What readers believe


When a student writes, he requests the reader to take seriously the impression that comes before them. They are asked to believe that the writer they read actually possesses the attributes he appears to possess, that the paper he writes will have consequences that are implicitly claimed for and, in general, matters are what they appear to be. Thus, when a student writes, he knowingly and unwittingly projects a definition of his situation, of which a conception of himself is an important part. When an error occurs, self conceptions around which the writer's personality has been built may become discredited. (Goffman 243)

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