Difficult, lenghty, serious: First year students' assumptions about writing in an academic setting

Jacqueline van Kruiningen, Femke Kramer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    This study explores assumptions and expectations expressed by novice
    university students about writing in an academic setting. Knowledge of these
    notions and beliefs among students at the transition of secondary to higher
    education may help university teachers to design learning activities that
    enable academic newcomers to distance themselves from naive or biased
    renditions of texts and writing, and to come to grips with the intricacies of the
    discourse practices in their new environment. The data are drawn from a
    corpus of meta-writing assignments performed by 118 students in their first
    year at university during the first week of a freshman course in academic
    communication skills. Our findings confirm and substantiate the presumption
    that, when expressing their thoughts about writing in an academic setting,
    novices predominantly convey issues related to ‘surface features’ (e.g. text
    length) or broad, general characteristics that are not specific for writing in an
    academic context. When considering ‘deep features’, some novices emphasize
    their unfamiliarity with, or even anxiety about writing practices in their
    new environment. A minority articulates quite realistic notions about the
    instrumentality of texts in academic communities.
    Translated title of the contributionDifficult, lenghty, serious: First year students' assumptions about writing in an academic setting
    Original languageDutch
    Pages (from-to)187-216
    Number of pages29
    JournalTijdschrift voor taalbeheersing
    Volume37
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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