"So What are "We" Working On?" Pronouns as a Way of Re-Examining Composing

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2012


The encounters of writing center tutors and clients, this essay argues, are tensional, asymmetrical, and productive negotiations of a coauthored we. As authorship and authorization are discursive processes, we offer an empirical examination of how personal pronouns mark important shifts in the dynamic creation of a shared academic manuscript in writing center consultations. Though it is tempting to analyze the work of we as simply inclusive, our analysis proposes that we is multifunctional, periodically signaling collaborative affiliation and disaffiliation, marking the negotiation of coauthorship, implying shared identity, and acting as an indicator of institutional discourse.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Composition Studies, v. 40, issue 1, p. 24-38