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What is Good and Bad Academic Writing: : a Perception Study of L2 English Students at a Swedish University
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies. (UGPS)
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
Liverpool University.
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Although Swedish high school graduates are recognized as having among the highest level of L2 English competence in Europe, we find that students arrive at university with a lack of knowledge about the design and purpose of academic English writing. Nor can they articulate what makes academic writing successful or unsuccessful. In this study, we asked 21 Swedish university students to reflect upon attributes of good and bad writing, providing examples of each, at the beginning of an introductory course in academic writing in English. We then asked them to do the same at the end of the course. This longitudinal approach enables us to understand how attitudes change after learning. Using NVivo we sorted their responses into themes. We were interested in the variety and recurrence of themes and the detail of examples. After sorting we were able to map shifts in perception across the semester-long course The findings are valuable to better design courses and academic writing support. The presentation will focus on the detail of the shifts, illustrating the misconceptions that the course has removed, and the misconceptions that remain. The presentation will also discuss positive changes of students' attitudes towards academic writing. The changes will be contextualized with reference to course assignments.  We will also suggest that a future study use podcasts for meta-reflections about good and bad academic writing to reduce the cognitive load of producing good academic writing, to answer a reflective question and to strengthen deep learning.

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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-119701OAI: diva2:922989
SIG Writing Conference and Research School 2016
Available from: 2016-04-25 Created: 2016-04-25 Last updated: 2016-05-03

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