This article establishes how rhetorical intention is affected by the situation of writing instruction. Intention could be defined as the means through which a writer orients purposeful activity based on the projection of a desired outcome. The role of writing as a vehicle for communication is often taken as a given in instructional activities. Yet writers encounter the classroom primarily as a socially relevant situation, which often results in writing oriented toward compliance or in the service of extrinsic reward. Those within writing studies would recognize this problem as a part of the conversation regarding the acquisition of thinking dispositions and theories of transfer in writing pedagogy. Drawing upon what is known about intention from studies of communication disorder, this article posits that inquiry-based writing becomes procedural in instructional settings through a writer's affective response to perceived exigence: the activation of rhetorically situated communicative intent in response to a question to be answered or a problem to be resolved. As such, this article draws upon theories of cognition and learning in order to explore possible strategies of question generation in relationship to writing pedagogy.
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Gina L. Vallis; Questions of Intent: Communication Disorder, Transfer, and Writing Pedagogy. Pedagogy 1 October 2015; 15 (3): 441–457. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15314200-2917025
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