Teaching interlocutor relationships in electronic classrooms

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This article presents a pedagogy for teaching writing students a theory of interlocutor relationships in synchronous computer conferencing (SCC), also known as chat. The interlocutor relationship theory is a tool for analyzing online discourse as part of a pedagogy designed to make students more sensitive to audience issues in chat. I have constructed four major categories of interlocutor relationships along a continuum of degrees of conflict: agonistic, hierarchical, dialectical, and empathic relationships. I argue that the application of this rhetorical theory provides students and instructors with a heuristic for collaboratively analyzing and constructing interlocutor relationships throughout the composing process. The purpose of this project is to provide instructors and students with strategies for dealing with the close connections among rhetoric and ethics in chat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-246
Number of pages18
JournalComputers and Composition
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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