Thesis

The production of rhetorical agency in communities of practice: an autoethnographic study

This thesis is an autoethnographic exploration of the theoretical concept of
 rhetorical agency, which develops over time through practice amongst a community of
 writers. I use the theoretical concept of "communities of practice" to describe the ways in
 which the practice of writing is learned and rhetorical agency is developed in local and
 situated contexts. Through the description and analysis of scenes of writing I study how
 newcomers to a community of practice gain access to practice through the use of digital
 writing technologies; I also study how access to members within a community of practice
 facilitates the practice of writing through revision. Finally, I consider implications for a
 community practice model of teaching writing to engage rhetorical agency that students
 bring with them to the classroom.

This thesis is an autoethnographic exploration of the theoretical concept of rhetorical agency, which develops over time through practice amongst a community of writers. I use the theoretical concept of "communities of practice" to describe the ways in which the practice of writing is learned and rhetorical agency is developed in local and situated contexts. Through the description and analysis of scenes of writing I study how newcomers to a community of practice gain access to practice through the use of digital writing technologies; I also study how access to members within a community of practice facilitates the practice of writing through revision. Finally, I consider implications for a community practice model of teaching writing to engage rhetorical agency that students bring with them to the classroom.

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