“It sound like a paragraph to me”: The negotiation of writer identity in dialogic writing assessment

Karis Jones, Sarah W. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Though student writers work within socially-determined constraints on self-expression when writing for school purposes, they also have the power to reshape those constraints and thereby define an authorial identity. In this article we analyze data from three teacher-student conversations about student writing through the lens of figured worlds (Holland et al., 1998) to explore how these figured worlds are implicated in students’ positioning as contributing authors of their own work. In the first two cases, the teacher sustains the figured world of teacher-as-authority by failing to recognize students’ bids for authorship and resistance to teacher suggestions. The third case suggests an alternative figured world (Holland et al., 1998) of teacher-student relationships around writing: through repeated mitigated displays of authorship and resistance the student gains the teacher's recognition for his contribution and thereby exercises control over his positioning as an author. Implications for student agency in writing instruction are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100759
JournalLinguistics and Education
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Dialogic teaching
  • Figured worlds
  • Writer identity
  • Writing assessment
  • Writing conferences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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