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Writing is a Conversation 

People generally use the term writing to refer to a document or to the act of creatinga document — putting words on the page. Most writing, however, is generated out of a need to communicate with an audience. Thus, we might think of writing as a conversation with that audience, rather than just as words on a page. This is especially true of the writing that faculty and other scholars do as part of their research. As emerging scholars, graduate writers will want to view writing as an opportunity to participate in the ongoing scholarly dialogue with others in their field. Writers at this level will be asked to make and defend arguments through their writing, and it will be important for them to recognize how their claims engage with and contribute to the existing scholarship in their field of study. Successfully entering the conversation will require knowledge of expected conventions such as those related to vocabulary choices, hedging, and document organization. 

This vidcast explores the idea of writing as a conversation in more detail. It also provides some information about how to find the conversation for a particular field, how to collect and organize sources for use in that conversation, and how to successfully interact with the conversation. 

Note: Closed-captioning and a full transcript are available for this vidcast.