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An activity-based multimodal framework for composing draws on mediated activity theory and rejects the highly decontextualized single-mode approach to writing instruction, offering instead a more nuanced understanding of how various communicative practices, including but not limited to linear, print-based forms, are socially, historically, and personally mediated (see Shipka, 2005, 2006).  Students who enter the course hoping that the experience will provide them with “the” formula for good writing for all time and for every purpose learn that the successful production of texts is not determined by a stable set of universal composing laws that the student has yet to master, but by how successfully he/she is able to identify, align with or negotiate the objectives, tools, rules, materials, and conventions of a specific communicative genre, activity system, or discipline. 
 
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