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Disciplinary voices: Interactions in research writing

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The concept of voice has become central to studies of discourse, composition, and literature, but in this paper I want to shift its meaning a little to explore an area where voice is thought to play only a minor role: that of academic writing. I intend here to explore the idea of 'disciplinary voice' by focusing on the interpersonal features of academic writing and elaborating how writers position themselves and their readers. Essentially, I believe the idea of voice can shed light on aspects of disciplinary argument and am interested to see what these features tell us about writers' notions of appropriate relationships and what this means for writing in the disciplines. I will begin by looking briefly at the notion of voice, and go on to sketch an interactional model based on the ideas of stance, or how writers convey their attitudes and credibility, and engagement, or the ways they bring their readers into the discourse. I will then show how the choices writers make from these systems construct authorial voice, academic arguments, and the disciplines themselves.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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