g a m e ru les ; however , g o v e r n m e n t , who play the role of a j udge r , can penal ize those who d isobey or v io la te the rules. Ve ry few of the s tudents f rame the i r posts this way , one wh ich impl ies an author i ta t i ve s tance on the wri ter 's part and thus , the r ight to speak as an exper t . A s the prev ious examp l e s demons t r a t e , the s tudents genera l l y avo id t ak ing author i ta t i ve s tance if poss ib le and prefer more indirect ways of express ing the i r ideas. Us ing the inc lus ive " w e " enab les t h e m to estab l ish a sense of a l ignment between the reader and wr i te r and thus impl ied ag reement rather than express s t rong op in ions make forcefu l s t a t emen ts that might invite a rgument or d i sagreement . In a s tudy exp lor ing " the not ion of wr i ter ident i ty as it is expressed t h rough self-reference in the wr i t ing of L2 undergraduates at a Hong Kong un i ve rs i t y , " Ken Hy land (2002) e x a m i n e d the f requency of the first person pronouns I, we, me, and us (p. 1 0 9 2 ) . Hyland compa red f requency of use of these pronouns in the f inal reports prepared by graduat ing s tudents and in a corpus of publ ished academic ar t ic les . He found that pub l i shed wr i ters were four t imes more l ikely to "exp l i c i t l y in tervene w i th the f i rst p e r s o n " (p. 1098 ) , and interv iewed s tudents and facul ty to de te rmine the reasons for this d i f ference. Hy land noted that the ' exper t wr i ters ' were far more l ikely to use the f irst person to present the i r a rguments or c l a ims than the s tudents were and that s tuden ts /80 " sough t to d isgu ise the i r responsib i l i ty when e laborat ing a rgumen t s or g iv ing o p i n i o n s . " He c o m m e n t e d that the s tudents certa in ly had a rguments and ideas , but phrased t h e m indirect ly in order to "c rea te a d is tance f rom t h e m " (p. 1103 ) , and there fore evaded accountab i l i t y for c l a ims made in the text . In part , th is was because the s tudent projects were done under superv i s ion and often in close co l laborat ion with a facul ty adv i so r or c l assmate wi th w h o m they shared ideas. In part , it was because the s tudents were aware of a cademic convent ions that urge wr i ters to wri te object ive ly and m a s k the i r own vo ice . In part , it was an over t dec is ion not to present themse l ves as too asser t i ve o r to c o m m i t too s t rongly to a c l a im , part icular ly as many of the s tudents c a m e f r om As i an backgrounds which prize modes ty over se l f-assert ion. Hy land conc luded that s tuden ts " consc ious l y avo ided the most author i ta t ive func t ions " and instead chose s t ra teg ies that enab led t hem to "deny ownersh ip and responsib i l i ty for the i r v i e w s " (p. 1107 ) . A l though the webs i te addresses the s tudents d irect ly and invi tes persona l r esponse , and m a n y of the s tudents do choose to use e i ther the f irst person in the i r responses , the reby expl ic i t ly ident i fy ing themse l ves and pos i t ion ing themse l ves in relat ion to the a rgumen t ("I t h ink , " "I be l ieve" ) , or to use a more inc lus ive " w e " in order to s igna l a l i gnment between the reader and the wr i ter , a p reponderance of the responses begin wi th absent or impersona l subjects . S t a tements which began wi th the impersona l " i t " i n c luded : • It is a deception to bel ieve that the gove rnmen t be longs to eve ryone • It is easy to imag ine a s i tuat ion • It is true part icular ly in a democra t i c soc iety • It would be safe to assume that the type of soc ie ty . . • It is not hard to understand that soc iety can be a worse t y ran t • It is a bit hard to understand why • It is therefore possible • It is human nature that can tell us , a person in the g o v e r n m e n t cou ld abuse power because it is human nature to once be in power to s tay in power and accompl i sh greater th ings Ini t ia l ly , it s eems that the s ta tement is an object ive s t a t ement of fact . There is no "I" mak ing a direct s ta tement . Rather than stat ing "I be l i eve , " the wr i ter chooses an impersona l " i t " , wh ich conveys the idea that the bel iefs expressed a re , in fact , a genera l t ruth bel ieved by eve r yone : " i t is t rue . " S imi la r l y , an express ion such as " i t is h u m a n na tu re " f r ames the s ta tement as a genera l t ruth bel ieved by eve ryone rather than a personal s t a tement of belief or op in ion . By choos ing to make the s t a t emen t wi th an impersona l " i t , " the wr i ter evades any not ion of personal respons ib i l i ty for a c t i on , / 8 1 por t ray ing h u m a n beings as pass ive ly man ipu la ted by forces beyond the i r con t ro l . Th is is congruent wi th the use of the pass ive vo ice , in which the agent d i sappears and all respons ib i l i t y is a t t r ibuted to " h u m a n na tu re , " a " t h i n g " wi th no capac i t y to choose to act or change . The large numbe r of " i t " c lauses in the s tudents ' wr i t ing indicated that th is g r ammat i c a l s t ructure was one that deserved a deeper ana lys i s in order to de l ineate the ways in wh ich this part icu lar " g r a m m a t i c a l cho i c e " ref lected the s tuden t s ' percept ion of the soc ia l context in which they were wr i t i ng ; in other words , how th is choice " ins tant i ta te [d ] that socia l con tex t " ( Sch leppegre l l , 2 0 0 1 , p. 4 3 2 ) . In par t i cu lar , I wanted to unders tand how " i t " c lauses could be used to negot ia te the c o m p l e x re la t ionsh ip between top ic , the wri ter 's pos i t ion , and in tended reader , and the necess i ty to a rgue a case or " m a k e your po in t . " A c loser ana lys is of the sen tences in wh i ch " i t " c lauses were found revea led that " i t " c lauses served severa l funct ions . Init ia l ly , the preponderance of " i t " c lauses s eemed to reflect the wr i t e r s ' des i re to adopt an object ive a cademic s tance and to present in format ion object ive ly and w i thout sub jec t i ve bias as in the first e x a m p l e , " i t is t rue . " On c loser e x a m i n a t i o n , it became ev ident that th is k ind of g rammat i ca l const ruct ion actua l ly enab les the wr i te r is to express his or her own beliefs and opin ions indirect ly . Such seeming l y impersona l " i t " s t a t ements can be used to express a wri ter 's stance toward the in format ion he or she conveys . " S t a n c e " refers to a wri ter 's at t i tude toward the s ta tement he or she is m a k i n g . There are severa l ways in which wr i ters convey the i r pos i t ions and a t t i tudes : Whi le moda l s such as " s h o u l d , " " m u s t , " and "need t o " convey a sense of ob l iga t ion , adverb ia l s such as " c e r t a i n l y , " " p r o b a b l y , " and l ike ly " are used to express the wr i ter 's eva lua t ion of the cer ta in ty , f requency , or l ike l ihood of an act ion 's occur rence . Moda l i za t i on , there fore , conveys the speaker/wr i ter ' s at t i tude toward the topic of the fo l lowing c lause . Th is can be expl ic i t or impl ic i t . For e x a m p l e , " I 'm sure tha t " expl ic i t ly expresses the speaker ' s cer ta in ty that an act ion will take place. The moda l adjunct " s u r e l y " se rves the s a m e purpose , but in choos ing it over the more expl ic i t f o r m , the speake r subt l y e rases his or her sub jec t i ve s tance f rom the ut te rance , render ing the s t a t emen t c loser to a s t a t emen t of fact than an express ion of subject ive op in ion . At the s a m e t ime , the sentence pos i t ions the reader/ l is tener in ag reement , imply ing that the at t i tude expressed is shared rather than a persona l s ta tement . E l iminat ing the subjec t i ve " I" f r om the i r wr i t ing is one of the tact ics tha t a c a d e m i c wr i ters use to give a rgumenta t i ve texts an author i ta t ive s tance . By " choos i ng a l inguist ic f o r m " wh ich backgrounds subject ive j u d g m e n t s and f raming t h e m as "ob jec t i ve /82 propos i t i on [ s ] " (Love, 1999 , p. 208 ) , such wr i ters use subt le in terpersona l mean ings to posi t ion themse l ves in relat ion to the text and to the reader. However , c loser examina t i on demons t ra t es that this part icu lar g rammat i ca l s t ructure has m a n y more funct ions than jus t an " impe r sona l i t . " Often t e rmed the "an t i c ipa to ry i t " or the "p repa ra to ry i t " (Hewings & Hewings , 2 0 0 4 , p. 101 ) , th is s t ructure pos i t ions the g r ammat i c a l subject at the end of the c lause and places the " i t " in norma l sub jec t pos i t i on—at the beg inn ing of the c lause . There are severa l reasons why a wr i te r m igh t choose this s t ruc ture : longer subjects are " m o r e often located at the end of the c l a u s e " ; the " t endency in Engl ish to present in format ion wi th in a sentence in the o r d e r ' g i v e n ' to ' n ew ' " ; and the " t endency to place re lat ively long and heavy e l emen ts , t yp ica l l y ca r ry ing a h igh in format ion load , toward the end of the s en t ence " ( Sch leppegre l l , 2 0 0 1 , p. 4 4 3 ; Hewing & Hew ing , 2 0 0 4 , p. 102) . However , th is s t ructure can a lso be adopted as a rhetor ica l s t ra tegy . By prefac ing the in format ion wi th a c lause wh ich expresses the wr i ter 's s tance , reader is subt ly pos i t ioned in relat ion toward the fo l lowing in fo rmat ion . Present ing in format ion in this way persuades the reader to accept the wr i ter 's op in ions or a l ign h im or hersel f in accordance with the wri ter 's s tance toward the in fo rmat ion . For e x a m p l e , the introduct ion "It is a deception to be l i eve " infuses the fo l lowing c lause " the g o v e r n m e n t be longs to e v e r y o n e " with a skept ica l over tone . It conveys the wr i ter 's own d isbe l ie f and urges the reader to be wary of decept ion . S im i l a r l y , the in t roduct ion "It is true par t icu lar ly in a democra t i c soc iety like the one we have in C a n a d a " infuses the fo l lowing c lause wi th a tone of author i ty . Such c lauses are ca l led "p ro jec t ing c l auses " in s y s t em i c funct iona l l inguist ics because they "a l low the wr i ter to encode an eva lua t ion wh ich then in f luences " the way in which the fo l lowing c lause is in terpreted (Hewings & Hewings , 2 0 0 0 4 , p. 102 ) . One poss ib le reason for the use of the th i rd person " i t " c lauses is that they convey an ob jec t i ve s tance , and sugges t that the wr i ter 's a r g u m e n t is based on a n appea l to the rat ional rather than the emot iona l as wel l as to a sense of shared unde r s t and ings , whi le us ing direct " I " s t a t ements such as "I t h ink " or "I be l i eve " renders the author ' s sub jec t i ve source posi t ion c lear and therefore more " vu lne rab le to d i spu t e " (Love, 1 9 9 9 , p. 204 ) . As noted prev ious ly , a l though some s tudents do d isagree d i rec t l y wi th one ano the r ("I d i sagree wi th your pos t " ) , many of t hem choose more indirect ways to express d i s ag reemen t and often act ive ly avoid it. The not ion of s tance , there fore , encompasses a wr i ter 's a t t i tude toward the in format ion presented and the ways in which the wr i ter e i ther chooses to " i n t r u d e " into the wr i t ing and " s t a m p " it wi th his or her "pe r sona l au thor i t y " or to " s t ep back " and " d i s g u i s e " his or her presence and invo lvement (Hy land , 2 0 0 5 , p. 176 ) . In his ana lys i s of /83 s tance in art ic les wr i t ten by profess ional a cademics , Ken Hy land ident i f ies wha t he t e rms " h e d g e s , " " b o o s t e r s , " " a t t i tude m a r k e r s , " and " se l f -ment ions " as the four ma in e l emen t s of s tance , or g r ammat i c a l s t ructures which enable the wr i ter to de t e rm ine the " e x t e n t to which the wr i ter chooses to project h im or hersel f into the t e x t " (Hy l and , 2 0 0 5 , p. 178 ) . Hedges are g r ammat i c a l e l ements which indicate " the wr i ter 's dec is ion to w i thho ld comple te c o m m i t m e n t to a p ropos i t i on " and present in format ion as an op in ion rather than accredi ted fact. Modals such as " m i g h t , " " p o s s i b l e , " and " m a y " of ten func t ion as hedges . In profess iona l ar t ic les , such st rategies enable wr i ters to evade c l a ims of f inal author i ty in re lat ion to the in format ion presented and to imp ly instead that an a r g u m e n t " i s based on p laus ib le reasoning rather than cer ta in know l edge . " P rofess iona l a cademics are wel l aware that all ideas are subject to cont inua l d i scuss ion and rev iew, a n d , by " m a r k i n g s t a t ements as p rov i s iona l , " convey " de f e r ence " and " r e spec t for co l l eagues v i e w s . " Boosters , on the other hand , convey the wr i ter 's cer ta inty about what they say . Words l ike " c l ea r l y , " " o b v i o u s l y , " and " d e m o n s t r a t e " carry a s t rong pos i t ive charge and imply an author i ta t i ve s tance . In Hy land 's v iew, "bo th boosters and hedges . . . ba lance object ive i n fo rmat ion , subject ive eva luat ion and in terpersona l nego t i a t i on , " the reby "ga in ing acceptance for c l a i m s " made by the wr i ter (Hy land , 2 0 0 5 , p. 178-180 ) . At t i tude marke rs convey the wr i ter 's a t t i tude toward the in fo rmat ion . Marke rs can be ve rbs (agree, prefer ) , adverbs (unfor tunate ly ) , or ad ject ives (unfor tunate ) . Acco rd ing to Hy l and , they s ignal " an assumpt ion of shared at t i tudes , va lues and reac t ions , " mak ing it diff icult for the reader to d ispute the a rgumen t s or in format ion presented (Hy l and , 2 0 0 5 , p. 180 ) . Se l f-ment ion refers to the expl ic i t use of the f irst pe rson . Hy land ' s ana lys i s revea led that whi le the use of the first person is cons idered a way to " ga i n credi t for an indiv idual pe rspec t i ve " in the humani t i es and socia l sc iences , it is eschewed in the sc iences , gove rned an empir i c i s t ideology (Hy land , 2 0 0 5 , p. 181 ) . A l though academic wr i t ing is thought to be factual and objec t ive , ana l yses of a cademic texts reveal that such wr i t ing is compr i sed of in format ion and ref lect ion on the in format ion conta ined . Academic wr i t ing is, in all its f o rms , a "pe r suas i ve endeavou r invo lv ing interact ion between wr i ters and s p e a k e r s " (Hy l and , 2 0 0 5 , p. 173 ) , and ana l yses of pub l i shed academic art ic les in a var ie ty of d isc ip l ines demons t r a t e s the wr i ter ' s awareness Of and careful address to his or her readers . Success fu l a cademics do not wr i te texts " tha t p laus ib ly represent an externa l rea l i ty " but a lso use l anguage to " a c k n o w l e d g e , const ruct , and negot iate soc ia l re la t ions" (Hy l and , 2 0 0 5 , p. 173) in o rder to ga in acceptance for the ideas p resented . Research s tud ies on a cadem i c wr i t ing have /84 begun to focus on st rategies academic wr i ters emp loy to address the i r readers and bui ld conv inc ing , persuas ive a rguments (Hewings & Hewings , 2 0 0 0 4 ; Hy l and , 2 0 0 5 ) . Not surpr i s ing ly , one of the rhetor ical dev ices that a cademic wr i ters c o m m o n l y emp loy is the use of " i t " c lauses . Ana l yses and compar i son of dif ferent genres of texts have shown " i t " c lauses to be re lat ive ly more f requent in academic wr i t ing as compa red to o ther genres such as newspape r art ic les o r f ict ional texts (Hewings & Hewings , 2 0 0 0 4 , p. 102 ) , Hewings and Hewings s tud ied the use of " i t " c lauses in two compute r i zed tex tua l co rpora . The use of compute r i zed data enabled t hem to exam ine large quant i t i es of text and to compa re wr i t ing in publ ished journa ls to wr i t ing in doctora l d i sser ta t ions wr i t ten by non-nat ive speakers of Eng l i sh . Focusing on " i t " c lauses which served an in terpersona l funct ion such as c o m m e n t i n g o n , eva lua t ing , or hedging the subsequen t c l ause , they c lass i f ied the " i t " c lauses as hedges , at t i tude marke r s , empha t i c s (boosters ) , and a t t r ibu t ions ( the wr i ter a t t r ibutes the idea to a spec i f ic re ference o r m a k e s a genera l a t t r ibut ion wi th no reference) . The researchers found that s tudents used more " i t " c lauses ove ra l l , but m a d e grea te r uses of " i t " c lauses to indicate a t t i tude, empha t i c s or boos te rs , and to a t t r ibute a s t a t ement to a reference (Hewings and Hewings , 2 0 0 4 , p. 106-108) . They noted that many of the g rammat i c a l const ruct ions found with " i t " c lauses in the d isser ta t ions sugges ted a " re luc tance or inab i l i ty " to make direct s t a tements . On the cont ra ry , empha t i c s were used repeated ly in the d isser ta t ions to make s t rong c l a ims . The researchers charac ter ized this as congruent with " m o r e over t effort to persuade readers of the t ruth of the i r s t a t e m e n t s " on the part of the s tudents than publ i shed wr i te rs . Th is indicates that s tudents who are wr i t ing d isser ta t ions tend to adopt a more mono log i c s tance than publ i shed academics who posi t ion themse l ves as m e m b e r s of a c o m m u n i t y in wh ich ideas are cont inua l ly in terpreted , re-interpreted and negot ia ted . Th is awareness is ref lected in a more d ia logic s tance adopted by profess ional a cademics , who e m p l o y language to both present the i r ideas and to " a cknow ledge , const ruct , and negot ia te soc ia l re l a t ions " wi th the i r peers (Hy l and , 2 0 0 5 , p. 173) . 3.11 Stance, attitude, and modality in discussions regarding government, society, and specific examples Tabl ing of s t a tements made wi th it c lauses revea led that such c lauses were pr imar i l y used to convey s t rong at t i tudes in an indirect fash ion whe the r the s tudents were mak ing genera l c l a ims or using speci f ic examp les to suppor t the i r a r g u m e n t s . I wou ld specu la te , there fore , that the s tudents evaded us ing direct " I " s t a t emen ts when they wanted to make s t rong c la ims and used more indirect l inguist ic s t ruc tu res . / 8 5 Strong implicit attitude conveyed through impersonal "it" clause " e v i d e n t " has over tones of a rgumenta t i v e language This is def in i te ly evident in our mode rn day soc iety . Th is is espec ia l ly evident when look inq at the Canad ian gove rnmen t as a respons ib le gove rnment Strong implicit attitude conveyed through impersonal "it" clause " t r u e " conveys the not ion of a genera l , unques t ioned t ruth bel ieved by everyone it is true part icu lar ly in a democra t i c society l ike the one we have in C a n a d a , It is true that most gove rnmen t s do se rve the purpose to m a x i m i z e the benef i ts of its people and it is true that there are no future plans to open up more safe in ject ion si tes in downtown Vancouve r or in o ther cites in Canada . Strong implicit attitude conveyed through impersonal "it" clause " o b v i o u s " is a very s t rong wo rd , imp ly ing that it shou ld be obv ious now even if not before And it is obvious that many of these gove rnment enacted rules are b roken . It is obvious that in a democra t i c soc ie ty , the major i ty shou ld be heard , but they should not be in a posi t ion to abuse of the i r power , and rule out the minor i t y Strong implicit attitude conveyed through adjectivals Obv ious + noun Napo leon , Mousou l in i , S a d a m Huss ien are obvious e x a m p l e s of t y ran i c gove rnments . ,which the a rgument is more obv ious l y , Obv ious l y + verb This obviously e l iminates the possibi l i t ies of idea d ic ta torsh ip Us ing the impersona l " i t " d is tances the wr i ter f rom the s t rong c l a im or op in ion e x p r e s s e d . There is no subject ive "I," speak ing . Rather than s ta t ing "I be l i eve , " the wr i ter expresses his or her bel iefs as a genera l t ruth bel ieved by e ve r yone : " i t is t r u e . " S im i l a r l y , an express ion such as " i t is h u m a n na tu r e " pos i t ions the s t a t e m e n t as a genera l t ruth bel ieved by everyone rather than a personal s t a t ement of bel ief or op in ion . By f r aming the s ta tement with an impersona l " i t , " the wr i ter a lso evades any not ion of persona l respons ib i l i ty for ac t ion , portray ing h u m a n beings as pass ive ly man ipu la ted by forces beyond the i r cont ro l . This is congruent with the use of the pass ive vo ice . Us ing an express ion such as " i t is obv ious " impl ies that it shou ld be obv ious , but f r aming it as an impersona l s t a t ement rather than a subject ive op in ion . In the express ions "It wou ld be safe to a s s u m e that the type of soc i e t y " and "It is not hard to unders tand that society can be a worse t y ran t , " the verb is d i s tanced f rom the impersona l subject by a moda l express ion or a double negat i ve , fu r ther w e a k e n i n g the s ta tement . S imi l a r l y , the wr i ter chooses to weaken the s t rong c l a im that people who bel ieve " tha t the gove rnmen t be longs to e v e r y o n e " have been dece ived by m a k i n g it an indirect and impersona l " i t " s t a tement : "It is a decept ion to be l i eve . " /86 S im i l a r s t rategies can be found in s ta tements where wr i ters use the s t rong verb " a r g u e . " The webs i te mater ia ls draw the s tudents ' a t tent ion to the way in wh i ch Mill ant ic ipates counter-arguments . Severa l s tudents emp loyed the s a m e s t ra tegy , but used indirect l anguage to d is tance themse l ves f rom the counte r-arguments that might be emp loyed aga ins t t h e m . Rather than direct ly express ing d i sag reemen t wi th an a rgumen t , one wr i ter used the express ion "I am sure that it can be argued that soc ie ty can be a grea te r ty rant than g o v e r n m e n t . " The wr i ter 's ce r ta in ty ("I a m sure " ) is separa ted f rom the a rgumen t by the impersona l " i t " and also by the use of the pass ive vo ice , imp ly ing that it is not the wr i ter 's a rgument and that , in fact , the wr i te r doesn ' t know who , if anyone , wou ld make the a rgument . Other posts used the vocabu l a r y of a rgumen t in impersona l sentences such as "It can be even argued f u r t he r , " "Even if people may argue," and "One may argue," "Even if one were to argue," and "this is difficult to argue." Al l these posts d is tance the wr i ter f rom the a r g u m e n t and used genera l subjects rather than specif ic examp les . Hewings and Hewings ' d i scuss ion of the use of " a r g u e " is par t icu lar ly in terest ing in relat ion to the present s tudy . They noted that the verb " a r g u e " was found far more often in " i t " c lauses in d isser ta t ions than in publ ished art ic les , whi le in publ i shed j ou rna l s it was used when report ing o thers ' v iews unless the wr i ter d i rect ly contes ted those v iews (Hewings and Hewings , 2 0 0 4 , p. 109) , aga in sugges t ing that novice wr i ters used the verb more of ten than more exper ienced wr i ters to present s t rong c l a ims , but at the s a m e t ime , adopted the more impersona l " i t " c lause to do so . In th is s tudy , the ve rb is not used un less it is at t r ibuted to Mill or to report v iews that an unspec i f ied o ther m igh t hold and wh ich the wr i ter is contes t ing . Severa l s tudents emp loyed genera l subjects such as " p e o p l e " and " o n e " : People's acts are a lways contro l led by socia l op in ion and inter ference One may argue that we are bound ... the quest ion we must ask ourse lves is There fore , based on this exp lana t ion , one can assume that soc ie ty wh i ch in the most e l ementa ry t e rms may be def ined as the peop le ; ac tua l ly the g o v e r n m e n t Even if one were to argue that people a re ab le to act out aga ins t soc ie ty in the i r own ways , Use of such genera l and subjects (it, one , there is, there a re , etc.) m a y be a s t ra tegy used by the s tudents to estab l ish an impersona l , a cademic tone in the i r posts . Ce r ta in l y , the use of " o n e " is rarely found in North A m e r i c a n Eng l i sh , except for a cadem i c tex ts . In add i t ion , a very large numbe r of the responses conta in sentences s t ruc tured in the pass ive fo rm so that the subject is comple te l y absent . Where people are referred to /87 as sub jec ts , they are often referred to gener ica l ly as " o n e " or as a group ( "people" ) or as " s o c i e t y " (the t e rm used in the or ig inal propos i t ion) . 3.12 Modals, Hedges, and Boosters The s tudents used very few hedges , such as " m i g h t , " " p o s s i b l e , " or " m a y . " Impersona l " i t " c lauses were used more f requent ly for this purpose . Whi le the s tuden ts did use boosters , such as " o b v i o u s , " " t r u e , " and " e v i den t , " they s i tuated t h e m in " i t " c lauses rather than mak ing direct " I " s ta tements and tak ing a s t rong author ia l s tance . Two moda l s recurred f requent ly in the s tudents ' pos ts : " s h o u l d " and " m u s t . " Both are moda l s which indicate necess i ty or ob l iga t ion , and were used a lmos t equa l l y in pass ive and act ive fo rms . Whe the r used in the pass ive or the act ive f o r m , both moda l s were used to express a st rong necess i ty . " S h o u l d " indicates necess i ty or ob l iga t ion . Shou ld + pass ive voice Obl igat ion for act ion to take place but no agent speci f ied Further , gove rnmen t and soc ie ty should be distinguished in the fact that g o v e r n m e n t expected code of its c i t izens (which make up a soc ie ty ) takes the fo rm of wr i t ten legis lature Genera l l y , I feel that is it impor tan t the major i ty should be heard, but they shou ld not be in a posi t ion to abuse of the i r power , If the pol ic ies of the g o v e r n m e n t fac i l i tate the enc roachment , is it soc iety or the g o v e r n m e n t that should be held responsible? that are prevent ing t h e m f rom be ing t rea ted wi th respect The a rgument of whe ther soc ie ty is worse than gove rnment , should be dissected at the perspect ive of which one holds the power Sure , Mil ls cr i t ic izes those who bel ieve that the will of the major i ty should be followed abso lute ly , yet he also s tates but ra ther by conv inc ing a certa in op in ion to be the t rues t or best ' no t i on ' that should be accepted by all Usua l ly , th is project should be held and put aside but it is not. because soc iety should be ' the wil l of the people Shou ld + BE + adject ive Used on ly once In theory a gove rnmen t should be representative of the soc ie ty it is mean t to admin is t ra te Shou ld + Verb Ob l iga t ion/ necess i ty for act ion to The ideal way of how a soc iety should function shou ld depend on the soc iety itself / 8 8 happen Act i ve v e rbs : func t ion , choose , str ive Occur A lso used wi th " h a v e " once to ta lk about power A lso used wi th " b e " once to indicate an ideal s tate Shouldn't we choose to govern based upon our op in ion , or the op in ions of the major i t y , Mean ing that soc iety should have power ove r the gove rnmen t we should still strive for a g o v e r n m e n t wh ich does the best to meet eve ryone ' s best interest . There is no law, that I know off, that s ta tes that d isc r iminat ion aga ins t these g roups should occur , yet it does that society it protected f rom itself ( t y ranny of major i ty ) and it should not matter whose s ide (opinion-wise) is being pro tec ted . Should soc ie ty , vo ters in this case , impede on the r ights of the minor i t y , it does so th rough the gove rnment . the idea of how "mar r i age should be a un ion of a man and a w o m a n " , it is the author i t y of the major i ty in the soc iety Must - impl ies s t rong necess i ty or ob l igat ion Used wi th pass ive and vo ice Must + BE + Ved and in the spir i t of Mil l 's point that one 's bel iefs must be we ighed aga ins t the a r g u m e n t s , Mill a lso wr i tes that m a n y th ings in soc iety must be " exp re s sed wi th equal f r eedom Thus , minor i t ies must be protected aga ins t the will of the major i ty s ince it may try to take away the l iberty of the minor i ty . Ac t i ve vo ice Expresses s t rong necess i ty Must + V Further , In order for there to be a rul ing and successfu l democra t i c gove rnmen t , soc ie ty must buy into its ideals The ques t ion we must ask ourse l ves is whe the r or not the gove rnmen t Gove rnmen t sets per imeters unde r wh i ch both indiv iduals and society as a whole must func t ion in order to avoid pun i shmen t one must look at it in a way that soc ie ty is made up of the masses and in t e rms of power ve ry dif ferent than a G o v e r n m e n t In a research s tudy on undergraduate academic wr i t i ng , Robyn Woodward-Kron looked a t feedback and c o m m e n t s g i ven by g radua te s tudent tu tors on unde rg radua te s tudent essays on educa t ion . L inguist ic ana lys is of the feedback revea led spec i f ic ways in wh ich the markers were soc ia l iz ing the s tudents into the d iscurs ive pract ices va lued in academic wr i t i ng . She found that the tutors often replaced t e rms such as 'w r i t i ngs ' w i th more spec i f ic t e rms such as ' r e sea r ch ' or ' ev idence , ' t e rms wh ich " re f lec ted the knowledge-bu i ld ing pract ices of the d i sc ip l ines . " S imi l a r l y , 'na ture-nur ture theory' was replaced by ' na tu r e-nu r tu r e debate"' (Woodward-Kron , 2 0 0 4 , sec t ion 5 .1 .1 . , para 1). Woodward-Kron a lso found that the tutors of ten ad jus ted degrees of moda l i t y in the s tudents wr i t i ng , modi fy ing abso lute c la ims to inc lude a degree of hedg ing . C o m m e n t s 7 8 9 such as ^proves is rather s t r ong ' and 'I th ink ' or 'I be l ieve ' were f requent l y exp ressed th rough more impersona l const ruct ions such as ' it is essen t i a l ' o r ' i t s e e m s , ' fea tures of " m a t u r e a cademic d i scourses , in which a rguments and propos i t ions tend to be expressed impe rsona l l y " (sect ion 5 .1 .1 . , para 2) . Woodward-Kron conc luded that ma rke r f eedback a t t empted to " soc ia l i ze s tudents into the d iscurs ive pract ices of the d i sc ip l i ne , " and at tended mos t to " h o w the spec ia l is t knowledge of the d isc ip l ine was c o n s t r u c t e d " " (sect ion 5.1 .2 . , para 4 ) . Our ana lys is of the lexical choices and d iscurs i ve s t ra teg ies emp loyed by these s tudents echo Woodward-Kron 's f ind ings . 3.13 Preliminary observations In the next chapter , I wil l look at the d iscurs ive s t rategies s tudents used when incorpora t ing ev ident ia ls f rom histor ica l o r con tempora r y e x a m p l e s ra ther than f r o m Mi l l . As we wil l see , I not iced a lmost immed ia te l y that s tudents used more " I " s t a t emen ts and spoke much more s t rong ly and direct ly when referr ing to ev idence d rawn f rom con tempora r y o r h istor ica l examp les than when referr ing to Mil l 's t ex t a n d specu la ted on the reasons why this might be so. Possible reasons inc lude : • S tudents v iew Mill as an author i ty but are re luctant to d i rect ly appropr ia te his text . A s we noted prev ious ly , s t rong report ing verbs were used far more of ten when at t r ibuted to Mill than in direct "I" s t a tements . Mil l 's prose is c o m p l e x and often diff icult to unders tand and the s tudents may wel l fear that s t rong c la ims will draw at tent ion to misunders tand ings and mis in te rpre ta t ions of the text • The s tudents are aware that the course coord ina tor and the i r TAs have read Mill prev ious ly and are fami l ia r with his ideas. Perhaps they fear say ing the "w rong t h i n g " or showing that they have not read or unders tood Mi l l . As they are equa l ly aware that they are being graded on the i r posts they m a y choose to speak indirect ly • S tudents ment ioned in the interv iews that they wou ld have preferred to choose the i r own side of the a rgument . Th is may represent a fo rm of res is tance to the ass ignment • S o m e of the ind i rectness of the s tudents ' l anguage m a y ref lect an inabi l i ty to c lear ly es tab l ish the connect ion between Mil l 's ev idence and the c l a im they are a rgu ing . They use genera l subjects (people , s o m e , one) and genera l s t a tements (it/ this) to introduce perspect i ves , op in ions and ev idence that "be long to soc iety at large rather than exc lus ive ly to the ind iv idua l wr i t e r " the reby def lect ing "a t tent ion away f rom indiv idua l o p i n i o n " and e m p h a s i z i n g " b roade r c o m m u n i t y v i ews " (Coff in & Hewings , 2 0 0 4 , p. 165 ) , the reby creat ing a sense that readers and wr i ter share s im i l a r v i ews • • The s tudents c o m e f rom a wide var ie ty of backgrounds , and m a n y are of As i an or ig in . Many of the s tudents a re non-nat ive speake r s of Eng l i sh . Trad i t iona l l y , in As ian cu l tures , as Ken Hy land obse r ved , modes t y is va lued and sel f-assert ion is censu red . Add i t iona l l y , As ian cu l tures of ten v i ew the wr i t ten word as a reposi tory of knowledge not mean t to be in te r rogated or /90 cr i t iqued . The s tudents may feel that it is inappropr ia te to speak out too s t rong ly when d iscuss ing Mi l l—or a c la im that they bel ieve Mill made (as m a n y of the s tudents s eem to bel ieve) Our ana lys i s of the l inguist ic choices s tudents make ref lects the comp lex i t y of an apparent l y s t ra ight forward task : compos ing a two-paragraph onl ine post . Consc ious of the necess i ty to a rgue the i r case and make a c lear point , the s tudents mus t a lso pos i t ion t hemse l ves in relat ion to the topic and to the i r readers . Author ia l s tance , there fore , is not a s imp le mat te r of dec id ing whether to adopt the author ia l " I" or the th i rd pe r son , but encompasses constant l inguist ic choices which infuse the in format ion wi th a carefu l ly ba lanced degree of author ia l s tance , convey subt le shades of m e a n i n g , in terpolate the reader in the text , and posi t ion the wr i ter in relat ion to the reader , whi le at the s a m e t ime leav ing open a space for cont inued negot iat ion of mean ing and fu ther d i a logue . The l inguist ic cho ices and d iscurs ive strategies the s tudents use reflect the comp lex i t y of the task . /91 Chapter 4 Engaging with Evidence 4.1 Academic writing and evidentials E v i d e n t i a l are one of the most character is t ic features of a c adem i c t ex t s , whe the r peer-rev iewed art ic les publ ished in academic j ou rna l s , book rev iews , g rant p roposa l s , conference submiss i ons , or s tudent research essays . As "d i sc ip l ina ry d i scourse has become a means of fund ing , cons t ruc t ing , eva lua t ing , d isp lay ing and negot ia t ing k n o w l e d g e " in d iverse academic d isc ip l ines wi th the goal of add ing new research f ind ings to " a body of cert i f ied know ledge " (Hy land , 2 0 0 0 , p. 5 ) , researchers need to expl ic i t l y s i tuate themse l ves wi th in the context of " c e r t i f i ed " knowledge and to es tab l i sh the va l id i ty of the i r c l a ims in relat ion to it. Texts const ruct knowledge by care fu l l y s i tuat ing the author ' s c l a ims in re lat ion to prev ious research , and negot ia t ing the i r va l id i ty t h rough conv inc ing a rgumen t s and appropr ia te tone. A c a d e m i c wr i ters in d i f ferent d i sc ip l ines , there fore , emp loy "d i f fe rent appea ls to background knowledge , d i f ferent means of es tab l i sh ing t ru th , and different ways of engag ing wi th r eade rs " (Hy l and , 2 0 0 0 , p. 3) . Whi le what is cons idered val id ev idence might differ f rom disc ip l ine to d isc ip l ine , ev ident ia l i ty is centra l to this endeavor . Ev ident ia ls are def ined as the "meta l i ngu i s t i c representa t ions of an idea f r om another s o u r c e " (Thomas & Hawres , 1994 , p. 129 , cited in Hy l and , 2 0 0 5 , p. 31 ) . In Tou lm in ' s fo rmula t ion of an a rgument , ev ident ia ls are the " d a t a " or ev idence wh i ch suppor t the c l a im . Ev ident ia ls do not funct ion so le ly to report or represent ideas , but a lso convey a wr i ter 's a t t i tude or posi t ion in relat ion to the ideas repor ted , inc lud ing the degree to wh i ch an idea is re l iable (certa in ly , p robab ly , s o m e w h a t ) , the m o d e of knowledge (belief, induc t ion , hearsay ) , and indicat ions of the wr i ter 's s tance (clearly, however, similarly) ( Ba r ton , 2 0 0 4 ) , p. 72 ) . Ev ident ia ls prov ide ev idence and suppor t for the author ' s c l a ims , whi le at the s a m e t ime they "gu ide the reader 's i n t e rp re t a t i on " of the text and "es tab l i sh an author ia l c o m m a n d of the sub jec t . " For both s tudents and profess iona l a cademic s , ev ident ia ls s i tuate the wri ter 's a r g u m e n t s w i th in a " c o m m u n i t y based l i t e ra ture " wh ich prov ides it with " impor t an t suppor t " : Ev ident ia ls d is t ingu ish who is respons ib le for a posi t ion and whi le th is may contr ibute to a persuas ive goa l , it needs to be d is t ingu ished f rom the wr i ter 's s tance towards the v iew, which is coded as an interpersonal feature (Hy l and , 2 0 0 5 , p. 51-52) . In add i t ion to direct reference o r c i tat ion of ev ident ia l suppor t , wr i ters a lso exp l a i n , e l abora te , or reflect on it. This addi t ional in format ion may prov ide fur ther exp l i ca t ion as to how the wr i ter s i tuates his or her a rgument in re lat ion to the ev idence /92 or m a y refer d i rect ly to the reader 's knowledge by g iv ing fur ther def in i t ions or e x a m p l e s to clar i fy ev ident ia l s t a tements . The mos t c o m m o n fo rm of ev ident ia ls in formal research papers , doctora l d i sser ta t ions and publ ished jou rna l art ic les is c i ta t ion. C i t a t i on , wh ich is " cen t r a l to the socia l context of pe r suas i on , " prov ides ev idence for a rgumen t s , demons t r a t e s the va l id i ty of wr i ter 's a rgumen t s in relat ion to prev ious ly es tab l i shed know ledge , negot ia tes be tween and s i tuates the wr i ter 's c l a ims and posi t ion in relat ion to often conf l ic t ing v iews . C i ta t ions he lp wr i ters to demons t r a t e connect ions to pr ior know ledge and resea rch wh i le at the s a m e t ime emphas i z i ng the writer 's "or ig ina l i t y and d ivergence to wha t has gone be fo re " (Hy l and , 2 0 0 5 , p. 117) . For s tudent wr i ters , the use of ev ident ia ls serves a s imi la r purpose . P r imar i l y , ev ident ia ls enab le them to "es tab l i sh a credi table wr i ter ident i t y " by " s h o w i n g fami l i a r i t y wi th the l i terature and wi th an ethos that va lues a d isc ip l inary research t r a d i t i o n " (Hy l and , 2 0 0 5 , p. 56) . In other words , ev ident ia ls d isp lay the wr i ter 's fami l i a r i t y wi th the d isc ip l ine , show the professor of TA who is mark ing the paper that the wr i te r has done his or her homework , and enable the wr i ter es tab l ish an author i ta t i ve s tance . Th rough ev ident ia l s , the s tudent wr i ter va l idates his or her a rgument in re lat ion to an es tab l i shed body of knowledge and demons t ra tes his or her r ight to be taken ser ious ly by exper t s in the f ie ld . In an ana lys i s of a rgumenta t ion in wr i t ing by ESL s tudents tak ing an " Eng l i sh E n h a n c e m e n t " course for undergraduate s tudents in a Hong Kong un ive rs i t y , D e s m o n d Al l i son ident i f ied the most prob lemat i c aspects in the s tudent s amp le s a s : 1. asser t ions and st rong wr i ter c o m m i t m e n t s that lack war ran t (necessary ev idence being absent , inconc lus ive , or incons is tent wi th c l a ims made )—one such examp le is when a wr i ter asser ts that some th ing is " a l w a y s " the case , desp i te e i ther the unl ike l ihood of th is be ing so or actua l ev idence to the contrary in the essay ; 2. a t t empts to qual i fy asser t ions that are l iable to convey vagueness or equ ivoca t ion over content , relat ive to other indicat ions of the wr i ter 's s tance and reasoning ( compare to a certain extent and totally different as ind icat ions of a degree of con t ras t ) ; 3. asser t ions that state the obv ious , f rom the reader 's perspec t i ve , thus t end ing to reflect unfavorab ly on the wri ter 's competence- in i t ia l a t t empts by ESL s tudents to wri te int roduct ions that de l ineate an approach to an issue in the i r essays can backf i re in this respect . (A l l i son, 1 9 9 5 , p. 10) . In her s tudy of tu tor feedback to novice a cademic wr i te rs , Robyn Woodward-Kron 's s tudy observed that the tutors focused on this aspect of the i r s tuden t s ' w r i t i ng , adv is ing s tudents to include more references to estab l i shed sources and ed i t ing and correct ing c i ta t ions . They were ins istent that s tudents needed to s i tuate the i r know ledge /93 c la ims by inter textua l references to es tab l i shed academic wr i te rs , the reby enab l ing t h e m to "bu i l d up knowledge c l a ims by draw ing on the exp lana t ion of o the r a u t h o r s " and to give " a u t h o r i t y " to knowledge c la ims they make " by referr ing to publ i shed r e s e a r c h " (sect ion 5 .1 .1 . , para 2) as es tab l i shed academic wri ters do . Inc lus ion of spec i f ic d isc ip l ine-re lated te rmino logy and intertextual re ferences , in the tu tors ' v i ew, gave the s tuden ts ' work more author i ty and helped them to speak wi th in and speak to m e m b e r s of a d isc ip l inary d iscourse c o m m u n i t y which wou ld recognize and acknow ledge the va l id i ty of the i r c l a ims . By encourag ing the s tudents to ground the i r a rgumen t s in the " exp l ana t i on of other a u t h o r s " and to careful ly "c lar i fy logical re l a t ions " so that the i r a rgumen t s were careful ly wa r ran ted , the tutors were soc ia l iz ing the s tudents into the d iscurs ive pract ices of the academic c o m m u n i t y and the ways in wh ich d i scurs i ve pract ices const ruc t d isc ip l inary knowledge . Woodward-Kron conc luded that a l though " m a r k e r feedback did a t tempt to soc ia l ize s tudents into the d iscurs ive pract ices of the d i sc ip l ine , " it a t tended most to " h o w the specia l is t knowledge of the d isc ip l ine was cons t ru c t ed " (sect ion 5.1 .2 . , para 4 ) . 4.2 Academic writing and the online environment A great deal of the research on academic wr i t ing has c o mpa r e d profess iona l a cademic wr i t ing wi th the wr i t ing produced by novices or s tudents in order to ident i fy the speci f ic features of profess ional a cademic wr i t ing which can be expl ic i t ly t aught to s tudents . F indings of these s tud ies were inc luded in the l i terature rev iew. As we are pr imar i l y interested in onl ine wri t ing in academic con tex ts , two s tud ies are of par t i cu lar interest to us. Judi th Lapadat (2000) examined on-line interact ions in three g radua te educa t ion courses to " inves t iga te the idea that d iscurs ive interact ion in a s ynch ronous , text-based onl ine courses may be un ique ly sui ted to foster ing h igher o rder t h i nk ing , soc ia l const ruc t ion of m e a n i n g , and shif ts in perspec t i ve " (p. 8) . She noted more par t i c ipat ion and a h igher qua l i ty of d iscuss ion when she made d iscuss ion a requ i rement and marked par t i c ipa t ion , c o m m e n t i n g that " c lass m e m b e r s became intense ly engaged in the course and cont r ibuted many , lengthy , deep ly thought fu l r emarks to the d i s c u s s i o n " wh ich " e x c e e d e d m i n i m u m requ i rements for par t i c ipa t ion " and that , . in gene ra l , " the level of d i scuss ion was super ior to what I had observed in teach ing the s a m e course F 2 F " (p. 8 ) . These observa t ions led her to wonder " w h y this onl ine env i ronment appea red to b e so success fu l in scaf fo ld ing s tudents ' th ink ing about course t h e m e s " (p. 8 ) . Lapadat charac ter ized the "on l ine textua l env i r onmen t " in wh ich " con t r ibu t ions show a b lend of both wr i t ten l anguage and ora l l anguage charac te r i s t i c s " m a y have fac i l i tated a h igher " cogn i t i ve level of the d i s cou rse " (p. 15) . As the par t i c ipants in her /94 c lasses were graduate s tudents with " a cadem i c habits of m i n d " and the a cademic con tex t i tsel f " f o reg rounds hyper-l i terate academic d i s cou r se , " inc lud ing " c o m p l e t e , we l l- formed sen tences , l i terate g rammat i ca l s t ructures wi th comp lex c lausa l s t ruc tures ra ther than the add i t i ve , aggrega t i ve , and redundant pat terns found in oral t e x t s , " the s tudents tended to produces c lear ly fo rmula ted contr ibut ions charac ter ized by " t ex tua l a r g u m e n t s t ruc tures that f reeze m e a n i n g " and rely on readers ' ab i l i ty to look back a n d " u s e of prec ise , fo rma l vocabu l a r y " (p. 17) . Whi le the s tudents emp loyed " a l i terate pat tern of a cademic a r g u m e n t a t i o n , " " they a lso inserted conversa t iona l e l ements into the i r con t r ibu t ions " inc luding " appea l to personal anecdotes and stor ies . . . to ancho r the i r po in t s " (pp 17-18) . Lapadat conc luded that the "ora l- l ike aspec t of on l ine d i s cuss ion led ve ry natura l ly to part ic ipants mak ing theory-pract ice connect ions th rough wr i t ing in the f irst pe r son , s tat ing op in ions , and offer ing pract ical e x a m p l e s , " (p. 18) wh ich enab led s tudents to reflect on and theor ize about the i r own pract ice as teachers . Lapadat a lso observed that graduate s tudents emu la t ed the "ob jec t i ve , de t a ched , omn i sc i en t author ia l vo i ce " found in "p ro fess iona l publ ica t ions , school t ex tbooks , and t rad i t iona l a cademic t e x t s " when wr i t ing formal papers , but, by ask ing s tudents to " re f lec t on and theor ize about the i r own prac t i ce " in the i r onl ine d i scuss ion enab led t h e m to m a k e " theory-pract i ce connect ions th rough wr i t ing in the f irst pe r son , s ta t ing op in ions , and offer ing pract ica l e x a m p l e s " (p. 18) couched in the more in formal spoken reg is ter of on l ine d i scourse . In Lapadat 's v iew, the onl ine env i ronment , and par t icu lar ly the m ix tu re of spoken and wr i t ten registers faci l i tated these connect ions and led to far g rea te r learn ing than would have been poss ib le in face to face d i scuss ions or by wr i t ing fo rma l research papers . The s tudents ach ieved personal ins ights and goa ls th rough the act of shar ing the i r wr i t ing and ref lect ions onl ine wi th the i r peers . Mary Lea compared the features of academic wr i t ing in onl ine posts and in fo rma l research papers in an onl ine graduate course . She noted that " cons ide rab l e e m p h a s i s is p laced upon what s tudents can learn f rom one another , and upon suppor t ing a co l laborat i ve learning env i r onmen t " (p. 164) . The tu tor was not expec ted to prov ide author i ta t i ve v i ews , and served as " fac i l i ta tor rather than an a cademic au tho r i t y " (p. 175 ) . The s tudents in the course were expl ic i t ly instructed to inc lude references to the i r peers ' on l ine cont r ibut ions in the i r research papers , j u s t as the s tuden ts in th is s t udy are . Lea obse rved that More t rad i t iona l a cademic convent ion might expect the work of the recogn ised and author i ta t i ve publ ished author to be fo reg rounded , and exper ient ia l or anecdota l ev idence prov ided by the s tudent to i l lustrate the author i ta t i ve ev idence . In th is course s tudents make reference to publ ished works in both of these ways but appea r to feel \ / 9 5 qui te comfor tab le fo reground ing the i r own debates and exper ience rather than those of a recogn ised author i t y . Th is is more in line w i th convent ions adopted by es tab l i shed a cademic wr i te rs , who often foreground the i r own voice as author i ta t i ve , depend ing upon the convent ions of the disc ip l ine (2001 , p .174-175) . Lea felt that this could be, in part, a t t r ibuted to the course content (CMC and learning) and the onl ine env i ronment , "w i th its focus on co l laborat ive learn ing and the break ing down of t radi t ional boundar ies between novice and exper t m e m b e r s of the d iscourse c o m m u n i t y , " (p. 175) . I wou ld add that by ask ing the s tudents to refer to s tudent cont r ibut ions as wel l as those of " r e cogn ized au tho r i t y , " the course fac i l i ta tes connect ions between theory and pract ice as in Lapadat 's course and va l ida tes the s tuden ts ' knowledge and exper ience as "author i ta t i ve e v idence " in its own r ight , enab l ing the s tuden ts to fo reground the i r exper ience and the i r vo ices as au thor i t a t i ve . 4.3 Academic writing in the online environment: The case of Studies in English Prose This course in this s tudy also breaks down the " t rad i t iona l bounda r i e s " be tween "nov i ces and exper t m e m b e r s . " The teach ing ass is tants in this course se rved as fac i l i tators rather than author i t ies , and were ve ry careful not to posi t ion t hemse l v e s as author i t ies when leading d iscuss ion sect ions. The TAs did not part ic ipate in or gu ide the onl ine d i scuss ions at a l l , a l though the s tudents were well aware that the i r on l ine posts were being read and graded by the TAs . The course coord ina tor did not in tervene or cont r ibute to any of the onl ine d iscuss ions in the sect ions , but he did read and cont r ibute to d i scuss ions that evo l ved in response to ques t ions in the " C o m m e n t a r y , " " A r g u m e n t a t i v e S t r a teg ies " or " Pass ing No tes " sect ions of the webs i te . His cont r ibu t ions were a lways carefu l ly f r amed to invite response rather than as c o m m e n t s on wha t s tudents had sa id . The fo l lowing responses are t yp i ca l : Caro l ine 's cr i t ique of Mil l 's opt imis t i c a ssumpt ions about h u m a n nature is an impor tan t c o m m e n t on "On L iberty" , and I hope there wil l be fur ther d i scuss ion of whe ther Mil l 's 1859 v iews about " rat ional op in ions and rat ional conduc t " s e e m tenab le in 2 0 0 5 . Kev in has raised an important question about "On L iber ty "—its concept ion of t r u th— and th is is not an easy mat ter to resolve. The course coord inator ' s c o m m e n t s were not eva luat ive but often con f i rmed that an impor tan t issue had been raised by a s tudent and genera l l y inc luded an inv i tat ion to fur ther d i s cuss ion . A s in Lea's s tudy , al l post ings in the d iscuss ion boards , " P a s s ing N o t e s , " a n d " C o m m e n t a r y " sect ions were cons idered reference mater ia l s for the essays and f inal /96 exam ina t i on . The s tudents were not asked to use secondary sources in the i r essay but to inc lude cont r ibut ions f rom thei r peers , fur ther va l idat ing the s tuden t s ' cont r ibut ions as author i ta t i ve . 4.4 Writing and identity As the pr inc ipal amoun t of a profess ional academic ' s t ime is spent wr i t i ng , most a cademics have es tab l i shed a profess ional ident i ty as a m e m b e r of a d isc ip l inary d i scourse c o m m u n i t y on paper and are comfor tab le negot iat ing the a ba lance be tween es tab l i sh ing an author i ta t ive s tance f rom which they can speak as an exper t on the i r topic and at the s a m e t ime open ing d iscurs ive spaces in which a l ternat ive op in ions and conf l i c t ing v iews may be heard in the i r wr i t ing . Judic ious use of ev ident ia l s is one way in wh ich they ma inta in this diff icult ba lance. S tudent wr i ters , on the o ther h a n d , are sti l l in the process of s i tuat ing themse l ves wi th in the academic c o m m u n i t y or w i th in a spec i f ic d isc ip l ine . They br ing a wide var ie ty of exper ience , both l ived exper i ence and educat iona l backg round ; to the wr i t ten page , and often s t ruggle to f ind an au thent i c way to speak , an enterpr ise which requires constant negot iat ion between conf l ic t ing "au thor i a l s e l v e s . " In her s tudy of the exper ience of mature s tudents , ident i ty , and a cadem i c wr i t i ng , Roz Ivanic (1998 ) suggests that " the re are three ways of th ink ing about the ident i ty of a person in the act of w r i t i n g " ( Ivanic, 1998 , p. 24 ) . She d is t ingu ishes between the ' au tob iograph ica l self , ' or a wr i ter 's pe rsona l , subject ive sense of ident i ty in fo rmed both by the events in which the wr i ter has exper ienced and by how the wr i te r has represented t hem to h im or herse l f ; the 'd iscoursa l self , ' or the 'se l f as au thor , ' the ' s e l f cons t ruc ted th rough the d iscourse character is t ics of a text and conveyed th rough w r i t i ng ; and the 'se l f as au thor , ' or the wri ter 's pos i t ion , op in ions , and bel iefs ( Ivanic , 1 9 9 8 , pp. 24-26) . Th is self is concerned wi th estab l ish ing an author ia l ' vo ice ' or an author i ta t i ve s tance the wr i te r es tab l i shes . Th is aspect of the sel f is part icu lar ly s ign i f icant in re lat ion to a cadem i c wr i t i ng , as "wr i te rs dif fer cons iderab ly in how far they c l a im author i ty as the source of the con t en t " and " h o w far they estab l ish an author ia l presence in the i r w r i t i n g " ( Ivanic , 1 9 9 8 , p. 26 ) . The author ia l self is part icular ly prob lemat i c for newcomers to an a cadem i c d isc ip l ine , in wh ich they mus t negot ia te between the i r persona l op in ions , be l ie fs , and va lues and those of the es tab l i shed exper ts in the i r f ie ld . There fore , the author ia l self in any fo rm of a cademic wr i t ing tel ls us the kind of " au thor i t y that the s tuden t feels she can lay c l a im t o " (Lea, 1 9 9 9 , p. 108) . I vanic 's s tudy , a deta i led case s tudy of e ight ma tu re s tuden ts and the i r s t rugg le to const ruc t ident i t ies for themse l ves and f ind a voice as a cademic wr i te rs , revea ls the dif f icult ies that s tudent wr i ters exper ience in negot iat ing between conf l ic t ing sub jec t /97 posi t ions as they a t t empt to integrate the knowledge they br ing to the i r a c adem i c s tud ies , the i r persona l exper ience , and the interpret ive f r ameworks wh ich f r ame the i r percept ions w i th the knowledge , va lues , and interpret ive f r ameworks of the a c a d e m i c genre th rough the act of wr i t ing . Ivanic careful ly d is t ingu ishes between ' gen re ' and ' d i s course , ' as these " fo reground dif ferent aspects of ident i t y " : Genres are shaped by inst i tut ional ly def ined purposes , ro les, and the soc ia l re la t ionsh ips assoc ia ted wi th t h e m , such as ' s t u d e n t ' . . . the convent ions of gen res m a k e ava i lab le cer ta in roles and role re la t ionships which people may con fo rm to , or they may resist . D i scourses , by contras t , are shaped by subject-matters and ideologies . . . by mak ing part icu lar d iscourse cho ices , wr i ters are a l ign ing themse l ves wi th par t i cu lar interests (in t e rms of sub jec t-mat te r ) and ideologies . In recogniz ing the way in wh ich wr i t ing const ructs ident i t ies it is impor tant to keep both of these aspec ts of ident i ty in mind ( Ivanic, 1998 , p. 4 6 ) . Ivanic 's d is t inct ion is one to keep in m i n d , as the s tudents in this s tudy were also negot ia t ing the demands of an " ins t i tu t iona l l y def ined pu rpose " and role w i th the " sub jec t m a t t e r s " and " i deo l og i e s " wh ich shaped the i r autob iograph ica l se lves and those to wh ich they were exposed dur ing the course . They also drew f rom a wide range of d i s courses , inc luding those f rom the i r cu l tu ra l , educa t iona l , and personal backg rounds in the i r wr i t i ng . As Ivanic ' s tudy demons t r a t es , s tudent wri ters are " no t on ly d raw ing in ter textua l ly on the d iscourses of the c o m m u n i t y they are en t e r i ng , " i.e. the a cadem i c c o m m u n i t y , but a lso br ing a wide var ie ty of d i scourses wi th t h e m , wh ich may e i ther compe te wi th or in teran imate one another as they are integrated wi th the a cadem i c d i scourses s tudents acqui re (p. 85 ) . In fact , a n d , as we will see , one of the g rea tes t benef i ts of part ic ipat ion in the onl ine d iscuss ion boards was the oppor tun i t y it p rov ided to integrate and in te ran imate d iverse d iscoursa l identi t ies with a cademic content and perspect i ves . A c a d e m i c wr i t ing is not s imp ly a mat ter of turn ing in a f ive pa ragraph or f ive page essay wi th a c lear thes is , topic sen tences , and conc lus ion with correct ly f o rma t t ed quota t ions and a reference page. A research paper does not s imp ly convey in format ion f rom research but a lso enacts conf l icts of ident i ty as s tudents " s t rugg l e w i th the dominan t d iscourses and pract ices of the univers i ty and its d i f ferent soc io-cul tura l s e t t i ngs " (Lea, 1999 , p. 108) and seek to integrate these d i scourses and pract ices w i th the ones that compr i se the i r autob iograph ica l se lves . As ev ident ia l s are cent ra l to the " d o m i n a n t d i s cou rses " w i th wh i ch s tuden ts s t rugg le in the i r a t tempt to negot iate the kind and amoun t of author i t y to wh ich they feel ent i t led to " l a y c l a i m , " the ways in which s tudents emp loy t hem can tel l us a great deal / 9 8 about how the s tudents posi t ion themse l ves in re lat ion to the d isc ip l inary know ledge , the k ind and a m o u n t of author i ty to which they can lay c l a im , and ways in wh ich s tuden ts have negot ia ted the del icate balance between autob iograph ica l self, d iscoursa l self , and author ia l self in the i r wr i t ing . I have ana lyzed the d iscourse sur round ing ev ident ia ls in e x a m p l e s f rom the f irst Mill Module in order to identify d iscurs ive pat terns most of ten used and to unders tand how s tudents emp loyed t hem whi le negot iat ing the del icate ba lance between s o m e t i m e s conf l ic t ing impera t i ves t o : 1) s tate the i r c l a ims and prov ide c lear ly war ran ted e v i dence ; 2) inst i l l a conv inc ing , persuas ive tone into the i r a r g u m e n t s ; 3) deve lop and pos i t ion t hemse l ves in re lat ionship to the a rgumen t ; 4) guide the reader 's i n te rp re ta t ion ; and 5) es tab l i sh a re la t ionship wi th the reader. 4.5 Engaging With the Evidence and With the Reader 4.5.1 Overview of examples A l though the instruct ions in the modu le asked the s tudents to read Mill carefu l ly and to use his text to suppor t the i r propos i t ion , many s tudents chose e i ther to use con tempora r y or histor ical examp les in conjunct ion with c i tat ions f rom Mil 's text or to use such e x a m p l e s w i thout c i t ing Mill 's text at a l l . A l though the major i ty of s tudents inc luded ev idence to suppor t the i r a rgumen t , a lmost 15 percent of the posts a rgued the propos i t ion in very genera l t e rms incorporat ing ev idence of any k ind . Number of posts that used Mill only 17 Number of posts that used Mill and contemporary or historical examples 41 Number of posts that used contemporary or historical examples only 25 Number of posts that used general statements as evidence 12 Number of posts that used specific examples (n.b. many posts used more than one) 65 Number of posts that used no evidence or reference to Mill 14 Total number of posts in this section = 97 From the table above , it is ev ident that many more s tudents used c o n t e m pora r y or h istor ica l examp les as ev idence for the i r c la ims than used Mil l 's t ex t , a n d , even when s tudents referred to Mil l 's text , they inc luded con tempora ry or histor ica l e x a m p l e s as we l l . A l though the ass ignment asked the s tudents to argue a g iven propos i t ion and to prov ide c lear ly war ranted ev idence f rom Mill 's text by inc luding " appropr i a t e quo ta t ions / 9 9 f rom "On L ibe r t y " " in the i r pos t ing , many s tudents interpreted the inv i tat ion to " p o s t an a r g u m e n t " as an invi tat ion to inc lude historical or con tempora r y e x a m p l e s of the " t y r anny of g o v e r n m e n t " or the " t y r anny of soc i e t y . " Rather than us ing Mill to a rgue the i r point , they preferred to use examp les . A s one s tudent put it, "To i l lustrate Mil l 's point , we need only turn to one of the latest issue being debated in Canad i an po l i t i cs . " It shou ld be noted that , a l though the propos i t ion has a Mill-like f lavour , it is not , as m a n y s tudents a s s u m e d , a propos i t ion that Mill h imsel f made . Of the 65 posts which inc luded specif ic examp l e s , h istor ica l examp l e s i n c luded : Hit ler and Naz i sm (10 ) ; Sta l in (3 ) ; the French Revolut ion (1 ) ; the War Measures Act (2 ) ; de Tocquev i l l e (1 ) ; the Roman Catho l i c Church (1 ) ; the Japanese invas ion of Ch ina (1 ) ; as wel l as ment ion of Cha r l emagne and Akba r with no fur ther e l abora t ion . C o n t e m p o r a r y examp l e s we re : gay marr iage (6) and d isc r iminat ion aga inst homosexua l s (3 ) ; the suppress ion of re l ig ion in C o m m u n i s t countr ies (2 ) ; the invas ion of I raq ( 2 ) ; I raq and the med ia (4 ) ; the Patr iot Act (1 ) ; the T i ennamen Square massac re (1 ) ; the Arab-Israe l i conf l ict (1 ) ; apar the id (1 ) ; the Civi l Rights Movement (4) and Mart in Luther K ing ( w h o m they had prev ious ly read (3)) . Severa l posts also referred to Orwel l (Politics and the English Language, wh ich they had prev ious ly read (2 ) ) ; and 1984, wh ich they had not read (1 ) ; V i e tnamese boat people (1 ) ; a r ranged marr iage in Korea (1 ) ; the Pres ident of Egypt (1 ) ; a newspaper art ic le about bul ly ing (1 ) ; and the goth ic l i festyle (1) . The tota l n u m b e r of references to histor ica l o r con tempora r y e x a m p l e s (65) is substant ia l l y greater than references to Mill (17) , and it is in speak ing about these e x a m p l e s that s tudents express the i r v iews most d i rect ly , open ly express ing ag r eemen t and d i sag reemen t about the issues. Lexica l choices used in relat ion to ev ident ia ls inc lude words d rawn f rom a dis t inct ly a cademic register , inc luding words f rom the language of a r g u m e n t , i nc lud ing , " e v i d e n t , " " e v i d e n c e , " " a r g u m e n t , " " a s s e r t i o n , " " a r g u e , " " t h e s i s , " " d e b a t a b l e , " and " r e fu t e , " cho ices wh i ch , I suspec t , were mean t to appea l to the ins t ructors and T A s reading and mark ing the posts . 4.5.2 Pronouns and Positions I began by my ana lys is of the use of ev idence by looking carefu l ly at the p ronouns to ident i fy the ways in which the s tudents posi t ioned themse l ves in re lat ion to the ev idence and to one another . One di f ference was immed ia te l y ev ident . Many more s tudents in t roduced the speci f ic histor ical and con tempora ry examp l e s they used wi th the persona l subject p ronoun " I " than when they referred to Mil l 's t ex t : • To make my a rgumen t s o u n d , let's th ink of an examp le . /100 • I wil l use a modern day examp le of how Soc ie ty can be a worse t y ran t than gove rnment . • As an examp l e here I wou ld like to place the s t rugg le of the A f r i can-Amer i cans in the Uni ted S ta tes . • I r e m e m b e r that Mart in Luther King wrote • I want everyone to pay a t tent ion to the T i ananmen massac re wh ich happened in Ch ina at the year of 1989 . • I a m sure that many of us have felt dur ing the i r l ives the sol id power of the group - it is so diff icult to oppose an op in ion , wh ich has been accepted as a cus tom by the major i ty of indiv iduals in the g roup . • Why I sa id that is because • I'm th ink ing of v anda l i sm , mass riots etc • I went th rough a histor ical t ime l ine and a 'society ' that has e m b a r k e d on 'genoc ide ' is the French dur ing the Revo lut ion In these examp les the s tudents d irect ly state that they have chosen a spec i f i c e x a m p l e , a n d , in one examp l e the wr i ter direct ly addresses the others in a s t a t emen t w i th s t rong c o m m a n d i n g ove r tones : "I want everyone to pay a t tent ion to the T i a n a n m e n massac re wh i ch happened in Ch ina at the year of 1 9 8 9 . " Th is open ing s t a t emen t is fo l lowed by a long descr ip t ion of the events and a webs i te wi th fur ther in fo rmat ion for anyone interested in f inding out more about the T i ananmen massac re . The wr i ter ' s conv ic t ion that this inc ident i l lustrates the " t y r anny of g o v e r n m e n t " is obv ious , and the wr i ter conc ludes wi th a s t rong " I" s ta tement that expresses her point of v i ew : " In my perspective, no mat te r how much the major i ty (the society ) had cont r ibu ted into mak ing the i r count ry more l ibera l , I doubted the i r efforts because the g o v e r n m e n t is the only power to inf luence a soc ie ty . " When us ing an examp le d rawn f rom the wr i ter ' s persona l exper i ence and knowledge , the wr i ter feels comfor tab le speak ing d i rect ly as an "I" and in commun i ca t i ng deep ly felt conv ic t ions . The s tudents a lso used inc lus ive " w e , " " u s , " and " o u r " s t a t emen t s when d i s cuss ing histor ical or con tempora r y examp les . In this post , the wr i ter exp resses cer ta in ty in his c la im because it is based on a c o m m o n exper i ence : I a m sure that many of us have felt dur ing the i r l ives the so l id power of the g roup -it is so diff icult to oppose an op in ion , wh ich has been accepted as a c u s t o m by the major i ty of ind iv idua ls in the group By inc luding his readers in the s ta tement and referr ing to an exper i ence c o m m o n to a l l o f us—the dif f iculty of res is t ing peer p ressure—the wr i te r can s ta te his pos i t ion wi th cer ta in ty (I a m sure) and therefore has little hes i tat ion in using an " I " p ronoun . Ano the r post a lso d iscusses the ways in which the g roup forces the ind iv idua l to con fo rm but addresses the reader in a s l ight ly dif ferent m a n n e r : There are s o m e ways like peer pressure , and ethical en fo rcement . They m a d e you feel gui l ty if you don ' t behave the way thev l ike. They a ccomp l i shed this by m a k i n g /101 the people a round you keep on tel l ing you the ethical gu ide l ine set by them. Soone r or later, you wil l feel gui l ty and behave the way they l ike. I th ink that the phrase "e th i ca l gu ide l ine , " a l though it is of ten found in off ic ial con tex ts , inc lud ing medica l ethics and ethical research pract ices , is used here to refer to the eve ryday sense of right and wrong that our fami l ies insti l l in us as ch i ld ren . Th is post addresses the reader d irect ly as a " y o u , " posi t ioning " y o u , " the reader , in direct oppos i t ion with an unspeci f ied " t h e y " who have the power to contro l " y o u r " behav io r by inst i l l ing " y o u " wi th a sense of gui l t . Here, the wr i ter pos i t ions the reader th rough pronouns but does not inc lude h imsel f in the process . A l though he is referr ing to a c o m m o n exper i ence tha t mos t of us have had , he pos i t ions the reader as a so l i t a ry " y o u " ra ther than an inclusive " w e , " re inforc ing the reader 's power lessness and inabi l i ty to resist the pressure " t h e y " exert . Other s tudents a lso addressed and inc luded the i r readers th rough the use of " w e " s t a t ements when present ing the i r examp les . In these examp l e s , the " w e " pos i t ions the readers in a l ignment wi th the wr i ter th rough knowledge of a c o m m o n exper i ence that i l lustrates the wr i ter 's po int : • looking back at the h is tory , we can f ind many s i tuat ions • The g o v e r n m e n t has the power to be ty rann ica l , and history has shown us m a n y t imes how this is true • We see this all the t ime in all sorts of polit ical c ampa igns . • Us ing Mill 's open ing s ta tement to chapter 2, we are g iven a ve ry power fu l a n d , in the 21s t century US , a very controvers ia l examp le of gove rnmen t ' s con t inued dom inance , t y ranny , and encouraged "menta l d e s p o t i s m " (78) . • However , we can f ind a lot more and worse examp l e s of t y rann ies c o m m i t e d by publ ic author i t ies/ ru lers/ gove rnmen t s than the col lect ive ma jor i t i es : the holocaust led by Hit ler , the massac re of Amer i cans by colonia l powers , and the ongo ing war by G. Bush 's admis t ra t i on , j us t to name a few. • if we look back at the act ions of prev ious European leaders , we can con f i rm that a ty rann ica l gove rnmen t can do much worse The choice of ve rbs is s ign i f i cant : we can find and we see are both ve rbs re lated to v i s i on . The subject " w e " is posi t ioned as a researcher who f inds and records da t a . S imi l a r l y , we as researchers can conf i rm our data th rough long back at prev ious examp l e s . In the e x a m p l e , "we are given a very powerful and, in the 21st century US, a very controversial example of government's continued dominance, tyranny, and encouraged "mental despotism," we are not pos i t ioned as act ive researchers but as pass ive w i tnesses to the examp le which conf i rms Mil l 's concept of " m e n t a l d e s p o t i s m . " Two of the posts posi t ion the readers even more d i rect ly as w i tnesses to the events r e coun ted : • We all witnessed those huge ral l ies aga inst U.S gove rnmen t by its own people . /102 • Last ly , we have w i tnessed the over th row of gove rnmen t s in East G e r m a n y , Russ ia and Kenya , wh ich had tyrants in the last twenty years The ve rb " w i t n e s s " not on ly posi t ions wr i ter and readers in a l i gnment th rough shared exper i ence but direct ly posi t ions t hem as w i tnesses who are able to at test to the t ruth of the wr i ter 's ev idence . The verb has very powerful connota t ions : w i tness t e s t imony is cons idered factua l ev idence in cour t rooms and tes t imon ia l s desc r ib ing the horr i f ic events such as the Holocaust , H i rosh ima , and the exp los ion of Che rnoby l are cons idered t ruthfu l histor ical records. It should be noted that h is tor ians and ph i losophers cont inue to debate the status of such c l a ims , but as we are d iscuss ing lexica l cho ice , we can make the c la im that a wr i ter who uses this verb invokes the legal and his tor ica l connota t ions the word conveys . In add i t ion to us ing the inclusive we to posi t ion the i r readers in a l i gnmen t th rough sha red know ledge of the histor ica l o r con tempora r y ev idence c i t ed , the wr i te rs a l so address the i r readers d i rect ly . Severa l wr i ters used the inclusive imperat i ve " l e t ' s " (Eggins & S l ade , 1 9 9 7 , p. 88) to create an impl ied d ia logue rather than a mono log ic address to the reader : • Let's put Mil l 's s t a tement into the context now of the G e r m a n people • To make my a rgument sound , let's th ink of an e x a m p l e . • let us make an ana logy • Let me d raw a s imp le i l lustrat ion. • Let's t ake gay r ights for examp le . Th is s t ra tegy aff i l iates the wri ter and reader as co-constructors of the text whi le at the s a m e t ime gu id ing the reader 's unders tand ing of the a rgumen t . " Le t m e " is of part icu lar interest , as it pos i t ions the reader as g iv ing tacit pe rmiss ion for the wr i te r to take act ion whi le at the same t ime estab l ishes a c lear t ra in of thought wh i ch the reader is expec ted to fol low. Other wr i ters d i rect ly address the reader th rough an impera t i v e : • Take the cont roversy of gay marr iage as an e x a m p l e . • Take the state of our gay r ights , at least my local MP has been recorded s ta t ing that • Take the status of Chr is t ian i ty under C o m m u n i s t Rule like in Ch ina as an e x a m p l e . • Just take gay marr iage as an examp le . • Take Ado l f Hit ler for examp le By add ress ing the reader d i rect ly , the wr i ter adds an over t l y d ia log ic ove r tone to the post , wh ich acqui res a conversa t iona l qual i ty . The hybr id s ta tus of the internet as part ly wr i t t en/ part ly oral language gives wr i ters access to a di f ferent range of d i scourses than those ava i lab le in more formal wr i t ten genres , and the wr i ters in these e x a m p l e s emp loy more in fo rma l , conversa t iona l register when drawing upon a c o m m o n d i scourse than when referr ing to Mill 's text , wi th its highly wrought prose s ty le . /103 In the fo l lowing e x a m p l e , the wr i ter conc ludes wi th a direct address to the reader : So is the soc iety a worse ty rant than the gove rnmen t ? Or is it the o ther way round? You decide. In th is e x a m p l e , the wr i ter eschews the neat conc lus ion expec ted in wr i t ten fo rmats and inc ludes the reader as not on ly a co-constructor of the tex t , but one w h o is g i ven the responsib i l i ty to reach a conc lus ion based on the ev idence prov ided rather than gu ided to it by the wr i ter 's a rgument . Severa l posts inc luded ques t ions , which are genera l l y more c o m m o n in s p o k e n d iscourse than in formal wr i t ten d i scourse : • If our gove rnmen t is what def ines our soc ie ty , how is that our soc ie ty can be more t y rannous than our body of gove rnmen t ? • If the pol ic ies of the gove rnmen t faci l i tate the enc roachmen t , is it soc ie ty or the gove rnmen t that should be held responsib le? • How could people oppress themse l ves wi th this type of se l f-government? • But t hen , is soc ia l t y ranny real ly inescapable? • If our op in ions are pr imar i ly based upon self-interest, why wou ld we choose to be gove rned by the opin ions/ interests of a few? • why wou ld the wea l thy and powerful want to change the s ta tus quo when they ahve noth ing to benefi t? These ques t ions cannot be c lass i f ied as rhetor ica l ques t ions , a fea ture of a cademic wr i t ing in which the wr i ter begins with a quest ion that he or she goes on to answer , as the wr i ters of these posts leave the quest ions open , inv i t ing the reader to supp ly the miss ing answer . A g a i n , the wr i ters engage the i r readers in a d ia logue , ant i c ipa t ing and inv i t ing a response . Th is s t ra tegy resembles the carefu l ly s t ruc tu red "d i s cu r s i v e s p a c e " in a cademic papers , a space left open for d ia logue and negot ia t ion of know ledge . The lexical cho ices , however , are more character is t ic of wr i t ten academic d i s course , charac te r ized by f requent abstract nouns ( "gove rnment , " " s o c i e t y , " " p o l i c i e s , " " e n c r o a c h m e n t , " " t y r a n n y " " s t a tus quo" ) and ve rbs which are used metaphor i ca l l y to relate abs t rac t ions , " g o v e r n , " and " o p p r e s s " ( Ivanic, 1998 , p. 264 ) . These exce rp t s show the var ie ty of d iscourses the s tudents draw on in the i r wr i t ing and the hybr id nature of the onl ine env i ronment , a mix ture of wr i t ten and spoken language in wh i ch abst rac t concepts and eve ryday examp les are j u x t a p o s e d . A substant ia l number of posts referred to ev idence in a genera l way rather than to spec i f ic examp l e s . As in these examp les , the wr i ters tend to choose words f rom the lexis of a c adem ia and speak in more indirect manne r when they are speak ing in genera l i t i es : • Throughtout the h istory of m a n k i n d , there have been m a n y goven ing author i t i es who c l a imed themse l ves to be democra t i c but sti l l holds the abso lu te power . /104 • Histor ica l examp les of each are numerous , whi le examp l e s of soc iety in genera l w i thout the direct ion of a gove rnmen t being ty rann ica l are unheard of. -The posts refer to " m a n y " or " n u m e r o u s " examp les wi th which the reader is a s sumed to be so fami l ia r that he or she can subst i tu te spec i f ic names w i thout any di f f icul ty . These examp les share a s imi la r fo rma l over tone , a comb ina t ion of c o m p l e x sentence s t ructure with severa l subord inated c lauses and forma l vocabu la ry ( m a n k i n d , author i t i es , numerous ) , both of which are character is t ic of a f o r m a l , a c adem i c reg is ter concerned wi th abstract concepts and genera l iza t ions . In accordance wi th this more a cademic register , the wr i ters of these examp les adopt a more mono log i c s tance rather than engag ing direct ly wi th the i r readers . In the f luid onl ine env i ronmen t , both s t ra teg ies are acceptab le and nei ther is va lued as better than the other . The s tudents are f ree to draw on the d iscourses which best suit what they want to say . However , it is wor th not ing that when the s tudents are d iscuss ing more abstract concepts , they adopt a more indirect and impersona l register , one which is often assoc ia ted wi th f o rma l , ob ject ive a cademic wr i t ing and thei r contr ibut ions lose the direct , personal qua l i ty wh i ch the i r ins t ructors va lue . Wh ich of these examp l e s is more i n te res t ing : " Bu t t h e n , is soc ia l t y ranny real ly i nescapab le ? " or " e x a m p l e s of soc iety in genera l w i thout the d i rec t ion of a gove rnmen t being tyrannica l are unheard of"? You dec ide . 4.6 Incorporating evidence and developing an argument 4.6.1 Instructors' perspectives Before ana lyz ing the s tudents ' use of ev ident ia ls in the i r on l ine posts , it is impor tan t to unders tand how they are v iewed and eva luated f rom the ins t ruc tors ' point of v i ew. The course consu l tant was adaman t that one of the pr imary goa ls of the course overa l l was to get s tudents th ink ing analyt ica l ly , or " i n t e rms of abs t r a c t i ons . " One of the goa ls of th is part icu lar onl ine exerc i se , therefore , was to l ink spec i f ic e x a m p l e s to larger concepts and to identify the connect ions between t h e m . He felt that this k ind of ana ly t ica l th ink ing wou ld not jus t result in academic success in courses offered by the Engl ish depa r tment , but wou ld contr ibute to the i r success in any a cademic d i sc ip l ine : . . . I th ink that . . . they 've learned someth ing there . . . they ' re learn ing how to . . . th ink in te rms of abs t rac t ions . . . to take an e xa mp l e and move to . . . to concepts . . . and that ' s great . . . that 's great . . . that 's va luab le for s tuden ts no m a t t e r what . . . d isc ip l ine they choose The TAs in the course ag reed . Mark c o m m e n t e d tha t : /105 us ing ev idence is real ly impor tant for any kind of wr i t ing you ' re go ing to do in the fu ture , and quite often first year s tudents have a hard t ime unders tand ing how you ' re go ing to use the ev idence . They jus t th ink it 's there it'll he lp , wh ich isn't real ly so t rue . I m e a n , jus t throwing quota t ions l ike so much buckshot at y o u r essay isn't necessar i l y go ing to make it better. But if you can ta lk about that ev idence , then that's.. . that 's someth ing that 's a good ski l l to have The f irst th ing the instructors looked for was the abi l i ty to identify the re levant passages that could suppor t an a rgument . Rather than jus t " t h row ing quo ta t i ons " at the i r essay , s tudents needed to be able to identify the quota t ions that wou ld best suppor t the i r c l a ims and to c lear ly s i tuate the quotat ions in relat ion to the i r a r g u m e n t to es tab l i sh the i r re levance . Th is requi res a fo rm of reading that goes beyond s k i m m i n g the sur face of a text . In o ther words , the abi l i ty to identify the re levant quotes and s i tuate t h e m in re lat ion to an a rgument requires a level of c lose reading that is h ighly v a l ued . A l l the inst ructors agreed that the abi l i ty to use textua l ev idence was proof that the s tudents had " engaged with the t ex t " on a deeper leve l : m y s tudents were real ly engag ing with the text and a lot of t hem were t ak ing the quotes that they real ly needed to take . . . ah the only p rob lem that I f o u n d , t h o u g h , that s tudents who were not do ing so wel l or who are aware of the fact that they ' re not do ing so wel l in other th ings . . . the i r post ings j us t get longer ins tead of bet ter . It is not the abi l i ty to wr i te longer passages that is p r i zed ; it is the abi l i ty to demons t r a t e that a s tudent has read the text careful ly and has thought about it. Not su rp r i s ing l y , in a course in which s tudents are encouraged to " r es i s t o r t h o d o x y " and to express the i r op in ions , the abi l i ty to cr i t ique a text is h ighly va lued . Jul ie c o m m e n t e d that she looked for posts in which s tudents had gone beyond a sur face ana lys i s of the text and had engaged wi th the text by "b r i ng ing the i r own take to bea r " on it : are they mak ing sort of a superf ic ia l a rgument . . . one that . . . you know real ly on the sur face of the text . . . or are they real ly . . . aga in sort of pul l ing apar t the a r g u m e n t sort of looking at it . . . and even f inding ways to . . . to cont rad ic t the au thors that we're s tudy ing as opposed to jus t sort of s a y i ng . . . accept ing the texts as they a re . 4.6.2 Overview I chose three representat ive posts for an ana lys is of the ways in wh ich s tudents incorpora ted c i ta t ions into the i r texts and used ev ident ia ls to prov ide war ran ted ev idence for the i r a rgumen t s . Al l three examp les use c i tat ions f rom Mi l l , as us ing Mil l 's text to suppor t a propos i t ion was the or ig ina l ass ignment . I was a lso interested in how the wr i ters incorporated textua l c i tat ions into the i r a rgument . In focus ing on these e x a m p l e s , I was part icular ly concerned w i t h : 1) How the wr i ters const ructed the i r a rguments over severa l pa ragraphs /106 2) How the wr i ters incorporated the textua l c i tat ions 3) Whe the r the wr i ters eva luated the rel iabi l i ty of the ev idence they used 4) Whe the r in which the wr i ters speci f ied the mode of knowledge 5) Ways in which the wr i ters s i tuated the i r posi t ion and es tab l i shed the i r a rgumen t in relat ion to the ev idence The Engl ish language uses a few clear ly def ined express ions such as " f o r e x a m p l e " and " f o r ins tance " to introduce ev idence , but (unl ike other l anguages ) Engl ish has no speci f ic lexical units or g rammat i ca l s t ructures used so le ly to express ev ident ia l i t y . Mary Bar ton (2004) cites Chafe 's (1986) funct ional def in i t ion : " e ve r y th ing dea l t wi th under th is b road in terpretat ion of ev ident ia l i ty invo lves a t t i tudes towards k n o w l e d g e . " Her ana l ys i s fo l lows Chafe ' s three genera l categor ies of ev ident ia ls . He inc ludes words such as probably, certainly, generally, and virtually, under the category of words that eva lua te the degree of rel iabi l i ty of knowledge . Words that speci fy the mode of know ledge inc lude belief, induc t ion , sensory ev idence , and hea rsay—a category wh ich may not be used as ev idence in a court of law, but which does include academic c i ta t ions . Ev ident ia ls that s i tuate knowledge as based on belief include I believe, I think, and in my opinion, whi le ev ident ia l s that inc lude the l ine of reason ing inc lude seem ( induct ive reason ing ) and thus (deduct ive reason ing ) . Hearsay inc ludes express ions such as it is known as wel l as speci f ic c i ta t ion . Ev ident ia ls used to mark the contrast be tween what Bar ton t e r m s " k n o w l e d g e and expec t a t i on " but I wou ld te rm s tance , and inc lude of course, however, oddly enough, and other contrast ive express ions or hedges that c lear ly es tab l i sh the boundary between the content and the wr i ter 's at t i tude or be tween es tab l i shed knowledge and the wri ter 's a rgument or contr ibut ion (Bar ton , 2 0 0 4 , p. 72 ) . As Bar ton obse r ves , we need to look c lose ly at the words in context ra ther than j u s t count ing the n u m b e r of words in order to d iv ine the funct ion of a word or exp re s s i on . For e x a m p l e , clearly there is a di f ference between "He couldn ' t see c lea r l y " and "C l ea r l y , he cou ldn ' t s e e . " Bar ton ident i f ied a pattern of d i f ferences in the use of ev ident ia l s when she compa red in a corpus of essays by publ ished wr i ters and one by s tudents . She noted that es tab l i shed academic wr i ters use ev ident ia ls when prob lemat iz ing prev ious know ledge , es tab l i sh ing an author ia l ident i ty , and referr ing to o thers ' work . She obse rved that es tab l i shed wr i ters use ev ident ia ls to "po in t to the i r ep is temolog ica l s tance that knowledge is oppos i t iona l , the produce of contrast and c o m p e t i t i o n , " es tab l i sh the i r c redent ia l s , and emphas i ze cr i t ical perspect ives whi le inexper ienced wr i ters use more neutra l c i ta t ion fo rms and use ev ident ia ls that const ruc t know ledge as " t he p roduc t of shared a g r e e m e n t " rather than "oppos i t iona l and spec i a l i z ed " (Bar ton , 2 0 0 4 , p. 73-74 ) . /107 4.6.3 Three sample texts I inc lude the three texts in their ent i rety before break ing t hem down and ana lyz ing t h e m in table f o r m . The first sect ion of the table focuses on a r g u m e n t const ruc t ion and the second sect ion points out l inguist ic features ( lexical cho ices and g rammat i c a l s t ructures ) that convey rel iabi l i ty of knowledge , mode of know ledge , and stance or to def ine a boundary between what is reported and the wr i ter ' s a r g u m e n t . Text 1: G o v e r n m e n t can be a worse tyrant that soc iety "The t ime , it is to be hoped , is gone by, when any defence wou ld be necessary of the ' l iberty of the press ' a s one of the secur i t ies aga ins t cor rupt o r t y rann i ca l gove rnmen t " (58)- sad ly , dangerous l y , and most undemocra t i ca l l y , Mil l 's hopes have yet to be rea l ized . Us ing Mil l 's open ing s ta tement to chapter 2, we are g iven a very power fu l a n d , in the 21st century US , a ve ry controvers ia l examp le of gove rnmen t ' s con t inued dom inance , t y ranny , and encouraged "menta l d e s p o t i s m " (78) . In mode rn soc ie t ies , med i a , most speci f ica l ly news print and te lev i s ion , are used as (arguably ) the only fo rums for d i scuss ion , d i s semina t ion of know ledge , and debate . Yet , in the case of the US , it is wel l known that the med ia is a lmos t exc lus ive ly contro l led by a few very power fu l , wea l thy and pol i t ical ly connec ted ind iv idua ls and fami l ies . What does this say for the pursuance of t r u t h , a t ru th , wh ich necess i ta tes a "d ivers i ty of op in ion " in order to give " fa i r play to all s ides of the t r u th " (92) . It is an examp le of what Mill later refers to as " the g o v e r n m e n t , whe the r comple te l y responsib le to the people of not, [ a t tempt ing ] to contro l the express ion of op in i on " (58) . In so do ing , the g o v e r n m e n t (as the arb i to r of lega l i ty ) , acts to re inforce the socia l s t i g m a , resu l t ing in a fur ther suppress ion of intel lectual d issent and ideological oppos i t ion . As a result of " m a i n t a i n p n g ] all preva i l ing op in ions outward ly und i s tu rbed " , such " inte l lectua l pac i f i ca t ion" acts as a " conven ient plan for hav ing peace in the intel lectual wo r l d , and keep ing all th ings go ing on there in very much as they do a l ready " (76)- why wou ld the wea l thy and powerful want to change the status quo when they ahve noth ing to benefi t? Whi le " inqu i r ing intel lectuals f ind it adv isab le to keep the genu ine pr inc ip les and grounds of the i r conv ic t ions wi th in the i r own breas ts " (76 ) , it is not the med ia cong lomera tes and high ranking pol i t ic ians that face the loss , or pr iv i leged inte l lectuals who have the t ra in ing and t ime to m a k e t hemse l v e s awa re of such inte l lectual t y ranny , but rather " the greatest ha rm is done to those who are not heret ics , and whose menta l deve lopment is c r a m p e d , and the i r reason c o w e d , by the fear of heresy" (77 ) , people who are thus forced to live in an " a tmosphe re of menta l s lavery " (78) . Yet as Mill fur ther c o m m e n t s , it is not only intel lectual c reat iv i ty and inqui ry that are s t i f l ed , but the very t ruths to which gove rnmen t and thus soc ie ty (yes , top d o w n . The med ia cong lomera tes have much to w in by a l ign ing themse l ves w i th gove rnmenta l ideology, and equal ly much to lose ($$$) if it char ts an independent course . A l te rnat ive med ia is not a cash crop) adhere become "dead d o g m a , not a l iv ing t ru th [ s ] " (79 ) , with s t rong tendenc ies towards pre judice and potent ia l fa lsehood (97) . By engag ing in intel lectual t y ranny (another powerfu l e x a m p l e prev ious ly ment ioned wass the Third Reich's Jewish pol ic ies ) , not on ly is pol i t ica l /108 balance unach ievab le , but as Mill a rgues , th is leaves room for grave er rors of j u d g e m e n t ( resul t ing in the f amous deaths of Soc ra tes , Chr i s t , e tc . ) . Thus , such a "quiet suppress ion of half of [the t ruth] is the fo rmidab le e v i l " (97 ) . Ins tead of be ing the t r y ranny of the major i ty , it is the t y ranny of the power fu l , as exerc i sed th rough the gove rnment . Us ing Mil l 's def in i t ion of l iberty as " the protect ion aga inst the ty ranny of the polit ical ru lers" (43 ) , it is thus fa ir to say that the US , as wel l as many other countr ies a round the wor ld to va r y ing degrees , does not p romote or posess intel lectual (and thus ful l-scale, if any ) l iberty . Such inte l lectual t y ranny not only creates conformis ts of c i t izens (as Orwel l a rgued ) , but the in t imate connect ion between the g o v e r n m e n t and the m a s s m e d i a ac ts as the greates t t y ranny of all by h inder ing unbiased knowledge , debate and soc ie ta l change . The ty ranny of soc iety is a react ion to this f undamenta l and foundat iona l intel lectual t y ranny as perpetrated by the gove rnmen t and capi ta l is t in terests . Text 2: I don ' t th ink Mill actual ly says any th ing def inite about one (society ) is worse than the o ther (government ) in his essay . S ince I'm on the negat ive s ide , I'll t ake the gove rnmen t s ide . In page 4 5 , Mill says " the i r power is ... nat ion 's power , concen t ra ted , and in a fo rm conven ient for exe rc i se . " Here , Mill is say ing that the power of the gove rnmen t is cons idered as a nat ion 's power (which represents the power of all the people in a soc iety ) . And it is in a concent ra ted and conven ien t f o rm so it can be used ef fect ive ly aga ins t whatever it des i res . Hence , it's much more conven ien t for the gove rnmen t compare to the soc iety to turn into a tyrant . In page 4 6 , Mill says " l i ke o ther t y rann ies , the ty ranny of the majority. . . . is chief ly opera t ing through the acts of the publ ic au thor i t i es . " Here , Mill is say ing that the t y ranny of the major i ty (which comes f rom the society ) has to opera te th rough a publ ic author i ty (which is the gove rnment ) to have an impac t on the peop le . In page 58 , Mill says " the t ime , it is to be hoped , is gone by, when any defence wou ld be necessary of the " l ibe r ty of the p r e s s " as one of the secur i t i es aga ins t cor rupt or ty rann ica l gove rnment " . Here, Mill s eems to be say ing that one of the ways a gove rnmen t can control soc iety is by l imit ing the f r eedom of the press . Thus , the gove rnmen t can control both the phys ica l aspects of a soc ie ty as wel l as the menta l and spir i tual aspects of a soc iety (hence, a much worse t y ran t than a soc ie ty ) . I'm get t ing t i red of f inding quotes f rom the text . Mill makes p lenty of re ference on the spiritual stuff. Text 3: Ty r an t " refers to a ruler who uses power in a harsh , d e m a n d i n g or oppress i ve way and holds abso lute power . In most cases , t y rant is used to descr ibe a despot i c gove rnmen t who uses great power to depr ive o thers ' interests un jus t l y or c rue l l y . But in fact , soc iety can also be a worse ty rant than gove rnmen t in s o m e ways . Soc ie ty is a col lect ive c o m m u n i t y composed of abundan t people and such great numbers of separate indiv iduals can execute its own manda tes (46 ) . Unfor tunate ly , people 's acts are a lways contro l led by socia l op in ion and inter ference. Soc ie ty can form its own cus tom and this cus tom can penet ra te deep ly into each m e m b e r of the c o m m u n i t y because people l iv ing in a cer ta in soc ie ty a re diff icult to avo id f rom the inf luence of its c u s t o m . C u s t o m is a kind of th ings that people are accus tomed to bel ieve w i thout skep t i c i sm (47) . Soc ie ty compe ls people to conform to its not ions of pe r sona l , as of soc ia l exce l lence (55) . People are spontaneous l y to fo l low all soc ia l op in ion and d imin i sh the i r own opin ions as wel l as the express ion of the i r own op in ions . /109 There are s o m e author i t ies in a society and they all oppress the room for express ing indiv idual 's op in ion . For instance , R o m a n Catho l i c Church is se rved as one of the author i t ies and it is sove re ign (64-5). A l l re l ig ious bel iefs a re infa l l ib le that they are war ranted to be abso lute t ruth and no one can cha l lenge its t ru th . It means that there are no free d iscuss ion of all bel iefs and people on ly can do are to bel ieve t hem and conform to these rules. Depr iva t ions of one 's op in i on , an express ion of one 's op in ion and a chance of free d iscuss ion on a mat te r are all the s y m b o l s of t y ranny . There fore , soc iety can a lso be a ty rant ove r ind iv idua ls because soc iety depr ives ind iv idua ls ' f r eedom of op in ion and d i s cuss ion . These texts show how different wr i ters const ruc ted the i r a r g u m e n t s ove r severa l pa ragraphs . The first text used Mil l 's text very effect ively to suppor t an a r g u m e n t , whi le the s e c o n d , which is representat ive of the major i ty of s tudent posts , d id so to a lesser deg ree , and the third inc luded quotes f rom Mill w i thout s i tuat ing t hem or c lear ly es tab l i sh ing the i r re levance to the a rgument . These three e x a m p l e s d e m o n s t r a t e the wide range of s tudent responses and the vary ing ways in which s tudents engaged wi th Mil l 's t ex t when f raming the i r a rgumen t s . S o m e of the spec i f ic d i scurs i ve s t ra teg ies emp loyed in these examp les will be examined in more detai l in o ther s tudent post ings as representa t i ve of the types of d iscurs ive s t ra teg ies the s tudents e m p l o y e d . Rather than ana lyz ing the posts at the end , I have d iv ided t hem into sec t ions and put the ana lys i s and c o m m e n t s which draw at tent ion to speci f ic features of the post a longs ide the post. A s the first post is cons iderab ly longer than the second and th i rd , I have t aken excerp ts f rom it to focus on speci f ic features in order to keep the ana lys i s focused and the compar i son between the three posts re lat ive ly easy to fo l low. Subject: Re: Negative Team Development of argument reliability of know ledge , mode of know ledge , and stance / bounda ry "The t i m e , it is to be hoped , is gone by , when any defence wou ld be necessary of the ' l iberty of the press ' as one of the secur i t ies aga ins t corrupt or t y rann ica l gove rnmen t " (58)- sadly, dangerously, and most undemocratically, Mill 's hoDes have vet to be realized. The post , l ike many of the student posts in this sec t ion , c o m m e n c e s with a quote f rom Mill and the re levant page number . The author then takes a c lear s tand us ing s t rong adverb ia ls to make a s t rong—yet i n d i r e c t -s ta tement of op in ion . Her posi t ion is conveyed through adverbs and adverb ia ls th roughout the post a l though there is no subject ive " I " wh ich speaks d i rect ly . The last sentence Use of adverb ia l s to estab l i sh the author ' s stance ( sad ly , dangerous l y ) /no is in the pass ive vo ice . "Mi l l ' s hopes " are the subject of the sentence , g iv ing them pr imary impor tance and connect ing back to the quote with which this short pa ragraph began . Us ing Mil l 's open ing s ta tement to chapte r 2, we are given a very powerful a n d , in the 21st cen tury US , a very controversial example of gove rnmen t ' s cont inued dom inance , t y ranny , and encouraged "menta l d e s p o t i s m " (78 ) . In modern soc ie t ies , m e d i a , most spec i f ica l ly news print and t e l ev i s ion , are used as (arguably) the only f o rums for d i s cuss ion , d i ssemina t ion of know ledge , and debate . Yet , in the case of the US , it is well known that the med ia is a lmos t exc lus i ve l y contro l led by a few ve ry power fu l , wea l thy and pol i t ical ly connec ted ind iv idua ls and fami l ies . What does this say for the pursuance of t ru th , a truth wh ich necess i tates a "d ivers i ty of op in ion " in order to g ive " fa i r play to all s ides of the t r u th " (92) . It is an example of what Mill later refers to as "the gove rnmen t , whe the r comple te l y respons ib le to the people of not, [ a t tempt ing] to control the express ion of op in ion " (58) . In so doing, the gove rnmen t (as the arb i tor of lega l i ty ) , acts to reinforce the socia l s t i g m a , resul t ing in a fur ther suppress ion of inte l lectual d issent and ideologica l oppos i t ion . As a result of "maintaining] all preva i l ing op in ions outward ly und i s tu rbed " , such " inte l lectua l pac i f i ca t ion" acts as a "conven ien t plan for hav ing peace in the intel lectual wor ld , The f irst sentence c lear ly connects the int roductory quote to the ev idence , the " e x a m p l e , " "we are g i v e n . " The use of " w e " a l igns author and readers , who are the objects " g i v e n " the examp le . The pass ive vo ice is used aga in to posi t ion the readers and wr i ter as pass ive rec ipients of the ac t ion , ref lect ing the a rgument itself, wh ich is that we are pass ive recipients of the m e d i a , wh i ch , in tu rn , is a pass ive tool of the few "wea l thy and polit ical ly connected indiv iduals and f ami l i e s " who control it. The a rgument is modi f ied somewha t by the use of " a r g u a b l y " wh ich is bracketed as a sl ight hedge to the author ' s s t rong ly worded s ta tement of op in ion . The pass ive is used aga in in the ev idence for the a rgument , where the author appea ls to genera l knowledge rather than specif ic sources and evades def in ing who knows about the true ownersh ip of the med ia and how these facts are " k n o w n . " The author then uses a rhetor ical quest ion to open up the subject to d i scuss ion rather than make fur ther s ta tements . She carefu l ly in terweaves Mil l 's words into her sentence in order to demons t ra te that she has read the text careful ly Mode of knowledge: an e xa mp l e f rom c o m m o n knowledge of the e x a m p l e " g i v e n " to us. We are pos i t ioned as rec ip ients not as act ive cons t ruc to rs of knowledge . The word " c o n t r o v e r s i a l " p rob lemat izes the reliability of knowledge , sugges t ing that it is c o m m o n know ledge for us , but m a y not be for o thers . Th is knowledge is not es tab l i shed , but is contes ted , " i t is wel l known tha t " a lso es tab l i shed the mode of knowledge as c o m m o n know ledge , but aga in , knowledge wh ich is pass ive ly rece ived rather than act ive ly cons t ruc ted . / I l l and keep ing all th ings going on there in ve ry much as they do a l ready " (76)- why would the wea l thy and powerfu l want to change the status quo when they ahve noth ing to benefi t? and her c i tat ions are wel l chosen and re levant to the a rgument about the present day med ia . She answers her quest ion by reply ing that it is an examp le of the s i tuat ion Mill descr ibes , aga in careful ly in terweav ing Mill 's text into her sentence . By careful ly l inking the steps in her a rgumen t th rough subord ina t ing con junct ions which link new ideas to ideas expressed in the prev ious sentence (In so do ing , As a result of) and cont inua l ly referr ing to Mi l l , the wr i ter re inforces the re levance of her examp le to Mil l 's a rgument . The first paragraph conc ludes wi th quest ion which invites a response f rom the reader—a response which has been careful ly prepared by the prev ious text . Th is post is a long one, and wel l chosen c i tat ions f rom Mill are cont inua l l y in te rwoven wi th the author 's text to suppor t and va l idate her a rgumen t . Her purpose in wr i t ing is two fo ld : in argu ing that the " t y r anny of gove rnmen t is worse than the t y r anny of soc i e t y , " she uses gove rnmenta l control of the med ia as her p r imary ev idence . The c i ta t ions are not " sca t te red l ike bucksho t " th roughout the post but are carefu l ly chosen for the i r re levance to the wr i ter 's a rgument about the state of the press in con t empora r y A m e r i c a . The wr i ter has sat isf ied the ins t ructors ' r equ i rement to demons t r a t e her comprehens i on of Mill and " t ake the quo tes " she "needed to t a k e . " Mil l 's quotes lend author i t y and conv ic t ion to the wri ter 's a rgument . A l though the subject ive " I " never appears in the post , the wr i ter conveys her stance th rough the use of s t rong adverb ia l s (powerful, controversial). Her c la ims are g rounded in c o m m o n knowledge (it is well known) and the wel l chosen c i tat ions appropr ia ted f rom Mi l l . Her text demons t r a t e s that she has read Mill wi th at tent ion and recognized the va l id i ty of his a r g u m e n t when app l ied to a cur ren t s i tua t ion . By appropr ia t ing Mi l l , she has infused her a r g u m e n t w i th his forceful vo i ce , add ing resonance and power to her words . A l though the post is s t ruc tured a long the ass ignment gu ide l ines and uses both Mill 's text and a con t empora r y e x a m p l e to /112 suppor t the propos i t ion , the post reads more like an a r g u m e n t about the cont ro l of the med ia wh ich is suppor ted by textua l ev idence f rom Mi l l . I use the word " a p p r o p r i a t e " de l iberate ly , d rawing upon Bakht in ' s not ion of " a p p r o p r i a t i o n . " A l though in many contexts , the word " a p p r o p r i a t i o n " may have negat ive connota t ions , sugges t ing that someth ing has been taken w i thout pe rmiss ion or by force , in Bakht in ' s v iew, appropr ia t ion was a posi t ive and natura l way in which speake r s used language and made it the i r own . In Bakht in ' s v iew, the re lat ionship between the " w o r d " and the object or concept to wh ich it referred was not a stat ic act of ident i f icat ion. As Bakht in env i s ioned it, " n o l iv ing word relates to an object in a s ingu lar way : between the word and its ob jec t , be tween the word and the speak ing subject , there ex is ts an e last ic env i r onmen t of o ther , a l ien words about the s ame object , the s ame t heme , and this is an env i r onmen t that it is. o f ten di f f icul t to pene t ra te " The act of speak ing takes p lace , for B akh t i n , in " t he process of l iv ing interact ion with this specif ic env i r onmen t " in which " the word may be ind iv idua l ized and g iven sty l is t ic s h a p e " ( Bakht in , 1 9 8 0 , p .293) . No w o r d , there fore , is endowed wi th arb i t rary m e a n i n g . Rather , it is imbued wi th layers of mean ing acqui red th rough its repeated use over t i m e , th rough the o ther words w i th wh ich it is assoc ia ted , and in the act of speak ing is " i nd i v idua l i zed and g iven sty l is t ic s h a p e " by the context , in which a speaker uses it, the purpose for wh ich it is used by a par t icu lar speake r , and the way in which it is unders tood by the l is tener . For B akh t i n , the u t te rance , wh ich he def ined as the act of g iv ing thought a vo i ce , was not a so l i ta ry ac t ; it was in the dia logic process in of ut terance and response that the word took f o r m . Whi le acqui r ing new s igni f icance in the dia logic in terac t ion , the word a lso car r ied w i th it t races of the "e las t i c env i r onmen t " of h is tor ica l , cu l tu ra l , and s i tuat iona l con tex ts in wh ich it had been used before : Language , for the indiv idual consc iousness , l ies in the d iv ide between onese l f and the other . The word in language is half someone e lse 's . It becomes " one ' s o w n " on ly when the speake r populates it wi th his in tent ion , with his own accent , when he appropr ia tes the wo rd , adapt ing to his own express i ve in tent ion . Pr ior to th is m o m e n t of appropr i a t ion , the word does not ex is t in a neutra l and impersona l l anguage (it is not af ter all out of a d ic t ionary that the speake r gets his wo rds ! ) , but ra ther it ex is ts in other people 's mouths , in other people 's con tex ts , se r v ing o ther people 's in tent ions : it is f rom there that one mus t take the word and m a k e it one 's own . . . Language is not a neutra l m e d i u m that passes freely and eas i ly into the pr ivate proper ty of the speaker ' s intent ions. Bakht in ( 1 9 8 1 , pp 293-294) Drawing on Bakht in 's concept of appropr i a t ion , O lga Dys the proposes that " an impor tan t part of learn ing is ' to appropr ia te the word ' , to unders tand and m a k e the thoughts of others our o w n . " We do this th rough interact ion wi th wr i t ten tex ts and wi th /113 o t h e r s ' " i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s and appropr i a t ions " ( 2002 , p. 351) of t h e m . In us ing Mil l 's t ex t as ev idence , the wr i ter has indeed " p o p u l a t e d " Mil l 's words with her in tent ions , appropr ia t ing t hem and " a d a p t i n g " them to her own " s e m a n t i c and express i ve i n t en t i on , " and the reby mak ing t hem her own . Fur thermore , she has used Mil l 's text as a " t h i nk i ng dev i ce , " (Dys the , 2 0 0 2 ) , enter ing into d ia logue with Mi l l , and genera t ing new mean ings and new knowledge th rough her own dia logic text . Through d ia logue wi th Mil l 's text , she has engaged ep is temica l l y with Mi l l , as Gordon Wel ls wou ld t e rm it, and Mil l 's t ex t has not on ly served as a spr ingboard for her own th ink ing , but has proved itself "bon a penser." We are now in a posit ion to recognize the s igni f icance of this Bakht in ian not ion of d ia logue and appropr ia t ion in relat ion to the academic genre . A c a d e m i c wr i t ing is , f i rst , and fo remos t , an ongo ing conversa t ion in which ideas are put fo r th , r es ta ted , e l abo ra t ed , c la r i f ied , or deba ted . Academics are in cont inua l d ia logue , re f raming ideas and negot ia t ing mean ings . Appropr ia t ion in the Bakht in ian sense of the word is a fundamen ta l part of the ways in which the academic genre has evo l v ed . We appropr i a te ins ights and knowledge f rom the work of o thers , a cknow ledg ing t h e m whi le at the s a m e t ime t r ans fo rming t hem in accordance wi th our needs and wi th in the contex tua l a f fordances and const ra ints of our part icu lar s i tua t ion . The academic genre , a wor ld in wh ich l anguage is pa ramount and in which all language carr ies a history of mean ings negot ia ted and t rans fo rmed th rough dia logic interact ion can be seen there fore , as the e x e m p l a r of Bakht in 's "e las t i c env i r onmen t " in which the word is g iven breath th rough " a process of l iv ing in te rac t ion . " The f i rst post conc ludes w i th a s u m m a r y and res ta tement of the pos i t ion s ta ted in the f irst pa r ag raph : Such inte l lectual t y ranny not only creates conformis ts of c i t izens (as Orwel l a rgued ) , but the in t imate connect ion between the g o v e r n m e n t and the mass med ia acts as the greates t t y ranny of all by h inder ing unbiased know ledge , debate and societa l change . The t y ranny o f soc ie ty is a react ion to this fundamenta l and foundat iona l intel lectual t y ranny as perpet ra ted by the g o v e r n m e n t and capi ta l is t in terests . Here, the author addresses the or ig inal quest ion by re f raming the notion of " t y r a n n y " in the or ig ina l propos i t ion as " in te l lec tua l t y r anny " to which the " t y r anny of soc ie t y " (the ty ranny in the or ig ina l proposi t ion) is secondary , f r amed as a " r e a c t i o n " to the much more threaten ing one " p e r p e t r a t e d " by the gove rnment . The word " t y r anny , " wh ich is repeated in each sentence with a different ad ject ive ( intel lectual t y ranny/ greatest t y ranny/ t y ranny of Orwell is used as another ev ident ia l here Lexical choices indicate the wr i ter ' s s t rong fee l ings and stance greatest tyranny Hindering unb iased knowledge fundamental foundational inte l lectual t y r anny perpetrated by / 114 society/ intel lectual t y ranny ) acts as a refra in, and bui lds to a st rong conc lus ion . In the second e x a m p l e , the s tudent interprets the task d i f ferent ly . The a r g u m e n t is a lso s t ruc tured d i f ferent ly , and the s tudent incorporates ev ident ia ls in a d i f ferent manner . Message no. 5394 [Reply of: no. 5229] Development of argument reliability of knowledge , mode of knowledge , and stance / bounda ry I don't think Mill actua l ly says any th ing def ini te about one (society ) is worse than the o ther (gove rnment ) in his essay . Since I'm on the neqative side, I'll take the government side. The wr i ter s tates her " s i d e " rather than stat ing what her a rgument is. "I ' l l t a k e " may convey some resentment that the s tudent was not a l lowed to choose a side but rather put on the negat ive s ide. It should be noted that in the interv iews, some s tudents c o m m e n t e d that they wou ld have preferred to argue a posi t ion they actua l ly suppor ted rather than be told which posi t ion to adopt . However , as d iscussed in prev ious sect ions , the instructors had a wel l thought out rat ionale for adopt ing this approach . The wr i ter 's f i rst sentence is cor rec t but phrased as "I don ' t t h i nk " rather than a direct s t a t emen t , the reby sof ten ing the asse r t ion . She goes on to say that she ' l l " t a k e " the s ide she has been p laced o n . Th is ve rb impl ies both that she will adopt and accept this s ide as it has been g iven to her. She does not use s t rong ve rbs such as a rgue , etc. and does not c lear ly state a pos i t i on . In page 4 5 , Mill says " the i r power is ... nat ion 's power , concen t ra ted , and in a fo rm conven ien t for exe r c i s e . " Here . Mill is savina that the power of the g o v e r n m e n t is cons idered as a nat ion 's power (which represents the power of all the people in a soc ie ty ) . And it is in a concent ra ted and conven ient fo rm so it can be used ef fect ive ly aga ins t wha teve r it des i res . Hence , it's much more conven ien t for the g o v e r n m e n t compare to the soc iety to turn into a tyrant . The post begins , as the major i ty of posts in this modu le do , wi th a ci tat ion f rom Mill and the page number . It then paraphrases Mil l 's s ta tement . The con junct ion " a n d ' is used to link the two ideas. Notice that the s tudent ' s paraphrase uses the s ame words that Mill does . The pronoun " i t " s eems to swi tch reference f rom power to the gove rnment , obfuscat ing the connect ion between ideas to some extent . The The wr i te r c i tes Mill us ing a neutra l report ing ve rb , say and then pa raphrases Mill us ing the s a m e report ing ve rb . No marke r s of s tance are used to es tab l i sh wr i ter 's own pos i t ion /115 use of " h e n c e " s igna ls the conc lus ion . In page 4 6 , Mill says " l i ke o ther t y rann ies , the t y ranny of the majority.. . . is chief ly opera t ing th rough the acts of the publ ic au thor i t i es . " Here, Mill is savinq that the t y r anny of the major i ty (which comes f rom the soc iety ) has to operate th rough a publ ic author i ty (which is the gove rnment ) to have an impact on the people . The exact s a m e pattern is used here , with the s a m e report ing verb and a paraphrase which uses the s a m e t e rms as Mill does . No connect ion is d rawn between the two c i tat ions f rom Mi l l . The ve rb " s a y " is repeated twice aga in . There is no ind icat ion as to the wr i ter ' s s tance or the rel iabi l i ty of the know ledge . It has s imp l y been taken f rom Mill and repeated here. In page 5 8 , Mill says " the t ime , it is to be hoped , is gone by, when any defence wou ld be necessary of the " l ibe r ty of the p re s s " as one of the secur i t ies aga ins t cor rupt or ty rann ica l g o v e r n m e n t " . Here , Mill seems to be savinq that one of the ways a g o v e r n m e n t can contro l soc iety is by l imit ing the f r eedom of the press . Thus, the g o v e r n m e n t can control both the phys ica l aspects of a soc iety as wel l as the menta l and spir i tua l aspects of a soc ie ty (hence, a much worse ty rant than a soc ie ty ) . Two conjunct ions " t h u s " and " h e n c e " are used to s ignal that she has drawn a conc lus ion f rom the above paraphrase . She restates the c i tat ions as referr ing to the "men ta l and spir i tua l aspects of a soc ie ty . " She uses the con junct ion " t h u s " to s ignal that she has come to a conc lus ion . The s a m e pat tern recurs a g a i n , but the author hedges her paraphrase by us ing " s e e m s to be s a y i n g " rather than a d i rect report ing ve rb " s a y s " or " i s s a y i n g . " I'm getting tired of finding quotes f rom the text . Mill makes plenty of reference on the spiritual stuff. The author conc ludes her post by c o m m e n t i n g that she has t i red of " f i nd ing quo tes , " s igna l ing that she v iewed " f ind ing quo tes " as the pr imary purpose of the ass ignment . The wr i ter m a k e s a direct " I " s t a t emen t , but f r ames her wr i t ing in t e rms of " f i nd ing q u o t e s " ra ther than suppor t ing a pos i t ion . Th is post cites Mill severa l t imes as does the f irst post , but w i thout weav ing Mil l 's text into the wr i ter 's a rgument . The a rgument is s ta ted in the f inal sen tence , "Thus, the g o v e r n m e n t can contro l both the phys ica l aspects of a soc iety as wel l as the menta l and spi r i tua l aspects of a soc ie ty . " Once we read backward , the connect ion between the quotes the wr i ter has chosen become clear. Wi thout c lear ly exp la in ing the reason why certa in quotes were chosen , the wr i ter g ives the impress ion that she has chosen t h e m at r andom and s imp ly " s c a t t e r e d " t hem in her own wr i t ing . Th is impress ion is suppor ted by the f inal " I " s ta tement . If the wr i ter had clear ly s tated her a r g u m e n t at the beg inn ing / 1 1 6 and es tab l i shed the connect ion between each c i tat ion and the a rgumen t , she wou ld have g iven the impress ion that she had engaged with the text and es tab l i shed a s t ronge r author ia l vo ice . Once the a r g u m e n t is c lear , we real ize that the wr i te r has indeed t aken the quotes she needed to take f rom the text , but the way she has s t ruc tured the text g ives prec ise ly the oppos i te impress ion . The f inal sentence sugges ts that the wr i te r interpreted the ass ignmen t as pr imar i ly to f ind quotes f rom the text , a n d , ra ther unfor tunate l y , conveys the wr i ter 's fee l ing that the a s s i gnmen t was unde r t aken mechan ica l l y . The th i rd post begins with a def in i t ion of t e rms , a s t ra tegy c o m m o n l y used in this sect ion of the posts . As noted prev ious ly , th is was a c o m m o n socia l pract ice w i th wh ich the s tudents were fami l i a r in the onl ine mater ia ls and in the i r d i scuss ion sec t ions , where inst ructors often returned to key t e rms or asked the s tudents how an au thor wou ld def ine cer ta in words . Subject: Affirmative Development of argument reliability o f k n o w l e d g e , mode o f k n o w l e d g e , a n d stance / b o u n d a r y T y r an t " refers to a ruler who uses power in a ha rsh , d e m a n d i n g or oppress ive way and holds abso lute power . In most cases, t y rant is used to descr ibe a despot ic gove rnmen t who uses great power to depr ive o thers ' interests unjust ly or crue l ly . The s tudent begins by def in ing the te rmino logy she will use. The wr i te r m a k e s a genera l i za t ion to appea l to c o m m o n know ledge . The mode of knowledge is mos t l ikely a d ic t ionary , but the wr i te r has inc luded a speci f ic e xa m p l e to ensure that readers unders tand wha t she means by the t e r m . But in fact, soc iety can also be a worse ty rant than g o v e r n m e n t in some ways . Soc ie ty is a col lect ive c o m m u n i t y composed of abundan t people and such great numbe r s of separa te ind iv idua ls can execute its own manda tes (46) . The con junct ion " b u t " s igna ls the turn in the a rgument to the oppos i te s ide This is fol lowed by another genera l iza t ion that is taken f rom Mill (s ignaled by the page number ) a l though wi thout quotat ion ma rks , it is diff icult to identify exact ly wh ich words have been appropr i a ted . The wr i ter uses a genera l i zed hedg ing s t a t ement " i n s o m e w a y s . " Unfortunately, people 's acts are always contro l led by socia l op in ion and A g a i n , the wr i ter has appropr ia ted ideas f rom Mill and s ignaled this with a page Two s t rong adverb ia l s are used here , " un fo r tuna t e l y , " and A 1 7 in ter ference. Soc ie ty can fo rm its own cus tom and this c u s t o m can penetrate deep ly into each m e m b e r of the c o m m u n i t y because people l iv ing in a cer ta in soc iety are diff icult to avo id f rom the inf luence of its c u s t o m . number reference, but no conjunct ions have been used to show identify how Mill 's ideas are related to the asser t ion in the first sentence . " a l w a y s , " wh ich g ive us an idea of the wri ter 's s tance . C u s t o m is a kind of th ings that people are accus tomed to bel ieve w i thout skept i c i sm (47) . Soc ie ty compe l s people to con fo rm to its not ions of pe rsona l , as of socia l exce l lence (55 ) . People are spon taneous l y to fo l low all soc ia l op in ion and d imin i sh the i r own op in ions as wel l as the express ion of the i r own op in ions . A g a i n , the wr i ter has def ined her t e rms with a reference to Mi l l . Th is is fol lowed by . another sentence f rom Mi l l . These sentences read as if part ly wr i t ten by Mill and part ly wr i t ten by the s tudent , but the c i tat ions have not been c lear ly ident i f ied. No conjunct ions have been used to gu ide the reader or estab l ish c lear connect ions between the ideas. The subject is c lear ly identi f ied at the beg inn ing of each sen tence : " c u s t o m i s " ; " soc ie ty c o m p e l s " ; and "peop le a r e , " l inking these concepts to the verbs " a c cus tomed t o , " " c o m p e l " and " f o l l ow , " but the idea is not c lear ly s ta ted . The last sentence appears to expl icate the preceding one . There are some author i t ies in a soc iety and they all oppress the room for express ing indiv idual 's op in ion . For ins tance , R o m a n Catho l i c Church is served as one of the author i t ies and it is sovere ign (64-5). Al l re l ig ious bel iefs are infallible that they are warranted to be abso lute t ruth and no one can cha l lenge its t ru th . Reference is made to a genera l author i ty , fo l lowed by an examp le which Mill uses . Th is is fo l lowed by an overgenera l ized s ta tement in which the words " in fa l l i b l e " and " w a r r a n t e d " have been p laced. These words were probably taken f rom Mill 's text and were used to g ive the post an author i ta t ive f lavour . The s t a t emen t "The re are some au thor i t i es in a soc iety and they all oppress the room for express ing indiv idual ' s o p i n i o n " is p rob lemat i c as ' s o m e ' and ' a l l ' do not agree . The ev idence is an e xa mp l e t aken f rom Mill 's t ex t , wh i ch is a s s u m e d to be a rel iable source . It means that there are no free d i scuss ion of all bel iefs and people only can do are to be l ieve t h e m and conform to these ru les. Depr iva t ions of one 's op in ion , an A g a i n , the wr i ter exp l i ca tes the prev ious s ta tement us ing " i t m e a n s " to connect the topic of the two paragraphs . She also uses a con junct ion to s igna l a conc lus ion . The The wr i ter m o v e s f rom us ing " p e o p l e " a s a genera l sub jec t to us ing " o n e " as a genera l sub jec t . Th is is an impersona l /118 express ion of one 's op in ion and a chance of free d i scuss ion on a mat te r are al the s y m b o l s of t y ranny . There fore , soc iety can also be a ty rant ove r ind iv idua ls because soc ie ty depr ives ind iv idua ls ' f r eedom of op in ion and d i scuss ion . use of " t he re fo re " indicates that a cause and effect re lat ionship has been es tab l i shed . Because few conjunct ions or other dev ices were used to l ink the ideas in the prev ious parts of the post , and because the c i tat ions f rom Mill 's text seem randomly chosen because they have not been woven into the text as in the first examp le or expl icated in detai l as in the second , the conc lus ion r ings false even though , upon review of the text , it is c lear that the wr i ter has presented the a rgumen t sys temat i ca l l y . subject . Th is cho ice might reflect the wri ter 's des i re to es tab l i sh a more impe r sona l , " a c a d e m i c " tone . These three examp l e s demons t ra te the range of abi l i ty in this g roup of s tuden ts . A l t hough al l the s tudents have sat isf ied the requ i rement to use Mil l 's t ex t to suppor t the i r a rgumen t , the f irst text has incorporated wel l-chosen and appropr ia te c i ta t ions f rom Mill to suppor t and argue a pos i t ion . The second text , whi le it a lso incorporates Mi l l , a n d , in fact , inc ludes wel l chosen c i ta t ions , does not c lear ly es tab l i sh the connec t ion be tween the a r g u m e n t and the suppor t unti l the end of the text , g iv ing the impress ion that the wr i te r did not read Mil l 's text wi th care. The third text a lso incorporates c i ta t ions f r om Mill but does not c lear ly es tab l i sh the connect ion be tween t h e m . Two t ypes of ev ident ia ls are used in these t ex t s : c i ta t ions f rom Mill and references to c o m m o n knowledge or def in i t ions . When drawing upon Mi l l , the wr i ters appea l to sha red ag r eemen t regard ing Mil l 's v i ews . S im i l a r l y , by appea l ing to c o m m o n k n o w l e d g e , they a s s u m e shared v iews . The first text is the only text that es tab l i shes an " o p p o s i t i o n a l " s tance th rough the use of adverb ia l s as profess iona l a cademic wr i ters do and the on ly text in which the wr i ter over t ly pos i t ions hersel f wi th respect to the content th rough adverb ia l s . 4.7 Incorporating Online Evidence Bes ides incorporat ing ev idence f rom Mill 's text or o ther tex ts that they had read dur ing the course , the s tudents incorporated ev idence that was cons idered to be c o m m o n know ledge ( N a z i s m , Hit ler , S t a l i n , I raq) . Because th is ev idence was a s s u m e d to be c o m m o n know ledge , the s tudents did not expl icate at length . When us ing ev ident ia l s d rawn f rom c o m m o n knowledge , they const ruc ted knowledge as " the product of shared a g r e e m e n t " rather than "oppos i t iona l and spec i a l i zed " (Bar ton , 2 0 0 4 ) , and th is is /119 ref lected in the use of inc lusive pronouns l ike " w e , " " o u r " and " l e t ' s . " W h e n incorpora t ing ev idence f rom the i r background knowledge that may not have been fami l i a r to o thers , many s tudents inc luded a link to a webs i te for more in fo rmat ion , fur ther g round ing the i r a rgumen t s by referr ing to an outs ide source where the in format ion could be ve r i f i ed . In in terv iews , they c o m m e n t e d that one of the advantages of on l ine post ing was be ing able to qu i ck l y f ind and incorporate references and that this made t hem feel more secu re : I l ike that I have the t ime to sit down and actua l ly l ike prov ide . . . more ev idence f rom like other sources . . . l ike onl ine sources l ike you can jus t . . . you know copy and paste . . . l ike a link to some site instead of hav ing to ... t ype it all out and then . . . you know that way you can get more in fo rmat ion in there and . . . and j u s t l ike feel more sure abou t . . . l ike y o u r a r g u m e n t ins tead of j u s t say ing wha teve r comes into your head l ike in c lass Ev ident ia ls f rom other sources were incorporated in dif ferent ways . One s tuden t addressed the readers d i rec t ly : P lease refer to this webs i te on T i ananmen square massac re if anyone is in terested in this event , h t tp : //www.ch r i s tus rex .o rg/wwwl/sdc/ t i ananmen .h tm l The post , wh ich was inc luded in prev ious d i scuss ions , addresses the readers d i rect ly by ask ing t hem to pay at tent ion to the e x a m p l e , "I want e ve ryone to pay at tent ion to the T i ananmen massacre which happened in Ch ina at the yea r of 1 9 8 9 . " It goes on to paraphrase the in format ion f rom the webs i te and c lear ly es tab l i shes the wr i ter 's s t ance : In my perspective, no mat ter how much the major i ty (the soc iety ) had cont r ibuted into mak ing the i r country more l ibera l , I doubted the i r efforts The post conc ludes wi th a direct address to the reader and offers the webs i te address for those who are interested in more in format ion . Ano the r s tudent used the French revolut ion as an e x a m p l e . She began by in t roduc ing the 'Re ign of Ter ror ' : Dur ing the height of the French Revo lu t ion , the period known as 'Re ign of Te r ro r ' occur red . Af ter a descr ip t ion of the events copied direct ly f rom the webs i te , she inc luded the webs i te address wi thout an invi tat ion to look there for more in format ion as in the f irst post : www.w ik iped i a . com "Re ign of Te r ro r " The s a m e post conta ins another hyper l ink to the w ik iped ia . com webs i te . The wr i ter in t roduces her in format ion as extra research on her part : / 1 2 0 I went through a historical timeline and a 'society ' that has e m b a r k e d on 'genoc ide ' is the French dur ing the Revo lut ion . She then pastes the in format ion f rom the w ik iped ia webs i te d i rect ly into her post and conc ludes wi th the hyper l ink to show where the in format ion c ame f r o m : The poor at the lower s t r a tums of French soc iety were being feuda l ly oppressed and s tarved by the mons t rous and exc lus ive pr iv i leges of the French Ar i s toc racy and Royal ty . Tak ing up a r m s , they embarked on 'genoc ide ' of the upper Bourgeo is ie c lasses to estab l ish "L iber ty and Just ice" . E i ther th rough pol i t ical and execu t ions , the revo lut ion was a success , www.w ik iped ia . com "F rench Revo lut ion Like the wr i ters in texts 2 and 3 ana lyzed prev ious ly , th is wr i ter m a k e s l itt le a t t empt to incorporate the informat ion as part of an a rgument . She g ives the impress ion that inc lud ing in format ion taken f rom the internet counts as " e x t r a r e s e a r c h " and does not se lect the re levant passages that would best i l lustrate her propos i t ion but rather incorporates large sect ions of the webs i te mater ia l . Ano the r wr i ter d i scussed Mil l 's text in relat ion to apar the id in Sou th A f r i ca . She a lso used c i tat ions f rom a webs i te , but wove t hem into her own tex t , and incorpora ted the webs i te address as an in-text c i ta t ion. She careful ly s i tuated the ev idence in re lat ion to the propos i t ion at the beg inn ing of her post : an e xamp l e where the gove rnment is the worse ty rant than soc ie ty even though it does not represent the soc iety is South Afr ica and the Apar the id pol icy reg ime She cont inued by g iv ing some stat ist ics on apa r the id , and then inc luded the c i tat ion f rom her re ference : The g o v e r n m e n t used the " l a w " as a tool to ma inta in its pos i t ion , such as th rough the Publ ic Sa fe ty Ac t and the Cr im ina l Law A m e n d m e n t Ac t in 1 9 5 3 , wh i ch " e m p o w e r e d the gove rnmen t to dec lare s t r ingent states of e m e r g e n c y and increased penal t ies for protest ing aga inst or suppor t ing the repeal of a l aw . " (http://www-cs-s tudents . s tan fo rd .edu/~ca le/cs201/apar the id .h i s t .h tml ) The c i tat ion f rom the webs i te is woven into the s tudent ' s text , and the reference is a lso woven in as an in-text c i ta t ion. This post uses an essay fo rmat rather than the more conversa t iona l fo rmat of the first post ( "please refer") or the second ("I went th rough " ) , and appropr ia tes the ev idence to suppor t the wr i ter 's a rgumen t . The wr i te r conc ludes by synthes iz ing the in format ion with a quote f rom Mi l l . The gove rnmen t has the power and tools which is " concen t r a t ed , and in a f o rm conven ien t for exe r c i se , " (45) which a l lows for a more effect ive way to act t y ran t than soc ie ty . /121 The wr i te r has recognized the connect ion between Mil l 's text and a cur rent e x a m p l e . L ike the wr i ter in the first e x a m p l e , she has been able to incorporate ev idence d rawn f rom her background knowledge and interests to suppor t her a r g u m e n t , a n d , l ike the wr i ter who argued about f r eedom of the press , to incorporate Mil l 's text into ano ther type of ev idence . A l though the wr i ter obv ious ly knows enough about apar the id to d iscuss it in reference to Mill w i thout inc luding a c i ta t ion , she has chosen to do so , mos t l ikely because , as the s tudents observed in interv iews, " you can get more in format ion in there and . . . and jus t l ike feel more sure abou t . . . l ike your a rgumen t instead of j us t say ing wha teve r comes into your head l ike in c l a ss . " Th is c o m m e n t is interest ing because the onl ine env i ronment is one in wh i ch it is poss ib le to say "wha teve r comes into your head like in c l a ss " and at the s a m e t ime to f ind and inc lude ver i f iable sources " j u s t l ike feel more sure a b o u t " what you ' ve s a i d . It is eas ier to f ind and incorporate ev ident ia ls in an env i ronment where connec t ions have become " a cl ick away , " and this pract ice became increas ingly c o m m o n as the t e rm progressed . As we have seen , s tudents used a var ie ty of approaches when incorpora t ing and referr ing to ev idence to support the i r a rguments . The s tudents were aware that they needed to incorporate and refer to textua l ev idence to suppor t the i r a r g u m e n t s , and the major i ty of t h e m did so in their posts in this sec t ion . However , as we have s een , s o m e s tudents did so more successfu l ly than others . Whi le some s tudents were able to se lect and appropr ia te the c i tat ions they needed and to incorporate t h e m into the i r a r g u m e n t , o thers spoke in genera l t e rms and s imp ly lifted c i tat ions f rom the reference w i thout appropr ia t ing it ef fect ive ly . The range of responses in this sect ion shows that us ing ev idence ef fect ive ly is cha l l eng ing , but s tudents recognize the need to " m a k e the i r a r g u m e n t s e c u r e " by incorporat ing t h e m . As these posts were not meant to be read as fo rma l a cademic papers in wh ich / sources are used to s i tuate the wr i ter in relat ion to an es tab l i shed d isc ip l ine o r to contes t es tab l i shed knowledge , we wou ld not expect to f ind ev ident ia ls used in this way . In terest ing ly , we do f ind ev ident ia ls used to " gu ide the reader 's i n t e rp re ta t i on " of the text and "es tab l i sh an author ia l c o m m a n d of the sub jec t " in the examp l e s c i t ed . The wr i ters of these posts have also emp loyed a wide range of d i scurs i ve s t ra teg ies when drawing on ev idence . As prev ious ly noted , many s tudents used inc lus ive pronouns such as " w e " and " o u r " to create a sense of aff i l iat ion between wr i ter and reader , d raw ing upon shared knowledge and c o m m o n exper iences to suppor t the i r a rgumen t s . Th is pract ice ref lected the s tuden ts ' awareness of an aud ience for the i r wr i t ing and an over t a cknow ledgement that the i r cont r ibut ions were be ing read . O the r 1111 s tudents spoke in more vague , genera l t e rms rather than d raw ing on speci f ic e x a m p l e s . Many inc luded examp l e s d rawn f rom the i r par t icu lar backg round knowledge and interests , s o m e t i m e s inc luding hyper l inks to webs i tes wi th fur ther i n fo rmat ion , some th ing wh ich made t hem feel more " s e c u r e " about incorporat ing this k ind of ev idence . Such pract ices are eas i ly adopted in the onl ine env i ronment where in format ion is easy to f ind and easy to incorporate into a text , and the onl ine env i ronment , in fact , fac i l i tates cer ta in l i teracy pract ices which we see in this onl ine c o m m u n i t y . The onl ine env i ronment is , in many ways , a h ighly paradox ica l one . It is a d ia log ic env i ronmen t , yet one in which the d ia logue is not s i tuated wi th in a c lear ly es tab l i shed su r round ing context upon which inter locutors draw to interpret one another . It is an env i r onmen t in wh ich commun i ca t i on has m a n y of the charac ter i s t i cs of the s p o k e n w o r d : messages can be composed f luent ly , sentences are often shor t and s i m p l e , and much of the d iscourse has the dia logic over tones of conve rsa t ion . Yet , at the s a m e t ime , it is an env i ronment in which commun i ca t i on takes place th rough the wr i t ten w o r d : thoughts mus t be ful ly fo rmula ted in sentences , lexical choices range f rom an in formal to h ighly fo rma l academic lex is , some t imes in the s a m e post , ideas are fu l ly exp l i ca ted rather than commun i ca t ed in verba l sho r thand , and hyper l inks are incorpora ted into texts as in-text c i tat ions. It is a hybr id env i ronment , a mix ture of spoken and wr i t ten d i scourse , and many of the observa t ions we have a l ready made about the d i scourse in this onl ine c o m m u n i t y reflect tha t hybr id qual i ty . In th is chapter , we have focused on the ways that s tudents incorporate ev idence into the i r wr i t i ng , inc luding the kind of ev idence , they emp loy , the d i scourses they draw upon , and the texts that they use. In the next chapter , we will return to the not ion of " s p e a k i n g ou t , " looking aga in at who can speak , what can be s a i d , and how it can be sa id in order to unders tand how topic , l anguage , and audience are negot ia ted th rough the act of compos i t i on . /123 Chapter 5 Speaking up 5.1: Sharing "things I've figured out" S ince the course was f irst imp lemented in a m ixed-mode f ash ion , the course coord inator , consu l tant , and the instructors not iced a s igni f icant di f ference between the s tudents ' onl ine wr i t ing and the i r more formal a cademic a ss ignments . The webs i te was del iberate ly s t ruc tured to g ive s tudents as many oppor tun i t i es as poss ib le to " s a y someth ing they actua l ly want to commun i ca t e to o the r s , " wh i ch , as the course coord inator obse r ved , " i s the key to good w r i t i ng . " He felt that it was impor tan t to " encourage s tudents to express themse l ves in essay wr i t ing and e x a m wri t ing rather in the way that they do . . . in pos t ings " and that over the t e r m , the inst ructors obse rved " a t ransference f rom the post ing exper ience to . . . essay wr i t ing and examina t i on wr i t ing expe r i ence " wh ich represented " the more s t r ik ing i m p r o v e m e n t " in the s tuden t s ' wr i t ing abi l i ty . The course consu l tant ag reed : we found that the s tudents . . . genera l l y wrote . . . better . . . the i r ideas were cr isper . . . c learer when they. . . were not wr i t ing formal papers . . . when they could . . . when they d idn ' t take on the s tudent persona they cou ld . . . speak as . . . themse l ves in an . . env i ronment that they were fami l i a r w i th . . . Many of the s tudents interv iewed posted more than once a week , and often di f ferent iated between post ing for the d iscuss ion sect ion and vo luntary pos t ing . One s tudent c o m m e n t e d that she often posted tw ice : one post to respond to the ques t ion of the week and another one " that ' s a couple of l ines that are jus t l ike ques t ions or interest ing th ings I've f igured ou t . " These as ides were often " l i k e off s ide of the topic . . . where I want to share wi th people . . . or jus t I f ind some th ing in te res t ing , " and were often fo l lowed with a hyper l ink for readers to cl ick on if they wanted more in fo rmat ion . These opt iona l posts were spaces in which the s tudents felt they could share th ings which may not have been " o n top i c , " but may have been of interest to o thers . Severa l s tudents c o m m e n t e d that they l iked the fact that they could " con t r ibu te f rom what they k n o w , " some th ing which made the onl ine d i scuss ion much more interest ing for t hem and gave t hem incent ive to post more than once a week . They descr ibed these more opt iona l posts as spaces where people contr ibute f rom what they know . . . that a lso . . . makes it interest ing that you hear. . . th ings you don' t expec t to hear... that somebody contr ibutes some th ing different By cont r ibut ing f rom "wha t they k n o w , " s tudents cont r ibute v iewpoints ev idence that may be unexpec t ed , but are often intr iguing to o thers . As the webs i te s t ructure /124 encourages cont r ibut ion f rom s tudents and encourages t hem to offer the i r v iews and share the i r knowledge , it is not surpr is ing that m a n y posts , both in the d iscuss ion sect ions and in o ther parts of the webs i te , make reference to knowledge d rawn f rom diverse d isc ip l ines . In the first Mill modu le , s o m e examp les of current or histor ica l examp les of the t y ranny of gove rnmen t were used by m a n y s tudents to suppor t the i r propos i t ion (Naz i sm , S ta l i n , the war in Iraq) , ove r half the s tudents who used speci f ic examp les chose unusua l examp les which were not found in Mill or d rawn f rom immedia te l y obv ious c o m m o n know ledge ; for e x a m p l e , de Toquev i l l e , the Wa r Measures Act , the Japanese invas ion of Ch ina , the suppress ion of rel igion in C o m m u n i s t count r ies , V i e tnamese boat people , a r ranged marr iage in Ko rea , the Pres ident of Egypt , a case of bul ly ing which had been in the newspaper , and the goth ic l i festyle. Encouragement to suppor t and va l idate a rgumen t s by reference to what they know va l idates the s tuden ts ' " au tob iograph ica l ident i t i es " and g ives them conf idence , the reby fac i l i tat ing integrat ion between autob iograph ica l self, author ia l self and d iscoursa l self in the i r wr i t ing . When present ing in format ion wh ich they know wel l and want to share wi th o thers , s tudents are much more l ikely to adopt an author i ta t ive s tance by address ing the i r readers d irect ly as an author i ta t ive "I." In the fo l lowing examp le , wh ich has been d iscussed before , the wr i ter conveys in format ion which has great s igni f icance for her , mot iva t ing her to speak out and to commun i ca t e someth ing of great impor tance which others may not know. The wr i ter addresses the aud ience forceful ly and direct ly wi th a demand to " p a y a t t en t i on " to her personal e xamp l e of the t y ranny of g o v e r n m e n t : I want e ve ryone to pay at tent ion to the T i a n a n m e n massac re wh ich happened in Ch ina at the year of 1989 . A group of s tudents , who suppor ted democ racy and demanded for f r eedom of speech in C h i n a , had been ki l led by tanks and sold iers under the request of the c o m m u n i s t gove rnmen t of Ch ina . Af ter th is event , the c o m m u n i s t gove rnmen t of Ch ina had been j udged as " t y r a n t " and had brought the wor ld 's a t tent ion to the polit ical condi t ion of Ch ina . In my perspective, no mat te r how much the major i ty (the society ) had cont r ibuted into mak ing the i r country more l ibera l , I doubted the i r efforts because the g o v e r n m e n t is the only power to inf luence a soc ie ty . P lease refer to this webs i te on T i ananmen square massac re if anyone is interested in this event . h t tp : //www.ch r i s tus rex .o rg/wwwl/sdc/ t i ananmen .h tm l This post is interest ing in that , not only does the wr i ter (who rarely speaks out so direct ly in other modu les ) direct ly and unequ ivoca l l y state her posi t ion on the a rgument and suppor t it wi th a link to a webs i te with more in fo rmat ion , but she expl ic i t ly c o m m a n d s the readers to "pay a t t en t ion " to her e x a m p l e . She adopts an author i ta t ive s tance , c la iming the r ight to speak and to be heard wi th a t tent ion , most l ikely because t h e T i a n a n m e n Square massacre is a topic w i th s t rong personal re levance to her, one /125 which she is now able to s i tuate in a g loba l context th rough her reading of Mill whi le at the s ame t ime her unders tand ing of the event va l idates her in terpretat ion of Mil l 's text . Ano the r s tudent used the examp le of the Japanese invas ion of Ch ina to i l lustrate Mill 's a rgumen t regard ing the necess i ty of minor i ty op in ions : . . . he a rgues that the necessar ies of minor i ty op in ions . To m a k e m y a r g u m e n t s o u n d , let's th ink of an examp le . When in 1940 's when Japanese A r m y invaded C h i n a , they contro l led some area and setup a so cal led " se l f -gove rnment " , l ike Mill says " the ' se l f-government ' spoken of is not the gove rnmen t of each by h imsel f , but of each by all the rest " (Page 46 Mi l l ) . A s a gove rnmen t set up by invaders and represented only the interest of invaders , the gove rnmen t was tota l ly unjust i f ied and was a f asc i sm gove rnment . However , even in such a d ictator ia l gove rnmen t , res is tances ex i s ted . The reason for that is the gove rnment ' s power is so weak compar ing to the soc iety . Those ant i- Japanese warr iors won ' t surv i ve w i thout the suppor t of the soc iety . Even if the gove rnmen t want to arrest or kil l those war r io rs , the soc ie ty can protect t h e m . Th ink if the soc iety not suppor ts t h e m . And the soc iety keeps on te l l ing everyone that the Japanese 's governances are jus t i f i ed . Wil l there sti l l be so m a n y res is tances? Soc ie ty ' s power is a lways greater than the gove rnmen t , s ince the soc iety represents all of the people , but the g o v e r n m e n t only e i ther major i ty (in the case of democ racy gove rnment ) or minor i t y (in the case of d ictator ia l gove rnmen t ) . Thus when the soc iety turns to be a ty rant , it wil l be even worse . The wr i te r obv ious ly has s t rong fee l ings about this e x a m p l e , and it is one that has great persona l mean ing for h i m . He is able to connect to Mil l 's abst rac t not ions through his background knowledge about Ch inese res is tance dur ing the J apanese occupat ion of Ch ina , and he f rames his contr ibut ion as ev idence that suppor ts and i l lustrates Mil l 's ideas rather than s imp ly as a personal account that may or may not be of interest to others . Th roughou t the post, he emp loys an academic lexis d rawn f r om pol it ical sc ience (un just i f ied , f a s c i sm , d ic ta tor ia l , res istance) wh ich is used correct ly even if the word fo rms are incorrect . He addresses his readers d irect ly twice us ing impera t i ves : " le t ' s th ink of an e x a m p l e , " and "Th ink if the soc iety not suppor ts t h e m , " as wel l as with a ques t i on : "Wi l l there still be so many res i s tances? " Here we see the wr i te r d raw ing on the d i scourses w i th which he is fami l i a r whi le at the s a m e t ime us ing an academic lexis to convey his s t rong fee l ings about the in just ices which occurred dur ing the occupat ion per iod , in tegrat ing his knowledge of Ch inese history into his evo lv ing unders tand ing of t Mill 's text and es tab l i sh ing a conf ident author ia l self who p roc l a ims : " Soc ie t y ' s power is a lways grea ter than the g o v e r n m e n t " and predicts " Thus when the soc ie ty turns to be a ty rant , it wil l be even wo r se . " Th rough part ic ipat ion in on l ine d i s cuss ion , not only do the s tudents have the oppor tun i t y to " sha re what they k n o w " wi th others , but a lso to share in format ion that is of persona l impor tance to t h e m . In these examp l e s , both wr i ters have taken a d irect , /126 author i ta t i ve s tance more ak in to the author i ta t i ve s tance es tab l i shed academic wr i ters take in publ ished wr i t ings than in typica l wr i t ing f rom undergraduate s tudents (Hy land , 2 0 0 2 ) . With the oppor tun i ty to " s a y s o m e t h i n g " they actua l ly wan t " t o commun i ca t e to o the r s , " these wr i ters " speak as t h e m s e l v e s , " yet at the s a m e t ime integrate the d iscourses and knowledge wi th wh ich they are fami l ia r into the a cademic fo rmat which they are gradua l l y appropr ia t ing th rough engagement in onl ine d i s cuss ion . Th is is one of the major advan tages of onl ine c o m m u n i c a t i o n . In the onl ine env i ronmen t , s tudents are free to draw upon a wide range of d i scourses and texts and to integrate and appropr ia te them in ways that are comfor tab le , incorporat ing the fami l i a r d i scourses into the unfami l ia r d iscourse of academia in ways which are authent ic , enab l ing t hem to speak as themse l ves rather than adopt ing a false a cademic persona and to speak author i ta t i ve ly by shar ing what they know wi th o thers . I wou ld sugges t that prov id ing an env i ronment in which s tudents are able to incorporate fami l i a r l i teracy pract ices (e-mai l , internet chat , instant m e s s a g i n g , etc) and the " r i ch s t e w " of d iscourses which s tudent wr i ters are a l ready fami l i a r ( Ivanic, 1998 , p. 85) into the i r evo lv ing unders tand ing and maste ry of the a cademic l i teracy pract ices is one of the pr imary reasons for the not iceable improvement in the s tuden ts ' a cademic wr i t ing as the course progresses . By f ind ing ways to connect the s tuden t s ' personal know ledge , exper t i se , and exper ience to the t hemes and issues in the course tex ts , the instructors and course creators encourage s tudents to integrate the i r autob iograph ica l se lves and the and the fami l ia r d iscourses which they br ing to the i r wr i t ing into their evo lv ing unders tand ing and maste ry of a cademic wr i t ing . Fu r the rmore , by va l idat ing what the s tudents know and who they a re , the course posi t ions the s tudents as " l eg i t imate s p e a k e r s , " to use Bourd ieu 's t e rmino logy , speakers whose vo ices deserve to be heard and whose v iews deserve recogn i t ion . 5.2 Online discourse As the course consu l tant obse r ved , the onl ine env i ronment is fami l i a r to s tudents . They are used to commun i ca t i ng with others th rough ema i l , text messages , internet chat , instant messag ing , and the p lethora of onl ine d iscuss ion boards and l istservs ava i lab le for people wi th s imi la r interests . Onl ine d iscourse , as Ha ras im ( 1 9 9 0 , 2 0 0 0 ) , Abdu l l ah (1998) and Yates (1996) have obse r ved , is more in formal than academic wr i t ing , a mix tu re of spoken and wr i t ten d iscourse . Yates 's (1996) large corpus-based compar i son between C M C , s p o k e n , and wr i t ten d iscourse ident i f ied severa l speci f ic features of the d iscourse of compute r-med ia ted commun i ca t i on . Whi le the range of vocabu la ry and lexical densi ty (the ratio of lexical i tems to g r ammat i c a l i tems in a /127 sample ) of the d i scourse used in C M C is more ak in to wr i t ten than spoken Eng l i sh , the use of p ronouns is more ak in to speech than wr i t i ng . Prev ious l inguist ic s tud ies that compared spoken and wr i t ten d iscourse theor ized that " r e m o v a l of the p ronoun assoc ia ted wi th persona l s p e e c h " in wr i t ten d iscourse ref lected the " i m p e r s o n a l , genera l iz ing tone of newspapers , t ex tbooks , sc ient i f ic a r t i c les " (Fowler & Kress , 1979, cited in Ya tes , 1998, p. 40). Yates found that "desp i t e its s imi lar i ty to wr i t ing in t e rms of overal l f requency of p ronoun use , C M C is qui te di f ferent f rom wr i t ing in how pronouns of each type are d i s t r i bu t ed " (Yates, 1996, p. 41), a n d , in fact, C M C m a k e s more use of both the first and second person pronouns than e i ther speech or wr i t ing . Compute r-media ted c o m m u n i c a t i o n , there fore , can be v i ewed as a hybr id of spoken and wr i t ten d iscourse . Wr i te rs/speakers do not interact d i rect ly with the i r readers/ l i s teners , but at the s a m e t ime they wr i te as if engaged d ia logue , ant ic ipat ing a response and carefu l ly interpolat ing the i r reader into the i r wr i t ing th rough the use of p ronouns . As we have observed in the onl ine data f rom this s tudy , wr i ters a lso emp loy sentence s t ruc tures character is t ic of spoken d iscourse in C M C , inc luding impera t i ves , inc lus ive impera t i ves , and quest ions more of ten in onl ine d iscourse than in formal wr i t ing . Yates conc luded that in C M C , where there is no field or larger context w i th in which the interact ion is s i tua ted , " the text of the C M C interact ion is the f i e l d . " If th is is t rue , then the text i tself is charged wi th a heavy bu rden . Unl ike a conversa t ion , wh ich is carr ied out in a speci f ic socia l s i tuat ion to wh ich the inter locutors refer and upon which they draw to ach ieve mutua l unders tand ing , an onl ine exchange is r emoved f rom the socia l context wh i ch es tab l i shes the par t i c ipants ' ro les, permiss ib le subjects of conve rsa t ion , and acceptab le ways of speak ing about t h e m . As Yates f r ames it, the f ield carr ies the " soc i a l s i t ua t i on , " as wel l as the "pa r t i c ipan t s ' re lat ionship to the s i tua t ion , their percept ion of the re la t ionships between the knowledge and objects under d i s cuss i on " (Yates, 1996, pp. 45-46). As we know f rom part ic ipat ion in an onl ine c o m m u n i t y , whe the r a l istserv, bul let in board , or any other k ind of g roup brought together by d ig i ta l t echno logy , many onl ine commun i t i e s have extens ive Frequent ly Asked Ques t ions (FAQs) that provide deta i led in format ion about the g roup norms and a t tempt to es tab l i sh a c o m m o n f ie ld , but despi te this k ind of in fo rmat ion , m isunders tand ings and c lashes are c o m m o n . Other researchers have observed that C M C d iscourse comb ines the " space-bound , stat ic , p e r m a n e n t " qua l i ty of wr i t ing with the " t ime-bound , dynamic , t r ans i en t " qual i ty of speak ing (Dav is 8i B rewer , 1997, p. 2). Onl ine tex ts , unl ike spoken d i scourse , may be p lanned and rev i sed , but conta in much of the " spontane i t y of oral d i s cou r se " and part ic ipants in research s tud ies " repor ted spend ing little t ime p lanning and rev is ing /128 e lect ronic mai l m e s s a g e s , " the probable reason for the "m i s spe l l i ngs and the use of unconvent iona l punctuat ion , d i c t ion , and capi ta l izat ion in e lec t ron ic d i s cou r se " (Abdu l lah , 1 9 9 8 , Sec t ion 1, para 2 ) . Compute r-med ia ted commun i ca t i on (CMC) d iscourse often conta ins f r agmented and incomple te sen tences , as wel l as shor t chunks of speech . In c o m p a r i s o n , wr i t ten language is charac ter ized by a high f requency of comp lex and c o m p o u n d sentences conta in ing subord ina te c lauses as wel l as a p reponderance of nomina l i zed fo rms ( ideas expressed in noun form when a ve rb f o rm is possible) in which in format ion is concentra ted and compac ted ( Ivanic, 1998 , p. 2 6 5 - 2 6 9 ; Dav is & Brewer , 1 9 9 7 , p. 4 ; B rown & Yu le , 1 9 8 3 , c i ted in Abdu l l ah , 1998 , Sec t ion 2, para 5) . In onl ine c o m m u n i c a t i o n , indiv iduals do not wor ry o ve rmuch about spe l l i ng , g r a m m a r , and sentence s t ruc ture , and this sty le is, for the most part, more in formal and re laxed than the sty le required in f o rma l , a cademic papers and essays . Drawing on Biber 's (1988) s tudy of the "mu l t i d imens iona l re lat ions between the many di f ferent t ypes of speech and wr i t ing in Eng l i sh " (p. 4 ) , Dav is and Brewer (1997) a lso observe that "care fu l word cho i ce " " i s expected in wr i t ten d i scourse , but does not charac ter ize most k inds of speech s i tua t i ons " (p. 4 ) . They cite B iber 's f ind ings that l inguist ic features which refer to the recipient of the text are more ma rked in spoken texts than in wr i t ten ones , wh ich are more ' de ta t ched ' in na tu re : " o f t en marked by agent less pass ives and nomina l i za t ions , wh ich character izes s i tuat ions that are not two-way in te rac t ion " (p. 5) . In her ana lys is of onl ine d iscourse in a graduate course on educa t i on , Lapadat (2000) observed that the "b l end of both wr i t ten language and oral l anguage charac te r i s t i cs " she found " m a y have been part icular ly fac i l i tat ive of the cogni t ive level of the d iscourse ( p. 15) . As the s tudents were graduate s tudents and brought " a c adem i c habits of m i n d " to the i r posts , mos t were formula ted in " c o m p l e t e , wel l-formed sen tences , l i terate g rammat i ca l s t ruc tures with comp lex c lausa l s t ruc tures rather than the add i t i ve , aggregat i ve , and redundant pat terns found in oral t e x t s , " and " t ex tua l a rgumen t s t ruc tures that f reeze mean ing and rely on readers ' ab i l i ty to look back and use of precise^ formal vocabu l a r y " (p. 17) . Lapadat felt that the wr i t ing process engendered ref lect ion " r a the r than toss ing out r emarks in rapid s p e e c h " and cont r ibuted to a " t ex tua l env i r onmen t wi th cons iderab le potent ia l to foster deep m e a n i n g - m a k i n g " (p. 17) . On the o ther hand , the s tudents were " r e l axed about mat ters of spel l ing and pa rag raph ing " and " d i d not edi t the i r wr i t ing as c lose ly as they wou ld for a f inal draft of a t e rm paper . " Whi le s tudents emp loyed " a l i terate pattern of academic a r g u m e n t a t i o n , " " they a lso " i nse r ted conversa t iona l e l ements /129 into the i r con t r ibu t ions , " inc lud ing "pe r sona l anecdotes and s to r i e s " wh ich served to " ancho r the i r po in t s " (pp 17-18) We have observed s im i l a r features of the onl ine d iscourse ana l yzed in this s tudy . The s tudents ranged great ly in abi l i ty . Whi le some brought " a c a d e m i c habits of m i n d " to the compos i t ion of the i r posts , o thers were sti l l in the process of acqui r ing such habi ts th rough wr i t ing onl ine posts and fo rma l academic essays . S o m e posts emp loyed pat terns of academic a rgumen ta t i on , whi le o thers , because they did not emp loy the accepted pat terns , were deemed lack ing in coherence . Whi le the major i ty of the posts were f ramed in fu l ly-formed sen tences , the wr i ters inserted conversa t iona l e lements into the i r posts , part icular ly by insert ing more l inguist ic features that referred to or ma rked the presence of the reader than c o m m o n l y found in wr i t ten texts . The s tudents in Lapadat 's s tudy were all teachers tak ing an educat ion course , so it is not surpr i s ing that they wou ld insert " " pe r sona l anecdotes and s to r i e s " mean t " t o expl ica te and " ancho r the i r po in t s " into the i r posts . Such anecdotes helped the s tudents br idge the gap between theory and pract ice by i l lustrat ing how a theoret ica l const ruct p layed out in c l ass room pract ice . In our s amp le , very few s tudents have inc luded personal anecdotes , but the major i ty of s tudents have inc luded references to con tempora ry or histor ical examp l e s wh ich could br idge the gap between the abst rac t propos i t ion which they were asked to a rgue and what such abstract concepts mean in real life. Severa l s tudents inc luded references to c o m m o n phenomena such as peer pressure wh ich most of t h e m had exper ienced to direct ly anchor the i r points . In my op in ion , the hybr id nature of onl ine d i scourse , wh ich d isp lays the character is t i cs of both spoken and wr i t ten d i scourse , and wh ich encompasses both highly fo rma l and informal t ex t s , is an impor tant factor in our ana lys i s of the re la t ionship between onl ine post ing and fo rma l academic wr i t ing , as the s tudents draw on onl ine d i scourse , a d iscourse wi th wh ich they are comfor tab le and fami l ia r , as one of the many d iscourses that inform the d iscoursa l self they present . As in many of the posts d i scussed prev ious ly , s tudents use both an in formal sty le and fo rma l academic lexis in the i r posts. They compose the i r posts f luent ly a n d , as the large n u m b e r of spel l ing mis takes , t ypos , and g rammat i ca l er rors , rare ly edit and revise as careful ly as they would formal a cademic essays . However , the major i ty of s tudents are able to convey the i r ideas c lear ly and have no prob lem mak ing the i r point and suppor t ing it w i th ev idence in an onl ine post , wh ich makes onl ine posts an effect ive fo rmat in which to appropr ia te the most impor tant aspects of the formal a c adem i c genre . A n onl ine post , if wel l s t ructured is a " cohe ren t t ex t , " in wh i ch , ideas are carefu l ly s t ructured and ful ly exp l i ca ted , yet a text wh ich is more immed ia te and less de tached than a fo rma l academic essay . It is a text in wh i ch , /130 as Warschauer (1997) puts it, "[t]he historical divide between speech and writing has been overcome with the interactional and reflective aspects of language merged in a single medium" (p. 472). 5.3 " M a k i n g y o u r p o i n t " In the more informal and relaxed atmosphere of the discussion boards, the students reported that they had little trouble composing their online postings. In interviews they described the main purpose of a post as "making your point": there's some type of point and then there's a couple of paragraphs trying to support that point. basically structure a couple of paragraphs and., you can get your point across pretty well Although the students consciously structure their posts to include a clear point and "couple of paragraphs trying to support that point," they know that they will not be penalized for spelling errors, typing mistakes, or grammatical errors. Online discourse offers the advantage of giving writers the opportunity to plan and organize their discourse while at the same time, writers can write more informally in a register closer to spontaneous spoken discourse. Sims (1996) reported that most users spent little time planning and revising e-mail messages, and suggested that the spontaneous quality of online discourse was the reason for the unconventional spelling, punctuation, and diction that characterizes it (cited in Abdullah, 1998). When asked about their composition practices in interviews, the students reported that they did not spend a long amount of time on their posts, generally between 30 minutes and an hour, suggesting that they wrote fluently and did not spend too much time editing or revising before posting. Certainly, there are many spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammatical errors in the posts I have cited, but the writer's main idea is usually clear and easy to follow. Through writing posts, the students bridge the gap between the literacy practice which are familiar and comfortable and an unfamiliar literacy practice, writing a formal academic essay by structuring their online posts as well formulated arguments but couching them in more direct, informal language. Generally, the students formulated an argument, looked through the reading to find support, and then posted. No one I interviewed claimed to spend a lot of time editing and re-drafting a post as they would a formal essay. Most students enjoyed writing the posts and commented that they were "significantly less formal" and therefore less onerous than the other kinds of writing they were asked to do. When I asked the students to . / 1 3 1 compare wr i t ing ass ignmen ts in th is c lass and in o ther Eng l ish c lasses they had t a k e n , they ta lked about essay wr i t ing a s s i g n m e n t s . It In teres t ing ly , unti l I asked about it, none of the s tuden ts I in terv iewed had recogn ized that there w a s a connec t ion be tween the s t ruc ture of a post and the s t ruc ture of an a c a d e m i c e s s a y , a l though w h e n we d iscussed it, we ag reed that both requi re a wr i ter to ensure that s / h e m a k e s his or her points and prov ides adequa te and re levant suppor t for t h e m . F rom the in terv iew da ta , I wou ld infer that the s tudents genera l l y equa te "w r i t i ng " wi th " e s s a y wr i t i ng , " and do not cons ider on l ine post ing a wr i t ing ass ignmen t . One s tudent s a i d , "it fee ls . . . it fee ls k ind of l ike a c o n v e r s a t i o n , " and descr ibed the d iscuss ion board as a p lace where the s tuden ts could " e n g a g e f reely in d i s c u s s i o n . " Ano the r s tuden t c o m m e n t e d , " I ' ve never s t rugg led for some th ing to s a y " w h e n compos ing an on l ine post a l though she did s t rugg le wi th her fo rmal e s s a y s . The s tuden ts a lso c o m m e n t e d that onl ine post ing was "s ign i f i can t ly less f o r m a l " and they were less over t ly concerned wi th the way that they wo rded the i r pos ts : in one of t h e m you ' re t ry ing to. . . m a k e a point . . . the o ther one you ' re t ry ing to make a point , too but you have to m a k e it in a way that . . . the teacher . . . g ives you more m a r k s I guess. . . here you ' re not compe t i ng for m a r k s , you ' re jus t . . . the o ther way you have to put it d o w n . . . the w a y you have to word it . . . more close.. . you ' re more consc ious of that Whi le the s tudents were wr i t ing for an aud ience in the i r on l ine posts , they were ab le to use an in formal s ty le : " the way I wr i te m y d ic t ion is more l ike I'm s p e a k i n g , " but felt that a m u c h more fo rma l s ty le was requi red in e s s a y s and the s tuden ts were therefore " m o r e consc i ous " of the way they worded the i r po ints and of a cr i t ical aud ience j udg ing the i r work . The point of wr i t ing an essay w a s " in o rder to get more m a r k s , " whi le the point of a post was to " s h a r e s o m e t h i n g " wi th peers . A l t hough the s tuden ts were unaware of it, it was prec ise ly th is qual i ty of the i r posts that the inst ructors mos t wanted t h e m to t rans fer to the i r fo rmal wr i t ing a s s i g n m e n t s . 5 . 4 Talking about what you know Many s tudents c o m m e n t e d that a ma jo r advan tage of the on l ine fo rmat was that they cou ld draw upon personal exper iences and prev ious know ledge in the i r posts whi le in fo rmal e s s a y s they felt the need to incorpora te fo rma l secondary sou rces (despi te the fact that th is w a s not requi red by the ins t ruc tors in th is cou rse ) . The course is s t ruc tured to faci l i tate au then t i c c o m m u n i c a t i o n . The inst ructors have consc ious ly in tegrated as m a n y w a y s to encou rage s tuden ts to " s a y some th i ng they /132 actual ly want to commun i ca t e to o the r s " into the webs i tes , f rom the d ia log ic nature of the d idact ic mater ia l s , to the ques t ions l ink ing to th readed d iscuss ions found in all sect ions of the webs i te , to the d iscuss ion board ass ignments . Every a s s i gnmen t inc ludes a quest ion that asks s tudents to cons ider issues raised in the text in compar i son to the i r own exper ience and knowledge . Al l the webs i te mater ia l s are des igned to encourage the s tudents to speak out as indiv iduals and to incorporate what they know f rom the i r personal h istory and background into the i r responses . As prev ious ly d i s cussed , this is a consc ious s t ra tegy on the part of the course coord ina tor and consu l tan t , and echoes the i r concern wi th the fundamenta l issues of the course , to ce lebrate ind iv idua l i ty , encourage minor i ty op in ions , and va l idate s tudents as ind iv idua ls and not j us t m e m b e r s of the herd . By f inding ways to connect the s tuden ts ' persona l knowledge , exper t i se , and exper ience to the t hemes and issues in the course t ex t s , the instructors and course creators encourage s tudents to integrate the i r au tob iograph ica l se lves and the and the " r i ch s t ew " of d i scourses wh ich they br ing to the i r wr i t ing into the i r evo lv ing unders tand ing and maste ry of the a cademic l i teracy pract ices and the d iscoursa l se lves they present in the i r posts . Fu r the rmore , by va l idat ing what the s tudents know and who they are , the course pos i t ions the s tudents as " l eg i t imate s p e a k e r s , " to use Bourd ieu 's t e rm ino logy , speakers whose vo ices dese rve to be heard and whose v i ews deserve recogn i t ion . In add i t ion to va l idat ing the s tuden ts ' knowledge and exper ience , the course g ives s tudents numerous opportun i t ies to part ic ipate in a fo rm of a cademic d iscourse that Bourd ieu wou ld t e rm " l eg i t imate d i s cou r se . " As Bourd ieu env is ions it, leg i t imate d i scourse , w i th in the context of a par t icu lar speak ing s i tua t ion , is a d iscourse in which an " appropr i a te speake r (as opposed to an " i m p o s t e r ) , " addresses an " appropr i a t e l i s tener , " in a " l eg i t imate s i t ua t i on , " and fo rmu la ted ' i n the appropr ia te "phono log i ca l and syntact ic f o r m s " (Nor ton , 2 0 0 0 , p. 69 ) . For e x a m p l e , in a wedd ing , the bride and g room are " l eg i t imate s p e a k e r s " and "appropr ia te l i s teners " who utter the wedd ing vows , not the pr iest , j u d g e , o r min is te r who off ic iates. S imi l a r l y , the off icial does not invi te everyone to " h a n g ou t " but to " g a t h e r " to w i tness the c e r emony . A l though this fo rmu la t ion seems obv ious , the m i s commun i ca t i on and misunders tand ings that result f rom s i tuat ions in which it is diff icult to identify the appropr ia te speake rs , l is teners , or l inguist ic forms can have ser ious consequences . By the s a m e t o k e n , fai led a t tempts to pos i t ion onese l f as a legi t imate speake r wor thy of inc lus ion in a part icu lar s i tuat ion can lead to profound feel ings of s h a m e or a l ienat ion . A l though Bonny Norton 's s tudy of ident i ty and language is not a s tudy of academic d iscourse commun i t i e s , her ana lys i s of the s t ruggle her par t i c ipants , who were immig ran t w o m e n , faced in estab l i sh ing themse l ves as leg i t imate speake r s in socia l /133 interact ions wi th Engl ish-speaking Canad ians is per t inent in this context . A sma l l v ignet te f rom Norton 's s tudy apt ly i l lustrates the impor tance of hav ing the r ight cu l tura l capita l in es tab l i sh ing the r ight to speak , and the a l ienat ion and f rust ra t ion that results when that r ight is den i ed , even in the most seeming l y innocuous soc ia l exchange . Eva , one of Norton 's par t ic ipants , found hersel f qu ick ly shut out of a conversa t ion when she admi t ted to not knowing who Bart S i m p s o n was . Posi t ioned as " s o m e o n e who is s t range , someone who did not have the cu l tura l knowledge that is c o m m o n p l a c e , " Eva was cons idered an " i m p o s t e r " and f inds hersel f unable to reply when her coworke r a sks , "Don ' t you watch TV? That 's Bart S i m p s o n " (Nor ton , 2 0 0 0 , p. 130 ) . S h a m e d , she s i lenced herself . Bourdieu a rgues that in any speak ing s i tua t ion , the speake r addresses the l is tener as wor thy and capable of unders tand ing his or her mean ing whi le the l is tener regards the speake r as wor thy of speak i ng , whi le in the major i ty of s i tua t ions , th is is not the case . The " r igh t to speak " is often contes ted , and ind iv idua ls may be s i lenced or s i lence themse l ves because they do not feel that they have the r ight to speak , or, as Bourd ieu f rames it, " the power to impose recep t ion " ( Bourd ieu , 1977 p. 7 5 , c i ted in Nor ton , 1 9 9 5 , p. 8 ) . In other words , a speake r w ishes not only to speak but to be " be l i e v ed , obeyed , respected , and d i s t i ngu i shed " (Bourd ieu , 1977 , p. 6 4 8 , cited in Nor ton , 2 0 0 0 , p. 113) . The f indings in this s tudy can be s i tuated in re lat ion to Bourdieu 's f r amework and Norton 's use of it in her ana lys i s . One of the centra l f ind ings is that th rough part ic ipat ion in onl ine d iscuss ion and post ings , s tudents are e m p o w e r e d wi th the right to speak and the cul tura l capita l they br ing f rom thei r own exper ience is va l idated th rough connect ion to the centra l issues in the course . In other words , each s tudent is va l idated as an indiv idual rather than " jus t one among m a n y , " an indiv idual who has a r ight to speak and to be heard . Both the onl ine d iscourse and interv iews revea led that many s tudents vo luntar i l y posted more than once a week and felt free to incorporate mat ters of personal re levance and interest into the i r interpretat ions of the course tex ts . They also felt that they could speak direct ly f rom a personal subject " I " pos i t ion a n d , as in the case of the T i ananmen Square post , even overt ly call a t tent ion to the i r m e s s a g e : "I want eve ryone to pay a t t en t i on . " Most impor tant l y , s tudents began to appropr ia te a cademic d iscurs ive s t rategies and fo rmats and to integrate t hem with the d i scourses and fo rmats wi th which they were a l ready fami l i a r th rough part ic ipat ion in onl ine d i scuss ion . 5.5 E n c o u n t e r i n g o t h e r s ' v i e w s Many s tudents c o m m e n t e d that they often read o ther posts before or af ter they submi t t ed the i r own pos t ing , j us t to see what others had to say , and were often surpr i sed to f ind that o thers had wide ly di f ferent and s o m e t i m e s oppos ing v iews . Even when they did not receive responses , the s tudents were aware that others were reading /134 and might r e spond , and the onl ine d i scuss ion at t imes became an ongo ing d ia logue which exposed t h e m to d iverse v iewpoints and forced t h e m to cons ider a l ternat ive and oppos ing v i ews . Many s tudents c o m m e n t e d that they found this one of the most va luab le aspects of the course . One of the s tudents w h o m I in terv iewed descr ibed hersel f as an " obv i ous ex t rove r t " who " t a l ks a lo t , " and felt that the onl ine env i ronment gave her a chance to hear f rom others who did not have the "se l f-conf idence the exper ience or wha teve r to feel l ike they can j u m p in the re " : but the i r op in ions are equal ly va luab le and at least for s o m e o n e l ike me who seems to domina te many d iscuss ions I real ly apprec ia te reading what other people have to say Al l ev idence , whe ther f rom s tudent posts , secondary sources , or the p r imary text , is cons idered equa l . Both the course descr ip t ion and the TAs re i terated the fact that s tudent wr i t ing on the websi te is cons idered a resource for wr i t ing more fo rma l essays and examina t i ons . The s tudents are to ld that they " a re respons ib le for the webs i t e " when they prepare for the i r f inal e x a m , and they are encouraged to incorporate ideas and quotes f rom o thers ' posts in all the i r wr i t i ng . A l though sugges t ions for fur ther reading are inc luded in each modu le , no formal b ib l iography of secondary sources is prov ided and the s tudents are not required to use secondary sources in the i r formal wr i t ten ass ignments . By encourag ing s tudents to incorporate the i r peers ' contr ibut ions and v iews into formal wr i t ten ass ignments rather than secondary sources (a l though m a n y of the s tudents did use at least one secondary source in the i r essay ) , the instructors ensure that the s tudent wr i ters wil l have a genu ine audience for the i r ideas and that the i r cont r ibut ions will be read and taken ser ious ly . At the s a m e t ime , th is pract ice va l idates the s tudents ' v iews , fo rmal l y sanc t ion ing the s tudents as hav ing the r ight to speak and a vo ice wor thy of being heard . By encourag ing onl ine d ia logue , the instructors are fos ter ing an academic d iscourse c o m m u n i t y in which m e m b e r s are both leg i t imated as br ing ing va luab le knowledge and exper ience to the conversa t ion and at the s ame t ime open ing d iscurs ive spaces in wh i ch a l ternat ive op in ions and conf l ic t ing v iews may be h e a r d : for l ike essays they encourage that you l ike talk about a post that you ' ve seen or like an a r g u m e n t and so . . . I real ly l ike that . . . you know . . . you ' re forced to like l isten to o ther people and see how they ana l yzed different s i tuat ions in compar i son to you r own . . . . I th ink it helps to . . . like actua l ly th ink about . . . more than one s ide of l ike. . . the a r g u m e n t . . . to have to th ink about another . ... and a lso it k ind of makes you read o ther people 's posts to see where they ' re go ing with that . . . you ' re l ike 'okay ' . . . because s o m e t i m e s l ike. . . you don ' t see that . . . so you ' re l ike ' okay ' and then the person exp la ins it. . . you know. . . but much better than l ike in c lass where you /135 might not... even pay a t tent ion to what they ' re say ing and so that 's what I l ike about the posts a lot .. it was interest ing to see l ike people . , to see a post ing that was a real ly good s t rong a rgumen t that was ma ybe l ike the exac t oppos i te of what you thought . , so I th ink it is interest ing to see s o m e of those . , l ike when they ' re real ly wel l done you ' re l ike wow. , l ike it makes you th ink about it.. S tuden ts in this course br ing all manne r of cul tura l capi ta l wi th t hem into the i r read ing and d iscuss ion of the course tex ts . Rather than pr iv i leg ing cer ta in readings or in terpretat ions of the text , the instructors prov ide the s tudents w i th oppor tun i t ies to connect the i r read ings to the i r persona l exper i ences , leg i t imat ing the cu l tura l capita l they br ing with t h e m rather than estab l i sh ing a d ist inct ion between va l id cu l tura l capita l ("On L i be r t y " as a representat ive .of " G r e a t b o o k s " or John Stuar t Mill as a representat ive of "G rea t Au thors " ) and inappropr ia te or i r re levant cultural capi ta l (d iscuss ion of s m o k i n g , l iquor regu la t ions , the role of the med ia in con tempora ry po l i t i c s/ the T i a n a n m e n Square massac re ) . By leg i t imat ing the s tudents ' knowledge and exper i ence , they have va l idated and acknow ledged the s tudents ' cont r ibut ions as cul tura l capi ta l and the s tudents t hemse l ves as m e m b e r s of the un ivers i ty c o m m u n i t y . Severa l s tudents commen ted that they often looked at o thers ' posts because they were interested to see how others had interpreted or cr i t iqued an idea . Hav ing to exp la in the idea in wr i t ing resulted in a c learer exp l ana t i on , " m u c h better than like in c lass where you m igh t not... even pay a t tent ion to what they ' re s a y i n g , " and s tudents often paid c loser a t tent ion to what others sa id onl ine than they wou ld have in face-to-face c lass d i scuss ion . The webs i te resembled an ongo ing d ia logue to wh ich the s tudents con t r ibu ted , a place where they felt they could " engage free ly in d i s c u s s i o n , " at the s a m e t ime consc ious that others were reading the i r posts and that they m igh t get responses . Being " fo rced to l isten to other peop le " made the s tudents more aware of the fact that there is a lways " m o r e than one s ide of the a r g u m e n t " as they fo rmu la ted the i r own a rgumen t s , and reinforced the need to suppor t the i r a rguments w i th re levant ev idence that wou ld make t hem more conv inc ing (which resulted in the increas ing number of hyper l inks to onl ine references for more in format ion ) . These c o m m e n t s echo the course coord inator ' s observa t ion that the mixed-mode env i ronmen t real izes the " core va lues of the cou r se " : [the] inte l lectual va lues of the course . . . were c losely re lated to . . . m ixed mode techno log ica l possibi l i t ies . . . so what I was interested in do ing . . . what I th ink we 've done . . . is to g ive what you might call e lectronic exp res s i on . . . to the core va lues of the course . . . now. . . it's a course in non-fict ional prose so . . . you can se lect . . . wha teve r you want to teach . . . and what I se lec ted . . . over the years / 1 3 6 were ma in ly texts that had to do wi th . . . indiv idual asser t ion the . . . des i rabi l i ty of a . . . var ie ty of op in ions and the impor tance of hear ing . . . minor i t y v iews In a research s tudy of an onl ine graduate course in wh ich the assessmen t cr i ter ia for the " r equ i red s tudents to m a k e reference to conference d i s cuss i ons , " Mary Lea found that when the s tudents incorporated peers ' c o m m e n t s f r om the d iscuss ion board a long wi th secondary sources , the s tudents cons is tent ly fo regrounded the points and c la ims made in onl ine d iscuss ion and suppor ted t hem with " l i nks and references to author i ta t ive works in re lat ion to the points ra i sed , e i ther in the i r own messages or in the messages of o the r s " (Lea , 2001 ,p . 174) . Lee points out that More t rad i t iona l a cademic convent ion might expect the work of the recognised and author i ta t ive publ ished au thor to be fo regrounded , and exper ient ia l or anecdota l ev idence prov ided by the s tudent to i l lustrate the author i ta t i ve ev idence . In this course s tudents make reference to publ ished works in both of these ways but appear to feel qui te comfor tab le fo reground ing the i r own debates and exper ience rather than those of a recognised author i t y . Th is is more in line wi th convent ions adopted by es tab l i shed academic wr i te rs , who often foreground the i r own vo ice as author i ta t i ve , depend ing upon the convent ionsof the d isc ip l ine . . . . It does sugges t that the processes obse rved by Be rkenkot te r and Huck in ( 1995 ) , in the commun i ca t i v e pract ices of es tab l i shed academics , are a lso tak ing place in s tudents ' d isc ip l inary commun i ca t i on with each o ther (Lea, 2 0 0 1 , p. 174-175 ) . Both Lea's f ind ings and the ana lys i s of the onl ine d i scourse in this s tudy show that va l idat ing the s tudents ' on l ine cont r ibut ions and incorporat ing t h e m into formal wr i t ten ass ignments faci l i tates integrat ion of au tob iograph ica l , d i s coursa l , and author ia l se lves , and speeds progress ion f rom novice s ta tus to full par t ic ipants in a cademic d iscourse commun i t i e s by va l idat ing the knowledge and exper ience they br ing wi th them as leg i t imate . 5.6 Combating "essayese" S tudents agreed that post ing before the week ly face-to-face d iscuss ion sect ion was va luab le , part ly because they had to read it in order to post , and part icular ly because it gave t h e m t ime to reflect on the mater ia l whe reas , as both s tudents and inst ructors no ted , in lecture c lasses s tudents often come to c lass w i thout hav ing done the reading and are thus unprepared to part ic ipate in d i scuss ion . I l ike hav ing to post week l y before the sess ion . . . because it ac tua l ly gives you the chance to have your own thoughts instead of like get t ing to c lass and being like 'oh yeah l ike I k ind of agree w i th that ' . . . 'oh I'll go wi th that . . . you know . . . p l a t fo rm ' instead of. . . j u s t l ike thinking it yourself and you know. . . instead of j u s t l ike giving into. . . wha teve r sounds better . . . from somebody else [ emphas is added] /137 This c o m m e n t echoes the course coord inator ' s c o m m e n t that the course has been set up so that " y o u have . . . no answers prov ided . . . or few answers p rov ided " so that " the s tudents th ink it th rough for t h e m s e l v e s . " S tudent interv iews revea led that the s tudents often came f rom high school unsure as to whe the r they were , i ndeed , expec ted to th ink for themse l ves . One of the s tudents c o m m e n t e d that in high school it was basica l ly . . . l ike you know ' read this ' . . . 'we told k ind of what it meant ' . . . to jus t put it there She felt that one of her major diff icult ies in her f irst yea r of un ivers i ty was f inding the courage to " th ink outs ide the b o x . " Ano the r s tudent , who was in eng inee r ing , c o m m e n t e d that , com ing f rom a d isc ip l ine in which he was required to absorb a mass i ve amoun t of in format ion ra ther than interrogate or reflect on it, he va lued the chance to real ly " th ink about s tuf f " : they throw a lot of courses at you and a lot of . . . and you can' t even th ink . . . l ike. . . you can' t th ink deep ly about it. . . you can't make a l ike in-depth ana lys i s of th ings As one TA pointed out , one of the th ings the instructors looked for was an in-depth ana lys i s of the ma te r i a l , inc luding ev idence of the s tudents ' "b r ing ing the i r own take to bear " on the ma te r i a l , "pu l l i ng apart the a rgument . . . and even f inding ways to contradict the authors tha t we ' re s tudy ing as opposed to jus t sort of s ay ing . . . accept ing the texts as they a re . " In Bakht in ian t e rms , it can be seen as the di f ference between pass ive ly repeat ing the word w i thout unders tand ing it and consc ious ly appropr ia t ing the word by infus ing with the author ' s part icu lar mean ing and intent ions as he or she engages in d ia logue with those who have prev ious ly used it and wi th readers th rough the act of wr i t ing . The imperat i ve to " t h i nk for yourse l f " and at the s ame t ime to s i tuate your th ink ing in connect ion wi th others can be confus ing to s tudents who are new to a cademic wr i t ing (and to those who have wr i t ten many research papers and essays , as we l l , for that mat te r ) . This confus ion is ref lected in some of the s t ra teg ies which we saw in the post ings in this modu le . S tuden ts who s imp ly appropr ia te a text w i thout incorporat ing it into the i r a rgument may do so because they th ink it is what the i r instructors want t hem to do . They are used to being " to ld what it m e a n t " and to reproduc ing what they are told on examina t i ons . As the in terv iews revea led , s tudents who had come f rom North Amer i can high schools brought such expecta t ions wi th t h e m , not j us t s tudents f rom other cul tura l backgrounds . / 1 3 8 S tudents therefore need to learn to d is t ingu ish between us ing ev ident ia ls to support and expl icate the i r ideas and s imp ly accept ing "wha teve r sounds better f rom somebody e l se , " whe the r it is the instruct ional mater i a l s , lecture notes , or what someone else says in c lass jus t because it " s o u n d s bet te r . " One of the d i sadvantages of the onl ine env i ronment is that there are a p lethora of ava i lab le texts wh ich are easi ly access ib le and which s tudents may feel " s o u n d bet ter " than any th ing they have to say . In fact , there were severa l instances of overt p lag ia r i sm on the d i scuss ion board . Th is issue is of interest , but I wil l l imit m y c o m m e n t s to the fact that because the inst ructors were wel l acqua inted with each s tudent ' s authent ic vo ice and wr i t ing sty le f rom the week ly post ings , they had no diff iculty ident i fy ing and f inding p lagiar ized posts . The t rans i t ion between wr i t ing onl ine posts and academic essays was not an easy or seamless one. The s tudents felt that wr i t ing posts , wh ich were "s ign i f i cant ly less f o r m a l " than essays , was s igni f icant ly less d e m a n d i n g . A l though the instructors not ice a d is t inct improvemen t in the s tuden ts ' wr i t ing as the course progresses , none of the s tudents I interv iewed had observed any d i f ference. In fact , they c o m m e n t e d that they did less wr i t ing in this course than in other Engl ish courses they had taken and in wh ich they wrote more essays . The s tudents did not th ink of onl ine post ing as a wr i t ing task , but more as a form of d i s cuss ion . Yet th rough part ic ipat ion in wr i t ten d ia logue , they gradua l ly t ransfer red the qual i t ies of d i scuss ion wh ich the instructors pr ize to the i r a cademic wr i t ing . The course consu l tant c o m m e n t e d that the s tudents ' ideas were " c r i spe r " and " c l ea re r " in the i r posts , and the course coord ina tor observed that one of the sat is fact ions of teach ing the course th is way is to see how s tudents . . . as the t e rm goes on are able to . . . express themse l ves more v iv id ly and direct ly in . . . t radi t ional a cademic fo rmats The f indings f rom th is s tudy sugges t that there are severa l s igni f icant factors that contr ibute to the improvemen t in s tudents ' wr i t ing . Whi le in the i r posts , s tudents s tate the i r point and prov ide ev idence , the instructors obse rved that in essays . . . and in e x a m s quite often s tudents perhaps get more nervous . . . become more se l f-consc ious about what they ' re doing and . . . have an idea that . . . there 's a spec ia l . . . l anguage cal led ' e s sayese ' . . . or a spec ia l l anguage for wr i t ing e x a m s and you don ' t ac tua l ly . . . t ry to exp la in a speci f ic wel l-focused idea to a reader. . . y o u . . . have to go th rough th is r itual of a huge introduct ion wi th a lot of . . . padding One of the TAs prov ided a fur ther examp le of " e s sayese ' : l ike they 've got this . . . th is th ing that they do wh ich we a lways j oke about . . . they ' l l start an essay with ' soc iety be l ieves ' or ' s ince the dawn of t ime ' . . . ' h i s tory /139 tel ls us ' . . . l ike these huge genera l i za t ions and sweep ing s ta tements . . . and they ' l l use these genera l iza t ions th roughout the ent i re essay In the posts t aken f rom the onl ine d iscuss ion of Mi l l , we have seen many examp l e s of academic vocabu la ry and use of comp lex sentence s t ruc tures a long with examp les of " e s s a y e s e . " The examp le s inc luded were in posts in which the wr i ter made very genera l s t a tements couched in an academic lexis instead of incorporat ing speci f ic examp les or references as ev idence for his o r her a r g u m e n t : • Throughtout the history of mankind, there have been many goven ing author i t ies who c la imed themse l ves to be democra t i c but sti l l holds the abso lu te power . • Historical examples of each are numerous, whi le examples of society in general w i thout the d i rect ion of a gove rnmen t being ty rann ica l are unheard of. Other examp les inc lude the examp l e s in which s tudents s imp ly copy and paste large c i tat ions taken f rom internet sources into the i r posts w i thout incorporat ing t hem into an a rgument , incorporate c i ta t ions wi thout overt ly exp la in ing how they suppor t a speci f ic a rgument , or incorporat ing c i tat ions wi thout c lear ly es tab l i sh ing the boundary between words which have been taken f rom a source and the wr i ter 's own words . Al l these pract ices make the wr i ter 's a rgumen t unc lear and hard to fol low and may well mani fest the wri ter 's insecur i ty as to whe the r he or she has any th ing of va lue to contr ibute or a ssumpt ion that inc luding ev idence means inc luding as much ev idence as poss ib le rather than incorporat ing and appropr ia t ing it jud i c ious l y and infusing it with the wri ter 's intent ions. On the other hand , m a n y wr i te rs , such as the wr i ter who d iscussed the contro l of the med ia in con tempora ry A m e r i c a and the wr i ter who used apar the id as an e xa mp l e of the " t y r anny of g o v e r n m e n t , " successfu l l y appropr ia ted and incorporated o ther texts into the i r a rgument and infused t h e m wi th the i r personal in tent ions and purposes . They also very successfu l ly incorporated two d iverse t ex t s : one drawn f rom a con tempora ry examp l e and the other f rom Mi l l , c reat ing "mu l t i - vo i ced " texts in which the interplay of vo ices opened a d iscurs ive space for d ia logue , a " t h i nk ing t e x t " in which the wr i ter used the ev idence as a spr ingboard to deve lop and i l lustrate his or her ideas. Other s tudents a lso incorporated features of the more in formal spoken sty le often found in onl ine commun i ca t i on wi th those of a more fo rma l a cademic register , as in the examp le d iscuss ing the Japanese invas ion of Ch ina . In that e x a m p l e , we saw the wr i ter appropr ia t ing academic lexis that su i ted and conveyed his message rather than one that masked empty genera l i t ies or made his a rgument hard to identify or fo l low. In our interv iew, the course consu l tant a lso touched on the issue of vocabu la ry d i f ferences /140 between the d i scuss ion boards and formal wr i t ing a ss ignments , c o m m e n t i n g that when wri t ing onl ine they don ' t . . . feel that they have t o ' . . . wr i te fo rma l prose . . I th ink of ten that the wr i t ing . . . is a bit better. . I th ink because they use words that they ' re fami l ia r with . . . and they don' t t ry to impress . . . us ing polysy l lab ic words As the examp l e s we have looked at demons t r a t e , the use of "po l y sy l l ab i c w o r d s , " if used to convey an actua l message , can be very effect ive. It is when the words are s imp ly th rown into the wr i t ing to " i m p r e s s " that they ring fa lse. Yet s tudents use such words because they th ink this is what the i r instructors want to hear , jus t as the s tudents in this s tudy inc luded words such as " a r g u m e n t , " " e v i d e n c e , " and " r e fu t e &qu