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Book Chapter

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Twenty-first century technologies, in particular the Internet and Web 2.0 applications, have transformed the practice of writing and exposed it to interactivity. One interactive method that has received a lot of critical attention is blogging. The authors sought to understand more fully whom young bloggers both invoked in their blogging (their idealized, intentional audience) and whom they addressed (whom they actually blogged to, following interactive posts). They studied the complete, yearlong blog histories of fifteen fifth-graders, with an eye toward understanding how these students constructed audiences and modified them, according to feedback they received from teachers as well as peers and adults from around the world. The authors found that these students, who had rarely or never blogged before, were much more likely to respond to distant teachers, pre-service teachers, and graduate students than to their own classroom teachers or peers from their immediate classroom. The bloggers invoked/addressed their audiences differently too, depending on the roles that they had created for their audiences and themselves. The authors explore how and why this came to be the case with young writers.


Originally published in:

McGrail, E., & McGrail, J.P. (2014). Preparing young writers for invoking and addressing today’s interactive digital audiences. In K. E. Pytash & R. E. Ferdig (Eds.). Exploring technology for writing and writing instruction (pp.54-76). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

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