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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

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Volume 35, Issue 2


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

Ann-Marie Eriksson
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Applied IT, Division for Language and Communication, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
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  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Åsa Mäkitalo
Published Online: 2015-02-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2014-0032


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

Keywords: writing process; higher education; mediation; genre; discourse; communication


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About the article

Ann-Marie Eriksson

Ann-Marie Eriksson is MA with The Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS), University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and the Division for Language and Communication, Chalmers University of Technology. Her research focus concerns academic writing in higher education, with a particular interest in text production as a communicative practice and socialization of knowledge.

Åsa Mäkitalo

Åsa Mäkitalo is Professor in Education at the University of Gothenburg. She is co-director of LinCS, a Centre of Excellence conducting research on learning, interaction and IT. She is also Head of The University of Gothenburg LETStudio, engaging in issues of technologies and the transformation of expertise, on the social organization of learning and knowing, and forms of participation in knowledge practices across domains.

Published Online: 2015-02-27

Published in Print: 2015-03-01

Citation Information: Text & Talk, Volume 35, Issue 2, Pages 123–153, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2014-0032.

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