"Someone's soul is at stake" : navigating difficult belief in writing center conferences.
This study investigates the responses of writing center consultants to tutorials in which client writing expresses difficult or offensive belief. The primary aim of this interpretive case study is gaining an understanding of the strategies tutors have developed for navigating these sessions without corresponding training. To this end, I interviewed current and previous writing center consultants about their experiences in difficult sessions, coding the resulting interview transcripts using grounded theory. This coding identified four specific methods of response consultants have developed for addressing difficult sessions. After identifying and describing these four responses, I establish theoretical frameworks for determining the appropriateness and effectiveness of each response. The study concludes by purposing this new understanding and theorizing toward the development of productive theories for tutor response in sessions containing difficult or offensive belief.