Representation and Construction of Self in Writing Discourses
The "discoursal self', according to Ivanic, is "the impression. . . they [the students] consciously or unconsciously convey... in a particular written text.. . . [I]t is constructed through the discourse characteristics of a text, which relate to values, beliefs, and power relations in the social context in which they were written" (25). The "autobiographical self," Ivanic explains, "is the identity which people bring with them to any act of writing" (24). The goal for this paper is an overview investigating whether or not students are aware of a discoursal self being constructed for them as a result of being students in another academic environment. The author begins by exploring the theoretical concepts of the socially constructed "self', language and how language is used by society to influence the individual. Further, he narrows the focus and reviews the field of literature by Rhetoric and Composition scholars who have explored the issues and impacts of teaching academic discourse to students. If we attempt to understand what the students think and how they perceive the writing, we may be able to better tailor our assignments, methods and approaches to better fit the needs of the students. The findings and results of my thesis may be of benefit to educators and other professionals across the world. The text will also provide a safe, anonymous, respectable outlet for students to voice their opinions and thoughts. (original abstract)
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