Legitimizing dialogue as textual and ideological goal in academic writing for assessment and publication
AbstractThe semiotic world that we inhabit (within and outside the academy) is fast changing in terms of the resources that are used and the practices in which many engage. Yet the institutional norms governing highly consequential academic texts – students’ texts assessed as part of their disciplinary-based activity and scholars’ papers submitted for publication – lack engagement with this array of resources and, epistemologically, continue to drive a monologic stance towards academic meaning making. The aim of this article is to argue for a reconfiguring of the textual goal of academic writing, through one simple yet transformative tool, that of juxtaposition. Textual juxtaposition is illustrated in this article, and its intellectual and ideological value discussed, drawing on Bakhtin’s emphasis on dialogue, using several examples from published academic texts. The relevance to scholarly and student writing is explored.