Reported Thought in Writing Center Talk: A Resource for Doing Support and Socialization

Haen, Mike

Drawing on conversation analysis (CA), this study examines reported thought (e.g., “you’re like ‘do I really have to do that?’”) and its function in writing center talk. Previous related studies, which are informed by Goffman’s (1981) notion of footing, have demonstrated how reported thought (RT) is a resource for modeling undesirable reactions and conveying criticisms in instructional interaction (Park, 2018; Sandlund, 2014). Extending this previous research on RT, I show how tutorial participants also produce RT to accomplish two kinds of supportive action: (1) praising drafts and (2) affiliating with interlocutors’ stances. With RT, tutors can “depersonalize” (Waring, 2017, p. 26) their positive assessments of writers’ drafts and demonstrate sympathetic understanding of writers’ complaints. In line with recent research (Baffy, 2018; Brown, 2010), this analysis offers additional evidence that RT is integral for socialization, or conveying and reinforcing key practices, processes, and values in academic writing and reading. To conclude, I consider how future work on RT in writing center talk, specifically on its utility for representing and constructing audiences, might inform teaching pedagogy and future research.


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Also Published In

Studies in Applied Linguistics & TESOL

More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Published Here
November 11, 2019