‘A horrible, exhausting struggle . . .': What famous authors can teach us about teaching academic writing

Lee-Price, Simon (2016) ‘A horrible, exhausting struggle . . .': What famous authors can teach us about teaching academic writing. In: Writing Development in Higher Education: Spaces and Places to Write, 27-29 June 2016, Plymouth University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Recent research has emphasised the extent to which learning is an ‘emotional as well as a cognitive affair’ (Preece, 2009, p.3). This would suggest that successful approaches to developing academic writing are likely to be those which are responsive to the self-processes of student writers. However, despite adopting a variety of strategies, writing development in HE tends to focus on the product (e.g. language usage, text structure) and on the impersonal writing process (planning, drafting, editing, etc.). At best only passing attention is given to the actual experience of the student writer and the powerful, often negative, feelings that can emerge during the activity of writing. This paper argues that reflections by successful authors on their own experiences of writing can be read to gain useful insights into this mostly concealed area of endeavour and provide terminology, reference points and strategies for a more holistic and integrated approach to developing academic writing. The paper draws on the presenter’s experience of teaching academic writing in HE and reports on observations of using literary and (auto)biographical extracts to explore with students what it means and feels like to create with words. The analysis is informed by academic literacies research and the concept of self-efficacy as developed by Bandura (1997, 2006) and others. The tentative conclusion is that both fear and elation are intrinsic to the writing experience and to write successfully requires resilience and sacrifice. The teaching of academic writing, which is overwhelmingly product focussed and impersonal, can benefit from this recognition.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Depositing User: Dr Simon Lee-Price
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2021 08:14
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2021 08:14
URI: https://bucks.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/18172

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