Creating Vocative Texts

November 30, 2008

Vocative texts are expressive poetic texts that strive to show rather than tell, that communicate felt knowledge, and that appeal to the senses. They are increasingly used by researchers to present qualitative findings, but little has been written about how to create such texts. To this end, excerpts from an inquiry into the experience and meaning of music listening in the context of chronic illness (Nicol, 2002) are presented and used to illustrate five elements associated with vocative texts (van Manen, 1997). Further student examples of vocative writing are also provided. The intent is to make a pragmatic contribution to the growing literature on writing and qualitative inquiry, and to stimulate interest in experimenting with different ways of writing. Key Words: Vocative Text, Expressive Writing, and Qualitative Research

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