Improving student writing at HE: putting literacy studies to work


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This article builds on research into academic writing and student literacy, arguing that a focus on epistemology and institutional context should inform the teaching of writing in higher education. It explores the experience of UK undergraduate students of English, including those studying joint honours, to demonstrate their negotiation of complex and conflicting institutional and literacy practices. The article suggests that the epistemology of humanities and social science subjects could be made more explicit to students; and proposes pedagogy to demystify the nature of academic writing and to develop the collaborative writing skills appropriate to a literate and critical society.