Reading Notes: CCR 733
Chelsea Carroll

Carol Berkenkotter & Thomas Huckin: “Ch. 7: Conventions, Conversations, and the Writer: An Apprenticeship of a Doctoral Student"

Citation: Berkenkotter, Carol, and Thomas Huckin. “Conventions, Conversations, and the Writer: An Apprenticeship of a Doctoral Student.” Genre Knowledge in Disciplinary Communication: Cognition/Culture/Power. Ed.s Berkenkotter and Huckin. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.s, 1995. 117-144. Print.
Abstract: The chapter details a case study of a student trying to “learn the ropes” and conventions of his new field, and how that process affects his work and production of texts within the first year of his PhD program (1984-85). The student is in the Rhetoric Program at CMU, which the authors hail as an interdisciplinary and hybrid program producing students well-versed in rhetorical theory and experienced in research methods. Authors conclude that students develop familiarity and eventual mastery of the conversations and conventions of their field of study through legitimate peripheral participation.
Keywords: Legitimate peripheral participation; genre(s); rhetorical community; rhetoric; heuristic; conventions; conversations;
Key Cites:
  • Lave, Jean and Etienne Wenger. Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1991. Print.
  • Charles Bazerman, 1994.
Crucial Quotes:
  • “Students begin as novices, or newcomers to the community and begin their enculturation through peripheral forms of participation that change over time as apprentices change their status from newcomers to members” (118).
  • “That Nate is ‘wrestling with ideas’ at the expense of organization and style illustrates how the acquisition of declarative knowledge precedes that of procedural knowledge” (124).

  • How would this study be different if it had been designed and executed today instead of in 1994?