Education Quarterly Reviews
Published: 20 September 2019
Teaching Academic Writing in Higher Education
Vancouver Island University
Download Full-Text Pdf
Keywords: Academic Writing, Teaching Writing, Rhetorical Genre Studies, English For Specific Purposes, Second Language Learners, ESL Students, International Students, Higher Education, Adult Learners
Academic writing is one of the most complex tasks students encounter in university. Both domestic and international students struggle with academic writing; however, international students also face language barriers and are unfamiliar with western academic writing genres. Since many instructors don’t know how to instruct academic writing as a process, the fields of Rhetorical Genre studies (RGS), and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) provide theoretical frameworks that can be applied pedagogically in order to teach academic writing effectively in any university classroom. This paper also contains a pedagogical method for applying these concepts into a writing classroom designed for ESL graduate students. It is a method that can be used in any writing program to teach both international and domestic students.
- Artemeva, N. (2004). Key concepts in rhetorical genre studies: An overview. Technostyle. 20(1), 3-38
- Badenhorst, C., Moloney, C., Rosales, J., Dyer, J., & Ru, L. (2015). Beyond deficit: Graduate student research-writing pedagogies. Teaching in Higher Education, 20(1), 1-11. doi:10.1080/13562517.2014.945160
- Bakhtin, M. (1986). The problem of speech genres. In Speech genres and other late essays, Emerson and Holquist (eds.). (pp. 60–101). Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
- Bawarshi, A. S., & Reiff, M. J. (2010). Genre: An introduction to history, theory, research, and pedagogy. Fort Collins, Colo.; West Lafayette, Ind; Parlor Press.
- Bawarshi, A. (2016). Beyond the genre fixation: A translingual perspective on genre. College English, 78(3), 243.
- Bhatia VK. Analyzing genre: Language use in professional settings. London: Longman; 1993.
- Boroditsky, L. (2017). How language shapes the way we think [Video file]. Retrieved from
- Boroditsky, L., Fuhrman, O., & McCormick, K. (2011). Do English and Mandarin speakers think about time differently? Cognition, 118(1), 126-132.
- Campbell, K. K., & Jamieson, K. H. (Eds.). (1979). Form and genre in rhetorical criticism: An introduction. Form and genre: Shaping rhetorical action (pp. 9–32). Falls Church, VA: Speech Communication Association. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2010.09.010
- Devitt, A. J. (2004). Writing genres. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press
- Freedman, A., & Medway, P. (Eds.). (1994a). Genre and the new rhetoric. London: Taylor & Francis.
- Freedman, A., & Medway, P. (Eds.). (1994b). Learning and teaching genre. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook.
- Gonzales, L. (2015). Multimodality, translingualism, and rhetorical genre studies. Composition Forum, 31, no pagination
- Hale, G., Taylor, C., Bridgeman, B., Carson, J., Kroll, B., & Kantor, R. (1996). A study of writing tasks assigned in academic degree programs. Educational Testing Service Research Report 54. Princeton: Educational Testing Service.
- Harris, M.J. (2006). Three steps to teaching abstract and critique writing. International Journal of Higher Education. 17, 2. 136-146. Retrieved from
- Manjet Kaur Mehar Singh. (2017). International EFL/ESL master students' adaptation strategies for academic writing practices at tertiary level. Journal of International Students, 7(3), 620. doi:10.5281/zenodo.570025
- McInerney, D. M. 1., Walker, R. A., Liem, G. A. D., & ebrary, I. (2011;2014). Sociocultural theories of learning and motivation: Looking back, looking forward. Charlotte, N.C: Information Age Pub.
- Miller, C. (1994). Genre as social action. In A. Freedman & P. Medway (Eds.), Genre and the new rhetoric (pp. 23–42). London: Taylor & Francis. (Original work published in 1984)
- Prior, P. (2006). A sociocultural theory of writing. In Handbook of Writing Research, MacArthur, Graham & Fitzgerald (eds.) (pp. 54–66). NewYork, NY: Guilford.
- Shang-Butler, Hairong. (2015). Great expectations: a qualitative study of how Chinese graduate students navigate academic writing expectations in U.S. higher education. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Rochester, New York. Retrieved from
- Swales, J. M., 1938. (1990). Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings. Cambridge [England]; New York;: Cambridge University Press.
- Vygotskiĭ, L. S. (1987). The collected works of L. S. Vygotsky. R. W., Rieber & A.S. Carton (Eds.). New York: Plenum Press.