Referencing as practice: Learning to write and reason with other people's texts in environmental engineering education
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2013
The question of how university students learn to write from and reason with the accumulated knowledge of disciplinary fields that are new to them is a general concern for higher education. This type of challenge has commonly been researched from text-based perspectives and accordingly been addressed as a matter of intertextuality. Less common are studies that attend to phenomena of this kind as mediated processes where university students are being introduced to ways of incorporating earlier claims, arguments or ‘facts’ of specific fields in their writing. In response, this empirical paper investigates referencing as participation in disciplinary text practices and as socialization of genres in environmental engineering education. By video-based, detailed analyses of interaction and communication in a sequence of episodes where a draft for a writing assignment within sustainability assessment is being discussed, this paper analyses referencing as participants' concerns. A series of activities in these episodes demonstrate how referencing is dealt with as a communicative problem mediated by disciplinary discourse. As practice, referencing is handled as the work of recognizing, recontextualising and repurposing previous knowledge.