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09:30-10:30 Session 5: Keynote 1
Location: Student Union
Technological Gains and Losses: A Heuristic Approach to Analyzing Affordances for Classroom Instruction and Support for Writing
PRESENTER: Chris Anson

ABSTRACT. Emerging technologies are often presented as utopian solutions to current educational challenges, promising to reduce instructors’ time, enhance students’ learning and engagement, streamline communication about course material, and reduce costs for students and for institutions. But several problems can militate against their success, such as the extent of educational expertise behind their design or the ways that they are put to use in specific instructional settings. This jointly-led session will provide a heuristic lens for analyzing the potential effectiveness of several technologies used instructionally worldwide, showing how such a lens can bring into focus both the possible gains and losses associated with the technologies. An interactive part of the session will encourage attendees to choose an additional technological application for analysis.

10:30-11:00Coffee Break (Student union)
12:00-13:30Lunch (Student union)
13:30-15:00 Session 7A: COST 15221 Symposium


Location: SBL400
A cross-national view on the organisational perspective of writing centre work: the Writing Centre Exchange Project (WCEP)

ABSTRACT. Writing centres are well-researched when it comes to tutoring, writing instruction, and writing centre administration; however, scholarship has often focused on well-developed settings with long traditions in writing, for example, in the US context (Babcock et al. 2012). One common finding has been that writing centre legitimacy often relies on meeting contradictory expectations from the outside as well as the inside of their university organisations (Carter, 2009; Isaacs and Knight, 2014, Monty, 2016), which indicates a need to study writing centres and their activities from an organisational perspective. Therefore, this symposium invites its audience to reflect on findings from a current exchange project targeting ongoing institutional work in three European writing centres at different developing stages: the European University Viadrina, Germany; the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; and, the University of Limerick, Ireland. The Writing Centre Exchange Project (WCEP) is conducted within the framework of participatory action research and designed to explore what similarities and differences emerge in terms of the Girgensohn’s (2017) model of institutional work of writing centre directors.

Theoretically, WCEP rests on an understanding of institutional work as “purposive action of individuals and organizations aimed at creating, maintaining and disrupting institutions” (Lawrence and Suddaby, 2006,p. 215). Previous research in this particular area has found that institutional work in writing centres includes specific Strategic Action Fields and collaborative learning as a means to interact with stakeholders (Girgensohn 2017). By reusing Girgensohn’s model, WCEP targets ongoing institutional work intended to establish and sustain missions, goals and activities in and around writing centres.

Data consists of observations, semi-structured interviews with centre staff, directors and key stakeholder roles, plus video-recorded focus-group activities. The analytical work rests on multiple methods: qualitative thematic content analysis and video-based interaction analysis. The symposium shares first findings and insights from this kind of participatory action research.

13:30-15:00 Session 7B: Academic Writing and Identity


Location: SBL415
Identity across Languages and Communities: A Workshop

ABSTRACT. Academic writing can be baffling for students when they enter higher education (Rafoth, 2015). As their identities as university students develop, their identities as academic writers may lag behind (Hyland, 2002; Rafoth, 2105). Academic writing courses, books, and support tend to focus the mechanics of academic writing, ignoring the fact that academic writing is an act of representing the self (Hyland, 2002; Ivanić, 1998). When identity is addressed, it can be reduced to a question of using the first person (Hyland, 2002; Stapleton, 2002). Crossing linguistic and/or cultural barriers can bring additional complications (Hyland, 2002; Rafoth, 2015).

This workshop will help participants learn how to guide students by taking them through three activities on identities as academic writers: an identity wheel, free writing, and connecting identity to community. After a short introduction to the concept of identity and how it changes over time, participants will construct an identity wheel focusing on academic writing. They will discuss their wheels in small groups. The group discussions will focus on how the wheel has changed for the participant and challenges he or she may have when constructing an identity as an academic writer.

After the short discussion, participants will free write for several minutes on challenges in academic writing, particularly focusing on cross-cultural or cross-linguistic issues. Then, they will be asked to free write on the rewards of crossing cultural or linguistic boundaries in academic writing. Finally, they will be asked to connect the free writing to their identity wheels to spark discussions about how our identities as writers can be challenged as we cross linguistic and cultural lines, be they 1L or 2L scenarios.

Finally, the participants will be asked to link their results from their identity wheels and discussions to various communities, since acts of identity expression have been shown to be linked to desires for affiliation (Norton, 1997).

13:30-15:00 Session 7C: Writing Development and Disciplinary Learning

Teaching practice

Location: SBL200
Talking Across Boundaries: Professor Interview Assignment

ABSTRACT. We know from researchers like Bergmann and Zepernick (2007) that novice academic writers struggle to understand the relationship between the writing they do in the kind of general studies first-year writing course required at many American universities and the writing they do in other disciplinary contexts. As teachers of such a course, we wondered whether asking students to consider the disciplinary and generic migrations they make throughout the days and weeks of the semester would reveal connections across disciplinary boundaries. In the exercise we will present, we ask students in a writing and research course to interview a professor from another class, then reflect on the role of research and writing in the professor’s discipline or profession and any connections between the professor’s answers and the student’s own experiences writing or doing research in our writing courses. Students then report out to the class, collectively charting a wide range of overlapping and interconnected concepts and values that are fundamental to academic work. Students learn about the role of research and writing in different disciplines and professions, about the close connection between conducting and writing about research, about how research and writing are valued in academia, and about what motivates scholars and professionals to write and do research. Professors often reveal the ways in which the work that they do is quite interdisciplinary. Students come away with a new understanding of the underlying similarities in the ethos and practices across a wide range of disciplines and are able to connect them to their own work.

Discipline-specific writing vs. generic writing skills: Two complementary or competing approaches?
PRESENTER: Liby Kunthrayil

ABSTRACT. In the curricula of the School of Engineering at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), writing is simultaneously taught in generic communication courses and discipline-specific so-called project modules with a focus on academic and professional writing. The multi-semester project modules are interdisciplinary, integrated courses in which writing lessons are connected to or integrated in the curricula’s core disciplines. The course objective is to realize a project relevant to the discipline and/or aiming at applied research (often with the development of a product) in which students become familiar with the respective genres. Language and science lecturers plan and teach in tandem. This teaching concept is based on the assumption that the ability to write adequate texts in a specific discipline is only a given if the writer is knowledgeable about discipline-specific methods of knowledge production and of the social structures of the respective discourse community (cf. Writing in the Disciplines, based on Bazerman 1988).

In contrast, the compulsory multi-semester courses aim at generic multilingual (German and English) communication competence. Theoretical knowledge for writing is imparted, writing skills are trained, peer feedback is introduced, and non-disciplinary-specific writing is practiced (e.g., popular scientific articles, communication with non-experts, etc.) This teaching concept is based on the assumption that basic writing skills can be taught across disciplines, and students can transfer the achieved competences and the acquired theoretical know-how to their respective discipline.

How do the lecturers experience this coexistence of the two different approaches? Are the approaches competing or complementary? What advantages and disadvantages do the two approaches have? How do students experience these types of writing lessons? Which teaching concept generates a higher leaning effect?

These questions will be discussed at the conference after the two lesson plans have been presented including concrete examples of best practice.

Adapting to a New Disciplinary Discourse: A Case Study of MA History Students

ABSTRACT. MA students with a BA degree in a different discipline are required to adopt new discourses and writing conventions of a respective professional community. It is problematic so far as AW courses widely lack professionally oriented segments to teach writing strategies in a specific disciplinary area. It results in poor quality of writing assignments by MA students, their failure to apply for grants, and submit papers for a conference and a journal. This presentation describes an experience to initiate professionally oriented sections in the AW course for the 1st year MA students in European Historical and Cultural Studies who came from different disciplinary backgrounds. One of the sections provided an understanding of critical differences between disciplines in terms of how they interpret text types, build an argument, and employ linguistic devices, registers, illustrative material, discipline-specific terminology, and citation styles. Text-based and process-based approaches were employed in other sections to teach the students the essential features of history writing conventions. One more section highlighted discourse peculiarities of such interdisciplinary fields as history of law enforcement, pedagogical ideas, international relations, etc. In addition to practical in-class activities, the students had an assignment to write a history argument essay. Assessments of the first and final drafts made in line with similar criteria allowed evaluating the progress of each student and general effectivity of the course. Though the students with BA in History still performed better, the progress ratio of the students with a non-history background was higher. Lecturers of profile subjects appreciated more professional-sounding assignments by the latter students. That implied the importance of the history-oriented AW course for a successful career in the professional community of historians. This practice can be of use for AW instructors who seek to help students from different backgrounds to develop new skills and competencies necessary in a specific professional community.

From Free Writing to Free Association: Writing Studies and Psychoanalysis

ABSTRACT. This presentation will discuss transdisciplinary pedagogical methods I have employed to help students discover new ideas in their writing. By using anonymous, free writing, teachers can get students to say what is really on their minds as they generate new ideas without fear of hurting their grades or upsetting their teacher. As I outline in my book, Teaching the Rhetoric of Resistance, this method allows students to overcome writer’s block and offers an import process-based pedagogy.

My presentation will draw from Mark Bracher’s The Writing Cure and my own experience of being a psychoanalyst and a teacher of advanced writing at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I have found that since students are often so concerned about complying to what they think the teacher wants to receive from them, they are unable to explore a topic or writing assignment in an open and expansive way.

I also use this method of free writing to help students generate outlines and rough drafts before they engage in the conscious process of editing. Drawing from recent neuroscience research, I will show how free writing and editing utilize different parts of our brains, and so we need to think of these processes as separate but related cognitive activities.

13:30-15:00 Session 7D: Writing Development and Disciplinary Learning

Paper presentations

Location: SBL208
Mediating Student Responses to Exploratory Exercises in a Preparatory Course for the Degree Project Essay

ABSTRACT. Concerned with enhancing the potential of learners in primary school, especially the disadvantaged, psychologist Reuven Feuerstein theorized the role of the mediating teacher for achieving equitable education. Rather than act as a disseminator of knowledge, the mediating teacher intervenes in the learning experience, actively shaping how learners respond to new stimuli until they can take control of their own learning. When is mediation called for in higher education? This presentation describes a study of one such moment, a short course designed to help students prepare for the degree project essay, the capstone essay of the second cycle, which is a stumbling block for many students in Sweden. This study traces the mediating work of two teachers as they guide a class of twenty-three undergraduate students through a learning experience designed to address the crux of the challenge posed by the degree project essay, the requirement that they pose their own question in response to a disciplinary-specific problem. The study offers a discourse analysis examination of written exchanges in two online discussion forums in which teachers challenged students to develop their answers to exploratory exercises designed to help them focus their thinking at the discovery stage of the writing process. In rhetoric and composition studies, exploratory exercises are considered to be heuristics that empower students by giving them insider knowledge of discourse strategies in specific rhetorical situations. However, the results of this study show that students new to research writing benefit from the mediating guidance of teachers who provide scaffolding during the thinking and writing process while promoting student autonomy. The presentation gives an account of the data collection process and samples of the discourse analysis, focusing on pivotal developments in selected exchanges and comparing these to student work in the final assignment, a proposal for the degree project essay.

Writing a Master’s Thesis: Challenges and Coping Strategies
PRESENTER: Alma Jahic Jasic

ABSTRACT. As the enrolment numbers for tertiary education seem to be on the increase, it can be expected that larger numbers of students will seek master’s level degrees. As a pre-requisite for obtaining a master’s degree and therefore successfully completing the studies, students are usually required to write and defend a master’s thesis, which necessitates them to undertake a research process and write up a research report. Interestingly enough, although academic writing draws a lot of research attention, the topic of difficulties master’s level students face while working on their thesis seems not to have attracted too much attention. Some studies have investigated the issues of writing difficulties at a graduate level but they often exclusively focus on ESL/EFL (English as a second/foreign language) students (Ravichandran et al., 2017; Singh, 2016; Phakiti & Li, 2011) or look at doctoral students (Straforini , 2015; Wellington, 2010; Aitchison & Lee, 2006). Therefore, this small-scale study, based on in-depth, semi-structured interviews with students who either wrote the thesis in their mother tongue or ESL/EFL, aims to present difficulties students experienced while writing a master’s thesis as well as coping strategies they employed for facilitating them. The preliminary results show that there are four major areas of difficulty for students: coming up with the topic, producing the text, dealing with the supervisor, and dealing with personal-life issues. As for the coping strategies, students often seek help from friends/acquaintances and use extensive reading for alleviating their problems. This study has been conducted as part of a research project of Working Group 2 (Academic Literacy subgroup) of COST Action IS1401 Strengthening Europeans’ Capabilities by Establishing the European Literacy Network (ELN) with the aim to contribute to better understanding of challenges involved in master’s thesis writing and the possibilities for overcoming them.

Controlling or guiding? About the influence of supervision models and supervision types on the acquisition of master students’ research literacy.

ABSTRACT. The (Scandinavian) concept of ”vejledning” emphasizes guidance instead of control, and it stresses the students’ responsibility for content and quality of the thesis. We want to investigate how this form of supervision can enforce students’ research literacy. The empirical data consist of eleven semi-structured interviews with students halfway through their thesis project. Our analytical framework links different kinds of relationships of supervisor and student/s to different approaches of supervision by combining three pedagogical models of supervision (“teaching”, “apprenticeship”, and “partnership”; Dysthe 2006) with three types of supervisors/ supervision (“expert”, “supervisor on methodology” and “guide for the process”; Nexø Jensen, 2010). The qualitative analyses investigate how the combination of enacted pedagogical supervision model and type of supervision affects the students’ perception and acquisition of “research literacy” (Badenhorst & Guerin 2016). In the partnership model, the supervisor can enhance the students’ research literacy by empowering the students to make well-informed choices concerning their knowledge production and text production. However, some interviews indicate a block of text production and of acquiring research literacy, when students meet a kind of supervision in the style of the ‘teaching-model’. Finally, the partnership model matches best the students' perception of the ideal supervisor. The partnership model creates sometimes frustration among students, but also promotes more and deeper learning as well as greater awareness of their own research skills and genre competences. Our further research will examine international Master Thesis students ' experience of ‘vejledning’ by Danish and international supervisors.

Badenhorst, C. & C. Guerin (eds.) (2016). Research literacies and writing pedagogies for Masters and Doctoral Writers. Leiden & Boston: Brill. Dysthe, O. (2006). Rettleiaren som lærar, partner eller meister? In: Dysthe & Samara (red.): Forskningsveiledning på master- og doktorgradsnivå. Oslo: Abstrakt. Nexø Jensen, H. (2010). ”Det lukkede rum” – en dør på klem til specialevejledning. Dansk Universitetspædagogisk Tidskrift 8.

13:30-15:00 Session 7E: Academic Writing and Identity

Paper presentations

Location: SBL216
Higher degree academic writing and intersecting identities
PRESENTER: Britta Schneider

ABSTRACT. When higher degree by research (HDR) PhD candidates talk about their experiences of academic writing and the changes and adjustments they have to make along the way, we gain insights into how their identities as scholars emerge. Similarly, talking with supervisors of HDR students reveals their identities involved in this role. We were interested in HDR students using English as their additional language because discourses about their identities as researchers and writers often focus on what they are not yet able to do because of their language status. Using a theoretical framework for understanding how micro details of identities are constructed from moment to moment through spoken interactions (Bucholtz & Hall, 2005), we explore the language used by HDR students and supervisors to describe their experiences. In particular, we focus on challenges students face in establishing and negotiating their authority; their legitimacy as researchers, writers and users of English; or their expertise and roles as supervisors of developing researchers. We discuss data obtained from in-depth interviews with five HDR students and nine HDR supervisors. Through analysis of their spoken interactions with us, we found identity categories which would have otherwise remained invisible: e.g. students formulated themselves as strong and vulnerable, confident and inadequate, experimenting or holding back. In speaking about how they responded to the needs of their students, supervisors emerged as ‘supermen’, case-workers or advocates; sometimes confident about, and sometimes questioning of, their own abilities to guide their students. Teachers of academic writing can use this framework for a meaningful interpretation of these micro-level identities at play in a multilingual supervisor/PhD relationship. Understanding that identities and agency are relationally emergent rather than conscious, individualistic properties bring opportunities to students, supervisors and writing teachers to broaden discussions about EAL writers’ identities and supervisor roles.

Dyslexia and Academic writing Development: An Academic Literacies Perspective

ABSTRACT. Dyslexia has been conceptualised over three decades as a reading disorder, but how does dyslexia affect academic writing development? Research in writing has shown that reading and writing are bootstrapped in their development, and that, as students progress to academic writing, reading and writing are more and more integrated in the various subtasks of academic writing.

Within this traditional model, dyslexia is conceptualised as a cognitive processing disorder 'inside the head' of the dyslexic person. However, how dyslexia is conceptualised in adult contexts, in academic writing contexts, has implications for how dyslexic students identify themselves in that conceptualisation and how they are conceptualised by other stakeholders in that environment.

My research study adopted an 'outside the head' perspective of studying academic writing in dyslexic writers. I was interested in dyslexia and academic writing success. I interviewed 10 successful dyslexic university staff and senior lecturers on the environmental factors surrounding their studying success. The semi-structured interviews generated themes around identification and identity in a culture of institutional Community of Practice, that led to conflicts and tensions about how dyslexia should be conceptualised and by whom, and whether being a dyslexic academic writer represented a threat to academic excellence itself.

My results showed that because dyslexia is conceptualised differently by different stakeholders, in different contexts, that has an impact on dyslexic students' access to quality academic writing instruction that is appropriate to their needs. Whilst the Academic Literacies group have represented the kinds of conflicts and tensions inherent in universities, around which students create/recreate their identities, dyslexic students and other disability groups are faced with a set of 'otherness' challenges. These challenges take the form of doubts (perceptions of others- lecturers, students, staff) about whether or not they are entitled to reasonable adjustments, and whether such adjustments challenge notions of their (or their university) achieving academic excellence by being included as students.

The study places of essay writing: exploring student writing in relation to place

ABSTRACT. Researchers are starting to emphazies the importance of place for writing. In short: place matters (Rule, 2018). This is especially true for student writers, as they have no given place to inhabit while working on their assignments (Mauk, 2003). In the paper presented here, the study places of student writers are in focus, thereby highlighting which places that comes to matter to writing, and how such places are shaped. To address this issue, diverse multimodal data on students 10 weeks writing process has been collected. Specifically focus is set on photographs of study places, written logs during the process and interviews. Preliminary result shows that students either tend to delimit, or expand their study places in terms of learning landscapes (Gourlay, Lanclos, & Oliver, 2015). Most often such landscapes are formed by student as a response to their relation to other people. Some prefer writing in privat. For others the writing next to other people are mandatory to get any work done. The data also emphazies a strong ambivalence in relation to place. Such ambivalence is most apparent in student relationsship towards the home as a study place, or as a private space that should be kept apart from studying. Overall, results show that place is a apparent, sometimes the most important issue for student to handle, often accompanied with a sense of uncertainty. To find a place is challenging, as the prefferable places to study is not easy to get hold at.

Gourlay, L., Lanclos, D. M., & Oliver, M. (2015). Sociomaterial Texts, Spaces and Devices: Questioning ‘Digital Dualism’ in Library and Study Practices. Higher Education Quarterly, 69(3), 263-278. doi:10.1111/hequ.12075 Mauk, J. (2003). Location, location, location: The" real"(e) states of being, writing, and thinking in composition. College English, 65(4), 368-388. Rule, H. J. (2018). Writing's Rooms. College Composition and Communication, 69(3), 402-432.

13:30-15:00 Session 7F: Academic Writing Across and Beyond Disciplinary Audiences

Paper presentations

Location: SBL308
How can meta-cognition contribute to the development of high standards of academic writing and discerning educators?

ABSTRACT. Metacognition (cognitive knowledge and regulation of cognition) may have significant potential to contribute towards a pedagogy of writing within disciplinary learning. This study in teacher education looked at the development of discerning educators capable of high standards of writing through investigating the self-regulatory thinking required within a praxis inquiry learning process. This approach aims to produce educators who use reflection to connect theoretical learning to classroom practice from school practicum experience. Students generate authentic questions about teaching and learning and explore issues for deeper investigation as research-based assessment tasks. Metacognition and its relationship to writing from the perspective of learning theories, teaching strategies, writing assessment and information communication technologies was explored. A qualitative methodology using interviews captured the phenomenological experience of students and lecturers. Thematic analysis (including mind-mapping) of data, ascertained how metacognition appears to impact on writing skills. Evidence identified that complexities exist surrounding defining metacognition. ‘Thinking about thinking’ was used without an understanding of its cognitive complexity as a concept and skill connected to hierarchies of thinking within writing genres in praxis inquiry. Metacognition’s contribution to writing pedagogy entails cognitive analysis of theory and practice in reflection. Both knowledge and regulation of the ‘theorizing’ genre in praxis is required. Students need to understand metacognition as skilled thinking that enables discrimination for regulation of writing enhancement. Visible teaching strategies are necessary to develop relevant analytical skills. Guided instruction through scaffolding is required for dialogic reflection to produce discerning students, capable of autonomous intellectual rigour that enhances writing. Conclusions reached were that cognitive analysis within metacognition and dialogic reflection skills in praxis inquiry learning lead to higher standards of writing, and, that a hierarchy of thinking skills exists in praxis writing genres from descriptive to theorising. Insights from this study may inform writing pedagogy and professional development in further disciplines where theory requires integration into practice.

I know; I see; I think; I conclude: Weaving theory with concrete knowledge in analytical argumentative writing

ABSTRACT. This presentation reports on an interdisciplinary collaboration between applied linguists and an organizational behavior (OB) professor to scaffold analytical argumentative writing using the tools of systemic functional linguistics (SFL) and Legitimation Code Theory (LCT). While SFL research has provided rich descriptions of features of disciplinary genres with an explicit focus on language (e.g., Christie & Derewianka, 2010) and helped learners understand how language choices are influenced by a writer’s social purpose (Martin & Rose, 2008), it does not address other crucial elements of literacy education, namely knowledge practices within disciplines. Students need to know not only the ways that language is used in disciplines to create meaning, but also the ways that knowledge and knowing are legitimated within disciplines. LCT was developed as a way to understand the ways in which knowledge is built by knowers in fields of practice (Maton, 2008). Recent collaborations between SFL and LCT have shown ways that concepts from both theories can complement each other in informing pedagogical practice (e.g. Macnaught, Maton, Martin, & Matruglio, 2013).

In this presentation, I report on how we used the tools of SFL and LCT to scaffold the writing of the case proposal genre in an OB course at an English-medium university in the Middle East. The case proposal genre involves the analysis of a case (e.g. a corporation or institution) using OB theory to identify and argue about existing or potential problems and recommend solutions. I describe how we used the SFL-based Onion Model (Humphrey & Economou, 2015) to unpack the discourse patterns of analysis and argumentation. I share materials used to help students improve their texts’ logical relations by effectively weaving OB theory with knowledge from the case. I illustrate student struggles and successes highlighting writing development across drafts and differences between high-graded and low-graded writing.

13:30-15:00 Session 7G: Academic Writing and Identity

Paper presentations

Location: SBL316
EFL students’ emotional responses to teacher written feedback and its effects on their success of revisions

ABSTRACT. The role of feedback for student writers is one of the crucial factors in the development of their academic writing skill. We should note that when the students who study English as a foreign language (EFL) in a non-native country are considered, their struggle has doubled as they try to acquire a new discourse besides coping with learning another language. This process also requires a shift across different rhetorical styles. Thus, the character of feedback bears even more importance for that group of student writers. Although there are a number of studies on feedback; we believe that the results of our study will contribute to the existing literature by offering an analysis of the relationship between the type of teacher`s written feedback and the emotional response of the student writers. The study draws on 15 EFL student essays in an EAP course at a university where the medium of instruction is English. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and more will be collated using face-to-face interviews, online surveys and think-aloud method to triangulate findings. The findings are based on a thorough analysis of the type of teacher written comments, the students` revised texts and their emotional reactions toward the feedback. The preliminary findings show that certain types of feedback given by the writing teacher for students’ essays (e.g., making a request, editing, giving praise) and students’ emotional responses towards the feedback are related. The data collated so far have also revealed that friendly and constructive written comments result in ‘surprise’ and receive motivated responses from students; so their success of the revision for that part of the essay increases. On the other hand, some students feel insecure about what to revise when the teacher uses questions for further clarification in her written feedback. These indicate that the study promises even more interesting results consisting various emotional reactions of students.

Feedback giving in a cross-disciplinary writing group: learning in interaction
PRESENTER: Kathrin Kaufhold

ABSTRACT. Student writing groups increasingly attract scholarly interest as additional platforms for academic writing development (Wilmot & McKenna, 2018). Central to learning in writing groups is the possibility for low-stakes discussion of writing among peers (Aitchison, 2009). So far, there is little research that observes how participants actually negotiate their peer feedback. Drawing on interactional sociolinguistics, the present study applies the concept of interactionally established discourse roles (cf. Halvorsen & Sarangi, 2015) to investigate how feedback is negotiated in such groups. We ask: How do participants negotiate their roles and identities in writing group interactions? How is feedback constructed in these groups? Our case study is based on video recordings of one writing group of six master’s students from humanities, social sciences and natural sciences departments and two facilitators. The recordings cover a period of eight weeks and are complemented by follow-up interviews. The results show that the students take up a variety of roles when engaging with their own and others’ writing. These roles are manifested through the students’ expression of their concerns, questions and explanations for writing decisions. Approaching the texts from these different perspectives facilitates a deeper level of reflection on writing practices. In addition, the conversations reveal writer identities and different beliefs about the nature of academic writing across and within disciplines. The students’ discussion of these beliefs provides them with the opportunity to develop a more nuanced understanding of academic writing. Finally, we consider the different roles of the facilitators as elicitor, facilitator or instructor. Being aware of these roles allows a more strategic approach to dialogic pedagogy in writing groups.

Aitchison, C. (2009). Writing groups for doctoral education. SHE, 34(8), 905-916. Halvorsen, K. & Sarangi, S. (2015). Team decision-making in workplace meetings. Journal of Pragmatics, 76, 1-14. Wilmot, K. & McKenna, S. (2018). Writing groups as transformative spaces. Higher Education Research & Development, 37(4), 868-882.

Affective Language in Peer and Instructor Feedback on an ESL Academic Writing Course
PRESENTER: Anna Wärnsby

ABSTRACT. Moving writing courses into digital environments allows systematic access to data pertaining to student production and instructor assessment. This makes possible – and encourages – new questions and techniques of inquiry of writing patterns, testing of exploratory questions, and teasing out what kind of information such data can be made to yield.

This study uses corpus methodology to analyse peer feedback and summative instructor feedback. The data was collected 2014-2016 from an undergraduate course at Malmö University, Sweden, and consists of 2,276 peer reviews and instructor comments on 329 papers. In total, the corpus comprises approximately 420,000 words. Given the continuity of course settings, instructions and instructors, we treat the student and instructor body as homogenous and representative of ESL contexts for teaching and learning academic writing at tertiary level.

By looking at features of affective language in peer and instructor feedback, we explore criticism and praise as negotiations of authorial identities, degrees of social presence, and formation of communities of inquiry. For these, we draw from research on affective and cognitive discourse features (cf. Mirador [2014] on describing the genre of teacher comments through linguistic expressions). Similarly to Wärnsby et al. (2018), we investigate boosters (really, indeed), hedges (maybe, perhaps), cognitive verbs (think, believe), adjectives (good, clear), expressions of suggestion (suggest, you better), personal pronouns (I, we, you), and adversative transitions (however, on the other hand). We find that instructor feedback contains fewer instances of affective language than peer feedback, the different features of affective language are distributed differently in peer and instructor feedback, and some, but not all, affective language features in instructor feedback correlate to grades. Furthermore, analysis of affective language reveals that summative feedback frequently incorporates elements of formative feedback, intentionally or unintentionally. This may be neither time-efficient nor beneficial for student learning, and may reflect uncertainty about the role and function of summative feedback.

13:30-15:00 Session 7H: Digital Genres in Academic Settings


Location: SBL408
From Alphabetical to Multimodal: Pedagogies that Support Transfer of Writing Strategies Across Platforms, Disciplines and Communication Forms.

ABSTRACT. While research shows how transfer works from a first-year writing course to other academic writing of alphabetical/paper texts, we wanted to know if students transferred their understanding of writing studies strategies to digital/visual/audial/mathematical representations of communication. Our three-year longitudinal study coded and tracked student transfer of writing strategies from first through fourth year at university. Evidence shows the need to develop more intentional pedagogies that encourage connections students make between writing alphabetic/paper texts and multimodal/digital texts.

This workshop uses these findings to facilitate thinking about our assumptions that pedagogies used to teach alphabetic writing (papers) transfer to the requirements of multimodal/digital texts students are now being asked to produce in disciplinary and professional settings. Our student informants verified this need as they report becoming mindful about figuring out transfer themselves. Using our findings, this workshop will have four blocks of activities, each 15-20 minutes long:

1: Facilitators will ask participants to briefly write down what practices they think transfer to writing in digital environments. Participants will then brainstorm writing strategies that should transfer from alphabetic texts to disciplinary and multimodal writing.

2. Pointing to these assumptions the group generates, facilitators will then share a description of their study and findings that will ground the rest of the workshop’s goals.

3: Then, working in groups that are formed by subject interest, participants will create assignments, develop questions, generate active in-class learning activities that intentionally facilitate the kind of transfer knowledge students need when composing alphabetic texts and multimodal work. They will be asked to enter ideas into a shared Google Doc.

4. Groups will briefly point to highlights they generated. Facilitators will summarize the day’s activity and workshop participants will have permanent access to the G-Doc after the conference.

13:30-15:00 Session 7I: Academic Writing as Intercultural Communication

Teaching practice

Location: SBL300
Toward Translingual Pedagogical Practices: A Case Study of Leuphana University’s Schreibzentrum / Writing Center

ABSTRACT. Globalization has had a wide range of implications for higher education in general and writing studies pedagogy and research in particular (Conference on College Composition and Communication, 2017). These implications have been addressed in a recent spate of theoretical and empirical studies on innovative translingual pedagogical practices in writing programs worldwide (e.g. Horner and Tetreault, 2017), transnational writing program administration (e.g. Martins, 2015), or, to give but one more example, translingual graduate student writing programs (e.g. Brinkschulte et al., 2018). Contributing to this literature and the debate on current and future directions of writing pedagogy at European universities in general (e.g. Breeze, 2012) and at L2 writing centers at German universities in particular (Bonazza, 2016), this paper examines the pedagogical and linguistic challenges and related solutions developed at the Schreibzentrum / Writing Center at Leuphana University of Lüneburg, a mid-sized university in northern Germany affiliated with the European liberal arts movement. Contextualizing the work on English and German texts by L1 and L2 undergraduate and graduate writers -- many of them native speakers of German familiar with academic conventions in Germany -- in individual consultations and different teaching formats and in recent theoretical debates on translanguaging (e.g. García and Kleyn, 2016) and translingual practices (Canagarajah, 2013), this paper discusses the pedagogical practices and the contribution of the institution to the university’s mission to educate global citizens. The approach taken will be illustrated with several examples from the workshops offered for graduate students.

What Does the Thesis Statement Have to Do with the Union Jack? Teaching Argumentative Writing Through Cultural Context

ABSTRACT. In classes of academic writing, students often ask questions such as "Why do I need a thesis statement?" or "Why do I need smooth transitions?" These questions reveal that students have problems with argumentative writing on a rather fundamental level: they are not aware of the raison d'etre behind conventions of argumentative writing. In fact, one of the major reasons why students have problems with academic writing is their lack of awareness about the rationale behind its conventions.

Among others, culture plays a major role in shaping conventions of academic writing. While argumentation might surface rarely in the higher education of some cultures, it is a dominant tradition in the Anglo-American world.In fact, conventions of argumentative writing as students are taught at universities worldwide are deeply anchored in the cultural patterns prevalent in the United Kingdom and North America. In order to learn writing effective thesis statements and topic sentences, students, in non-British and non-American contexts in particular, need to have a thorough awareness of cultural assumptions behind these conventions.

In my presentation, I will demonstrate ways of teaching argumentative writing through these cultural assumptions. I will specifically focus on communicative tendencies (such as debating and public speaking) dominant in the social and cultural life of the Anglo-American world to highlight the embeddedness of argumentation in cultural practices. If culture plays a paramount role in the way we communicate academically, an analysis of communicative patterns can be an effective way of overcoming students' writing problems.

Writing across cultures

ABSTRACT. Kaplan noted in 1966 that just because you can write an essay in your L1 does not necessarily mean you can write one in an L2 and with it he founded the theory of contrastive rhetoric, which 50 years on, despite significant research in this area, still lacks a pedagogical framework. My experience of working with international postgraduate students at Cambridge has shown Kaplan’s conclusion to still hold true since the main difficulties they seem to face are not simply ‘language issues’, but far more the thornier issue of rhetorical transfer, since different cultures, both national and disciplinary, construct argument and express this in different ways.

I have developed a theoretical conceptual framework which focusses on the epistemological, conceptual, representational, and stylistic aspects of postgraduate writing. From this I am currently developing a practical framework to provide transitional support for the development of written articulacy across the disciplines.

In this session I will first introduce the theoretical framework before discussing how this may be developed into practical support, both online and in the classroom.

A Teacher-TA-Student Trinity for Large Sized Classes: Role-playing for Intercultural Communication in an Undergraduate Writing Course

ABSTRACT. This study adopts a simulation triad -- namely a nexus for the course instructor, 3 course TAs, and 150 students to fulfill the role-playing module -- to administer a large-sized writing class for overseas graduate school application. These undergraduates in National Taiwan University have three main targets to apply for admission: the US universities, the European universities, and the Japanese universities. In this case, the students are facing a specific yet imaginary audience in the admissions committee (Posselt, 2016). Geographically and culturally far away from these groups of audience, students have to figure out and rely on a certain rubric to get their research ideas and study plans effectively across to their readers. An effective mode of intercultural communication through academic writing is thus urgently needed. I designed an 18-week training module for administering such a large-sized class by involving three graduate-level TAs in taking up the role of “spokesperson” for each country assigned: each of them received a 4-week coaching session by a real representative of overseas education agency from target countries. Then, these TAs are capable of hosting a tutorial session each week to instruct one-third of the students who play the close-to-reality role as the “applicant.” In the subsequent 6-week tutorial session, students in respective sessions have their writing samples read and ideas heard by each spokesperson-acted TA. For the remaining 8 weeks, the course instructor takes up the role of “facilitator” for the entire class to exchange ideas and written assignments to tease out the crucial distinctions in their target-tailored writing samples. The preliminary results show that the subjects in this study (i.e., the experimental group) demonstrated a higher degree of communicative competence and more holistic consideration of subtleties than their counterparts did (i.e., the control group in the previous semester without this role-playing triad).

15:00-15:30Coffee Break (SB coffee area)
15:30-17:00 Session 8A: Writing Development and Disciplinary Learning


Location: SBL400
Thinking With the Computer: How Do New Writing Tools Influence Higher-order Cognition?

ABSTRACT. In the age of cloud computing and machine learning, innovative writing technologies appear to offer promising new ways of influencing thought processes and higher-order cognition of writers. These new tools support writers by helping them manage the complex interrelation between thinking, language use, communication, and text production. We will offer a short synopsis of the principal technological solutions and picture what their pedagogical impact on the teaching and learning of writing might be. Then, we will give three different examples of how new tools try to support the thinking behind writing.

15:30-17:00 Session 8B: Academic Writing Across and Beyond Disciplinary Audiences


Location: SBL415
Research Meets the Undergraduate: Negotiating the Intersection of Writing, Researching, and the Classroom
PRESENTER: Megan Palmer

ABSTRACT. Interest in and opportunities for undergraduate research (UGR) have increased in recent years (Gustafson and Cureton, 2014) due to increased interest in problem-posing education (Brown and Walter 2014; Elder 2016), experiential learning (Kolb, 2014; Savery, 2015), and the desire for universities to prepare students for post-secondary careers (Yaffe, Bender, Sechrest, 2014). The intersection of these parameters, combined with students understanding the value of research as it “lives” outside of the classroom, is significant.

Additional research outlines academic benefits of UGR; students improve research, writing, and public speaking skills (Lumpkin, 2015), in addition to personal development and professional development (Salsman, et al, 2013).

Speaker #1, a writing professor with extensive UGR experience, will briefly speak to the challenges and benefits of UGR initiatives in her classroom. Speaker #2, a former undergraduate in Speaker #1’s classes, a graduate student who continues to research and present with Speaker #1, and, even more recently, a co-author, will briefly speak to her UGR journey and how it shaped her future goals.

This workshop encourages participants to exchange knowledge and share personal experiences through a variety of organized activities to the following questions:

- What do students need, and how are they prepared for writing and speaking for/to professional audiences? (Activity: Conduct introductory Kahoot survey to start discussion.) - How can UGR teach academic genre and increase literacy in the discourse? (Activity: Create a mind map of key terms and ideas related to undergraduate research. How do they relate to ideas of genre and discourse?) - How can UGR extend classroom experiences outside of the classroom? Where does research “live” outside of the classroom?” (Activity: Think, pair, share.) - How can participants work with their universities in search of support? (Activity: In small groups with participants from different universities, discuss and create a master list of specific ways to approach UGR at your university.)

15:30-17:00 Session 8C: Academic Writing and Identity

Teaching practice

Location: SBL200
Articulating a creative process of identity formation through critical engagement and reflection

ABSTRACT. A significant process expected of students at the Royal College of Art is the development of their position as artists and designers: to situate themselves in their practice and articulate this developmental process. Students are expected to critically engage with societal influences, writers and practitioners in their field, reflect on these influences as their practice develops and produce an artist or designer’s statement documenting their transformation. Tutors have expressed difficulty in demonstrating the critical complexity of identity negotiation as students from diverse cultural backgrounds and varied undergraduate experiences are required to move beyond outcome and production of work towards identity formation at a level of increased abstraction. In order to improve students’ understanding of the process of reflection and critical engagement and how to articulate this process, an action research project was conducted to clarify tutors’ expectations in response to the learning outcome to: effectively articulate and debate the intellectual and technical processes involved in the production of [students’] work. With these responses we are creating pedagogical tools to support and scaffold tacit knowledge of discipline ontologies. We are developing systems of thinking through writing in cycles of comprehension, reflection, dialogue and transformation so that the skills of creative processes are combined with critical engagement and interrogation as identity is formed. The aim of this talk is to share the pedagogic tools for addressing this process and consider the role of writing support in scaffolding the transformational process.

Writing Development, Disciplinary Learning, and Identity

ABSTRACT. The barriers to membership in a discipline are staggering for most students, and disciplinary mysteries are compounded for students who also are required to do this in English, which may be a second, third, or even fourth language. This session will describe the first iteration of a project that engages graduate students in a multidisciplinary academic English course with their disciplinary mentors as they interrogate their disciplines’ occasions for and processes of writing. Presenters will then invite participants to construct second iterations that they might locate in the disciplines and languages within which they work.

For this first iteration, students located a professor in their discipline who had published in the field, read two articles written by that professor, and  interviewed the professor about the writing of those two articles specifically as well as about how writing and the making of knowledge interact in their field. Students asked professors what they write, with whom, and how, as well as how they learned to do it. As they plunged into their disciplinary discourses, students not only began to see genres and conventions more clearly but also discovered the links between fields notes and published research or whiteboard sketches and AI programs. This early investigation led to course projects in which students wrote proposals for their own research. Faculty sponsors reported that these projects raised their own awareness about how they learned to write professionally and what they might do to ease discourse acquisition by making it more transparent for their students, and writing faculty gained perspectives helping them shift the course from generic academic writing in English to writing like biologists, artists, or engineers.

Participants will co-create second iterations of the project, complicating the disciplinary element by adding language and identity components, as they look for ways that home and/or other languages conflict with or contribute to their writing in English.

Shaping professional identity through Academic Writing
PRESENTER: Polina Ermakova

ABSTRACT. According to the research data in the article on acquisition of transferable skills at National University of Science and Technology NUST MISiS (Rossikhina, Ermakova, 2018) the English language course has the leading position in the development of writing skills, public speaking and team work. By classifying these skills under the term of transfer we adhere to Chadha (2006, p.19) who speaks about some transferable skills being ‘central to occupational competence in all sectors and all levels and include project management, leadership, communication, working in teams and problem solving’. The course of academic writing for engineering students majoring in IT, Management, Eco Technology and Material Science aims at exploring writing from reading based on the above-mentioned majors. To provide for the development of critical thinking skills and enhance students reading ability, we have incorporated the scheme of work developed by Sharon Hannigan (2015). The themes common for all majors of the academic year 2017-2018 were Electric Cars, Biocompatible Materials, and Artificial Intelligence. Students live through four key stages. In-class students receive articles preselected by a group of EAP teachers and do some initial reading tasks suggested by Carillo (2015). The tasks aim at boosting thinking process about the potential problem that is to be solved. Then, students go online and search for more information, which they evaluate in terms of its relevance to the research question. They exercise extensive reading, reading for details and critical thinking skills. Being back in class students discuss the findings in teams of three. They finalize the problem, work out solutions and evaluate them. Students work collaboratively on the tasks. The final assignment is a report, where students take responsibility for one of the components of the critical thinking engine, i.e. problem, response, and evaluation (Hannigan, 2015). This scheme of work allows for extensive reading practice of authentic sources, having in focus writing skills and teamwork.

Becoming what you read: Selecting texts that foster the development of student identity in academic writing

ABSTRACT. Selecting readings for academic writing courses that help students negotiate disciplinary pathways while constructing their own scholarly identities is an ongoing challenge. Academic scholarship that is not textbook-based can be difficult to process, especially for many first-year tertiary students. Increases in adult, returning, and ‘non-traditional’ enrolments can further encumber identity construction at university, as these students have their own professional identities. The challenge intensifies with writing across the curriculum (WAC) courses serving the needs of numerous disciplines.

Our university’s WAC courses prepare first-year students for assessments involving multiple majors. Yet too hasty an immersion in scholarly research risks obstructing, rather than establishing, student identity and voice in writing, since academic prose and writing style can seem remote and inaccessible for these students. Until recently (cf. Hendrickson & de Mueller, 2016), connections between academic writing and Lave & Wenger’s (1991) and Wenger’s (1998) conceptions of communities of practice have concentrated on ESL/EAP instruction (DePalma & Ringer, 2011), postgraduate writing (Eyman, Sheffield & DeVoss, 2009), and writing centres (Lauren, 2016).

To advance a WAC-based learning community that fosters student identity construction, we employ readings that provide multiple points of entry for students through consideration of culture, gender, disciplinary, and societal issues and arguments. Students first explore nonfiction texts that demonstrate how academics negotiate and establish identity in their writing. A second assignment requires examination of rhetorical approaches taken by academics writing in the students’ own disciplines. This work provides the foundation for longer research arguments engaging with multiple academic articles and other texts.

A distinct characteristic of our approach involves both nonfiction and scholarly readings that include writers from our university. This praxis introduces students to academics through connections to their research. My presentation examines the foundation for this approach, discusses student feedback, and explores how this approach could be used elsewhere in developing students’ academic identities at their own institutions.

15:30-17:00 Session 8D: Writing Development and Disciplinary Learning

Paper presentations

Location: SBL208
English for Specific Playfulness? How doctoral students find fun in the development of genre knowledge, authorial voice, and genre innovation

ABSTRACT. The power of genre analysis to foster graduate students' awareness of genre convention and context-related variation (Cheng, 2018) is well established. Nonetheless, concerns remain that the approach risks promoting rhetorical 'painting by numbers', in which writers glumly surrender their creativity and authorial voice to the demands of their genre. Thus, recent reappraisals of genre pedagogy encourage fostering innovation, play and challenge to convention in academic writing (e.g. Tardy, 2016). In this paper, we show that ESP-based pedagogy can promote a sense of playfulness with genre, or at the very least, some pleasure in the enhanced sense of control over genre convention. Data is derived from interviews with 24 doctoral students in the hard sciences over a two-year period. Transcripts were analysed using a cross-comparative method to extract comments indexing enjoyment, fun, and deliberate author choices that challenge convention. The findings reveal students' appreciation of the sense of control derived from knowledge of typical rhetorical structures and recurrent linguistic forms, which affords them both confidence in their writing and an appreciation of the variation found within genres. Further, students reported making rhetorical choices based on their own stylistic preferences, a desire to engage their readers, the "fun" derived from experimentation, and the creation of a personal voice. Crucially, the data suggests that students do not ‘surrender’ and are in fact deliberate and metacognitive in their approach to writing. Our paper thus shows how doctoral students in the sciences can use their developed rhetorical consciousness metacognitively to trouble, bend, critique and innovate their genres.

Cheng, A. (2018). Genre and graduate-level research writing. University of Michigan Press ELT

Tardy, C. M. (2016). Beyond convention: Genre innovation in academic writing. University of Michigan Press ELT

A process model to describe the peer feedback process within doctorate students' writing groups
PRESENTER: Roger Yallop

ABSTRACT. At our university, we have developed a course to support the writing skills of L2 English PhD students by placing them into small discipline-specific writing groups where they periodically give and receive written feedback on their drafts. In this process, the authors submit their draft with a cover letter for review by the other group members. Next, the reviewers give written feedback comments based on each other’s drafts. A face-to-face group meeting then follows. Finally, the authors decide whether or not to implement the reviewers' comments. This process repeats itself cyclically on different segments of the author's draft over one semester. Thus, the student plays two distinct roles within this process: (1) student as author (feedback recipient), and (2) student as reviewer. This presentation describes a process model of the peer feedback process based upon Flower and Hayes's (1981) cognitive writing process model. Provisional results suggest that the quality and interpretation of the author’s received feedback comments (author task environment) are influenced by his/her reviewer’s interpretation of the author’s draft and cover letter (reviewer task environment). Task environments are further influenced by how the author and reviewer understand each other’s feedback practices, and how they both critically engage with one another’s written artefacts. This model has been developed by the authors’ previous studies (Yallop 2016, Yallop 2017, Yallop and Leijen 2018) which investigated how affective and non-affective language contained within asynchronous written feedback comments impact the peer feedback process. The present ethnographic case-study identifies how affective variables (e.g. ‘hedging devices’) and non-affective variables (e.g. ‘type of feedback comment’) influence the feedback practices of four doctorate students within one L2 English writing group. The framework of the model has been developed from Garrison et al.'s (2010) Community of Inquiry model, feedback effectiveness studies (Liu and Sadler 2003) and hedging taxonomies (Salager-Meyer 1994).

15:30-17:00 Session 8E: Academic Writing as Intercultural Communication

Paper presentations

Location: SBL216
Feedback and feedforward practice on L2 English thesis statements: a socio-cultural analysis of EFL writing instruction in Norway

ABSTRACT. Abstract:

One central question of this study is: is the placement of a thesis statement at the beginning of an essay a cultural marker? While L2 research on this topic is thin to non-existent, attitudes in Norway seem divided on the importance of stating an argument up front. Meanwhile, research on English L1 academic practice demonstrates thesis statements are expected, but not always delivered. Using 600 student essays from five years of post-secondary literary and cultural studies in English, this paper shows that Norwegian bachelor students neglect more than half of the time to include thesis statements in the introductory section of essays. This represents a loss in clarity, scope and structure for academic expression (Gocsik & Hutchison, 2014; Nygaard, 2015, p. 87), as well as scholarly independence through enhanced critical thought (Jadallah, et al, 2011). Furthermore, this struggle to master the generic expectation of thesis statements evades at least two potential interventions: writing instruction/feedback/feedforward at secondary and post-secondary levels.

To address this ambiguity, this article combines the above-mentioned, new quantitative results with qualitative surveys of EFL teachers in years 8-13, as well as of teachers of English at the University level. This data will be analyzed to show how thesis statement creation and placement gets taught. By mapping strategies for teaching thesis statements' role in effective essay writing, I hope to spark disciplinary discussion of where approaches might most need adjustment. The results should bring new knowledge to the field not only of writing instruction, but also of intercultural competence: my hypothesis is that Norwegian teachers view thesis statements with caution if not trepidation or incomplete information, preferring a more circumspect organizational approach.

The Diverse Language Classroom: Analysing the academic skills of Adult Third Culture Kids (ATCKs)

ABSTRACT. Due to globalisation and the movement of people across borders and countries there has been a rise in the number of people choosing to educate their children outside of their passport country. As such, this trend has given birth to the social and cultural group Third Culture Kids (TCKs). These students have experienced multinational and often multilingual education in a wide variety of educational contexts. To date, a fairly large amount of research has been conducted into the identity issues experienced by this cultural group. However, there has been little to no inroads into the linguistic and particularly academic skills of Adult Third Culture Kids (ATCKs). This presentation focuses on research conducted into academic skills (academic language, genre, academic syntax and structure) and compares and contrasts the opinion of six students that consider themselves to be ‘ATCK’ and six students that have been through the Dutch education system in the Netherlands. Data collection was performed using a detailed questionnaire, an extended interview of around fifteen minutes and the analysis of teacher feedback for various scientific assignments. The findings illustrate that the two cohorts converge on self-efficacy towards various academic written tasks and highlight that both groups experienced difficulty with applying academic language in spoken contexts. The ATCK cohort showed better understanding of understanding and using various academic genres as they often adhere to anglophone cultural norms.

15:30-17:00 Session 8F: Academic Writing and Identity

Paper presentations

Location: SBL308
The Impact of Publishing in an Undergraduate Research Journal on the Development of Students’ Authorial Voice

ABSTRACT. There is a need for creating varied learning opportunities that foster the development of students’ authorial voice and identity, and make them more aware of the audience they are writing for. The Surrey Undergraduate Research Journal (SURJ) is a collaborative project that supports undergraduate students in publishing their work on an open-access platform. It also gives PhD students an opportunity to act as peer reviewers or copy-editors for undergraduate submissions. The Journal was established as an innovative response to the need for more authentic approaches to writing skills development by giving students an opportunity to experience the publication process, share their research with the wider world and enhance their writing through communicating their academic work to a broader audience. It has been argued that dissemination activities such as this challenge and motivate students to produce high quality work (Healey, Jenkins and Lea, 2014) and can help enhance students’ writing and critical reading skills (Walkington, 2015). This paper reports on a study aimed at exploring the impact of publishing in SURJ on the development of students’ authorial voice. The study adopted the broad definition of voice by Hewings, Lillis and Mayor (2007, p. 246) as ‘the impression the writer gives in the text of their position on, or relationship to, a particular topic’. The study used semi-structured on-line interviews with five alumni who had published in SURJ during their undergraduate studies. The results suggest that re-purposing one’s own research for an authentic non-specialist audience can transform students’ perceptions of themselves as writers and help them develop confidence and voice. The paper discusses the implications of this study and provides some recommendations for those who are considering setting up similar initiatives.

‘Who is the ‘me’ in academic writing?’ Authorial uncertainty in the internet age

ABSTRACT. This paper reports on an ongoing, longitudinal research project with an undergraduate history student in the UK. The primary aim of the project has been to understand and interpret one student’s journey from struggling first-year to fledgling academic writer.

There is a literature of qualitative, often ethnographic, or semi-ethnographic, research into students as writers (e.g. Lea & Street 1998; Lillis 2001; Prior 1998; Spack 1997), but much of this research was conducted at a time when the internet was in its infancy. Notwithstanding some notable exceptions (e.g. Seror 2013, Stapleton 2010), more recent qualitative-rich research – research that might capture the plugged-in, digital nature of much student writing – has been thin on the ground. And yet we know (or think we know) that in the epistemologically uncertain world of Google, fake news, and cut-and-paste, student composition practices have changed. Part of the aim of this long-term project is to ascertain the extent to which this is actually the case. In other words, does a student in 2019 approach an academic writing task in the same way as a student in 1999?

Data stem from a series of unstructured, ethnographic interviews with the focal student, selected for having a particularly digitally-savvy approach to academic writing, triangulated with discourse analysis of a sample of this student’s work over a two-year period. Thick description of the academic writing journey of this student through a considerable portion of their degree programme reveals a panoply of complex academic writing themes confronting the 21st-century student, including: academic writing in the internet age; digital and hybrid genres; writing ‘feelings’ (blogs, reflective journals; personal and authorial identity; power and social justice in academic writing; students as ‘consumers’ of higher education writing tuition. It is these complex tensions I wish to document in this talk.

Academic Writing Development: Forming an ‘ academic writing in higher education habitus’:

ABSTRACT. This paper draws on a qualitative study of lecturers' perceptions towards academic writing and writing development in one School of Education (32 respondents) in a UK university. The study explored the symbolic and practical importance of academic writing to lecturers using Bourdieu’s concept of habitus (1985). It also considered the extent to which academic writing in higher education differentiates itself from other forms of writing, most notably, as a privileged discourse which denotes ‘educatedness’ (Ruth, 2008) conferring professional capital for those who can demonstrate their 'expert' use of it. To this end the study took a look at how academics in the setting,developed what I called an ‘academic writing in higher education habitus’ as they passed through various educational environments, as undergraduates, postgraduates and academic professionals, gradually. Habitus recognises that individual lecturers' academic writing histories are both unique and the product of social and historical discourses and domains within and beyond higher education. However, the paper focuses on the interpretation and operationalisation of distinct and disciplinary-congruent conceptualisations of academic writing which have clear implications for the development and assessment of students' written work in the Academy. Looking at academic writing as a form of habitus can, I argue, help subject lecturers, who do not normally see themselves as writing developers, to see ways in which they could support students to develop more positive higher education writing identities. I will suggest, for example, that subject lecturers could do more to mobilise and articulate their own complex, and often painful, experiences of becoming effective disciplinary-based academic writers. I will also explore ways how lecturers could use situated literacy concepts to enable students to consciously appreciate the sort of disciplinary-congruent academic writing practices which they need as much as any subject matter to evidence their learning in a written assingnment.

15:30-17:00 Session 8G: Academic Writing Across and Beyond Disciplinary Genres

Paper presentations

Location: SBL316
Cross-Disciplinary Academic Genre Research: a corpus-based methodological model

ABSTRACT. Recent research has recognized the benefits of using corpus methodologies (e.g. Nesi & Gardner, 2002) in surveying academic writing genres alongside more traditional methods such as interviews and questionnaires in order to capture both their textual and contextual features. In this paper, we draw on findings from a mixed-method research undertaken within the frame of the project ROGER, whose aim is to map Romanian academic genres, and analyse the little researched genre of ‘referat’, prominent in many Eastern European universities (Kruse et al., 2016). In the first stage of the project, a student questionnaire and staff interviews were used to identify the most important academic genres at Romanian universities. The genre of ‘referat’ was one of the top 5 genres in all disciplines but was understood differently across disciplines. Consequently, we used corpus-based methodologies (Biber et al 2007) in order to determine the specific linguistic features of ‘referat’: a 35,000-word corpus (Romanian), with ‘referat’ texts from three distinct disciplines (history, education and geography) was compiled and tagged for rhetorical move structures. By quantifying and analysing lexico-grammatical features, such as metadiscourse markers (Hyland, 2000), for each move, it is demonstrated that the genre functions differently trans-disciplinarily. Next, we delineate rhetorical patterns for ‘referat’ writing in each discipline. We conclude by suggesting a methodological approach to dealing with genre variation across HE disciplines and highlight the pedagogical benefits of this approach.

References: Biber, D., Connor, U., & Upton, T.A. (2007). Discourse on the Move: Using Corpus Analysis to Describe Discourse Structure. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing. Hyland. K. (2000). Disciplinary discourses: social interactions in academic writing. London: Longman. Kruse, O., Chitez, M., Rodriguez, B., Castelló, M. (2016). Exploring European Writing Cultures. Winterthur: ZHAW. Nesi, H., & Gardner, S. (2012). Genres across the disciplines: Student writing in higher education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Migrants of the University: Traversing Disciplinary Boundaries in First Year Writing
PRESENTER: Gwen Kordonowy

ABSTRACT. At institutions like ours, an American research university with an increasingly diverse and international student population, first year writing (FYW) classes are charged with introducing students from across disciplines to ways of academic writing that can serve them throughout and beyond their education. While some writing studies scholars have explored this challenge as a cognitive one of transfer, we aim to add to the socially focused conversation about academic literacies (Lea and Street) with the literal and figurative movement of our students in mind. Drawing on social scientists Sheller and Urry’s new mobilities paradigm, our presentation identifies pedagogical approaches that invite newcomers to the university to enact multiple narratives of mobility--for knowledge, for texts, and for their own research and writing. We consider how highlighting interdisciplinarity can help students arrive inductively at an understanding of how “the niches in which we can situate academic writing are not autonomous or isolated but networked across several others” (Blommaert and Horner) and to reflect on the ways they use writing to traverse the university’s spaces. Drawing evidence from student reflections, we report on case studies that illustrate how students developed new practices for navigating disciplinary boundaries and a greater awareness of the reconceptualization central to their daily academic experiences. This evidence suggests that taking a mobilities perspective in course design can change how students perceive their own identities as discursive migrants of the university.

Blommaert, Jan, and Bruce Horner. “Mobility and Academic Literacies: An Epistolary Conversation.” London Review of Education, 15 (1), Mar. 2017, pp. 2–20. Lea, Mary, and Brian Street. “The ‘Academic Literacies’ Model: Theory and Applications.” Theory Into Practice, 45 (4), 2006, pp. 368–377. Sheller, Mimi, and John Urry. “The New Mobilities Paradigm.” Environment and Planning A, 38 (2), Feb. 2006, pp. 207-226.

Students' experiences of teamwork: Deal with conflicting identities during a first year team-based academic writing project in a clinical medical practice programme

ABSTRACT. The efficacy of teamwork has created space for team-based learning (TBL) as an instructional approach in many higher education curricula including academic literacy courses.South African students especially those in the Health Sciences registered for academic reading and writing courses are equally expected to demonstrate the ability to work in teams. This is because Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) identifies teamwork as one of the core competencies for work readiness. Although the ability to work in a team has become a critical graduate attribute, many undergraduate students still resist and contest academic projects that require teamwork. But how can a team-based academic writing project help students to hone their academic writing and teamwork skills? In this paper, I employs qualitative methods and Salas, Burke & Cannon-Bowers’s (2000) emerging principles of teamwork to analyse the collaborative literacy experiences of first year Bachelor of Clinical Medical Practice (BCMP) students in an academic literacy module. The paper examines critical reflections gleaned after a group writing project to understand students' shared approaches to academic writing and how they deal with common writing challenges in a teamwork context. It also analyses their approaches to teamwork challenges and the implications for collaborative literacy practices in the BCMP programme. Some of these teamwork challenges include the expectation to be flexible and adapt to different and often conflicting identities of team members. This entails responding constructively to different learning attitudes/behaviours as well as communicating effectively and coordinating different activities. Finally, the paper hopes to make recommendations on how to use a team-based projects to teach academic writing skills to Health Science students.

15:30-17:00 Session 8H: Digital Genres in Academic Settings


Location: SBL408
Ask Your Peer - Creating a digital, self regulated, peer feedback environment
PRESENTER: Nikki Kromkamp

ABSTRACT. Reaching a student population of over 1720 in number divided over 8 different study programs is a challenging and exciting task—particularly considering that these student populations are not homogeneous in age, educational background, city or country of origin. At the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, communication teachers, program directors, educational technology specialists, and educational specialists have come together to create a digital environment that crosses disciplinary, genre and cultural boundaries.

Through the Ask your Peer project, we’re currently creating an interactive, online, learning environment in Feedback Fruits. Through this environment, students learn to set their own learning goals and, in turn, learn to ask for specific feedback concerning their writing skills. This feedback will be provided by their peers on their final thesis papers. In this manner, we aim to create a self-regulated peer feedback cycle in which the students learn vital, 21st-century skills which will help them in their future careers as researchers. After our first evaluation, all students indicated that they found the peer feedback useful and that it helped them to think critically.

The desired outcome of this workshop is that participants know what a self-regulated peer feedback process looks like and which design choices you can make. Participants can bring a short text that they’re currently working on (and their laptops/tablets). Through a plenary session, the design of the self-regulated peer feedback cycle, the issues we encountered and demands concerning the different programs and students will be discussed. After this, participants will go through the self-regulated peer feedback cycle: setting their own learning goals based on their own analysis and the online training provided. Afterward, participants will provide feedback in pairs through the online system to get a feel for how it works. Closing the session we’ll focus on the design choices and how participants could implement those into their own educational programs.

15:30-17:00 Session 8I: Writing Development and Disciplinary Learning

Teaching practice

Location: SBL300
Talking about writing – designing and establishing writing feedback and tutorials to promote student engagement and learning

ABSTRACT. Doubtlessly, using teachable moments is an efficient approach to promote student learning, and few occasions lend themselves better to this than when teachers and students meet to talk about students’ writing. However, these conversations may be difficult to establish and even if the intention of the feedback given to the students is to be formative and useful, there is a risk that it is perceived primarily as summative rather than something that expands the students’ understanding of writing and writing processes. Therefore, we would like to provide examples of a variety of tutoring and feedback designs for academic writing that are used to promote students’ further development as writers. The examples come from several different courses and writing interventions across the disciplines at a university of technology with both group and individual tutorials, peer and teacher feedback, self-assessment and reflection, as well as different setups for feedback on individual and group assignments.

The background for this presentation is shaped by many years of negotiating and designing writing instruction, feedback and assessment practices within STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). A variety of setups for writing assignments and writing processes have been tested, and have resulted in practices that approach skills and understanding of academic and disciplinary writing in different ways. In this presentation we will discuss how tutoring and feedback practices have been adapted to different teaching situations depending on scope and variation in genres and writing assignments, as well as on logistics and numbers of students. The aim for this presentation is not to provide a solution or a state-of-the-art description of how to design writing tutorials and feedback, instead we hope that the examples and ideas behind our different setups will generate a useful discussion on tutoring, writing pedagogy and didactics.

The ‘Boost’ Writing Pilot: a WID Trojan Horse

ABSTRACT. Following the Bologna Process, German universities are increasingly supporting writing skills as a ‘key competence’ (Ruhmann & Kruse 2014). Despite modest gains, however, Bologna presents an ironic new barrier: framed as a key competence, writing is cut off from the disciplines (Lahm 2016).

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is a case in point. TUM has a thriving writing center and myriad composition courses; however, students struggle with writing transfer since study programs have done little to integrate communication skills into disciplinary learning.

TUM writing staff are exploring inroads into the disciplines despite tight budgets for key competencies. Inspired by WID models, the ‘Boost’ Writing Pilot applies ‘nudge’ and ‘boost’ techniques, which aim to influence behavior through minimal inputs (Grüne-Yanoff & Hertwig). This pilot injects writing instruction into the disciplinary learning process in a way that is immediately relevant to students writing seminar papers and theses. A key pillar is to use modeling and carefully selected mentor texts drawn from the disciplinary curriculum. This method not only eliminates the writing transfer gap but also inspires students to consciously emulate the communication techniques of well-known scientists in their fields.

This pilot is not a replacement for full-fledged composition courses. It is rather a short-term tactic — palatable to decision-makers — to bring writing instruction into the disciplines, where it can further develop following WID models.

The pilot is currently underway in management and environmental engineering seminars for MSc students. A writing instructor (Hendren) is collaborating with two professors as a guest lecturer–cum–WID consultant.

This presentation may especially interest those who wish to explore WID strategies at institutions with limited support for writing instruction.

Grüne-Yanoff, T., & Hertwig, R. (2016). 'Nudge versus boost[...]' Minds and Machines, 26(1-2), 149-183.

Lahm, S. (2016). 'Stories we live by[...]' Akademisches Schreiben, 29.

Ruhmann, G., & Kruse, O. (2014). 'Prozessorientierte schreibdidaktik[...]' Schreiben: Grundlagentexte[...], 15-34.

Designing micro-tutorials on academic writing for enhanced subject integration

ABSTRACT. One bottleneck when developing and implementing programs for writing in study-programs is the dividing line between writing as a generic skill and as a disciplinary style and genre. To minimize this distinction, faculty and the students themselves must have ownership in the development of students’ writing. This is best achieved by implementing methods where writing is used as a tool and a strategy for disciplinary learning while it simultaneously ensures development of writing skills. At the University of Bergen different university divisions collaborate in a project tasked with finding tools and suggesting models for how the development of students’ writing skills can be supported in study programs.

Here we present a model that consists of modules built around micro-tutorials that introduce aspects of writing that is integrated into subject-specific writing tasks. A micro-tutorial could be a short text, podcast or video that outlines a general writing related skill, e.g. structure, flow or argumentation. Implementation of each module involves four stages: 1. dissemination to students of a video or text that introduces a writing skill in advance of class 2. a student-discussion on how these aspects of writing would appear in their discipline 3. a subject-specific writing assignment where students pay attention to the skill in question 4. a guided peer evaluation where students comment each-other's drafts, again with attention to the skill in question. At introductory level, peer-feedback could be guided by a rubric to provide training in giving feedback.

The model necessitates initial reverse planning where learning outcomes are compartmentalized and divided between classes for optimal scaffolding. Here, the role of writing-specialists is not to teach writing classes, but to help teachers in their planning and implementation by giving them resources that can contribute to their teaching.