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Conventions in postgraduate academic writing: European students' negotiations of prior writing experience at an English speaking university
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2015 (English)In: Journal of English for Academic Purposes, ISSN 1475-1585, E-ISSN 1878-1497, Vol. 20, 125-134 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Postgraduate writing in the social sciences increasingly challenges the conventions of a model derived from the natural sciences. In addition, postgraduate second-language students usually bring with them prior experiences in academic writing which influences their writing development. Taking an Academic Literacies perspective, this ethnographically-informed case study combines and extends these lines of research in the specific context of student mobility in the European Higher Education Area. It investigates how Continental European master's students negotiate their prior experiences of academic writing when completing their theses at a UK university. The detailed analysis of three cases reveals that the students' initial understandings of academic English conventions as autonomous rules became increasingly depended on their disciplinary knowledge and the epistemological approaches of their theses. The results further highlight that the way students draw on prior experiences of academic English relates to their aims. In the light of their experiences, students might both challenge and actively preserve formal conventions of academic English. The findings suggest the need for EAP instructors and subject supervisors to adopt a balanced approach to scaffolding postgraduate academic writing and the importance of supportive institutional structures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 20, 125-134 p.
Keyword [en]
Postgraduate writing, Academic Literacies, European Higher Education Area, Second language writing, Literacy histories, Writing conventions
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121578DOI: 10.1016/j.jeap.2015.08.007ISI: 000367491000012OAI: diva2:860049
Available from: 2015-10-09 Created: 2015-10-09 Last updated: 2016-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Kaufhold, Kathrin
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