chapter  1
28 Pages

Games and Frames: When Writing Is More Than Writing

In this chapter I introduce the key ideas in this book: that academic writing is a game-like social and political as well as discoursal practice that takes places within communities of practice, and that writers’ practices and identities in academic settings change over time. I frame the studies in this book in two ways. First, I present a “common sense” frame. I begin with a common sense view because this is where my own interests and insights began, and because I believe that I am not alone in having experienced and thought about academic writing from the perspective of one deeply engaged in the day-to-day practices of it. I then stand back and look at some of the same issues more theoretically, framing them in the voices of others. A third kind of frame grows out of these two, and forms my underlying assumptions about academic literacy practices-assumptions with which I began and continue my work in academic literacy, and assumptions that I continue to refine and revise. I conclude this introductory chapter with some thoughts on case study methodology and with a description of my own methods and procedures.