Teaching Academic Writing for the Disciplines: How Far can We Be Specific in an EAP Writing Course?

Boitumelo Tiny Ramoroka

Abstract


In recent years research on writing in academic contexts began to focus on the types and nature of writing tasks students encounter in the content subjects. The pedagogical motivation for researchers has been to better understand students’ writing needs in their content subjects in order to prepare them for academic writing in their disciplines. Much of this research has focused on fields of study like science and engineering (Braine 1989, 1995,) business courses (Zhu 2004) and nursing and midwifery (Gimenez 2008). I have found nothing that relates specifically to academic writing for Media Studies. Using semi-structured interviews with staff and students, and an analysis of students’ written assignments, this study does research on students’ writing tasks in two writing contexts, the EAP preparatory course and Media Studies at the University of Botswana. The aims of the study were to find out whether there are similarities in the tasks and genres that students write in the EAP course and in the content course, to what extent the essays done in the EAP writing course give support for disciplinary writing and to find out what tutors perceive to be good writing. The results reveal that there are variations in writing tasks and differences in emphasis in the two writing contexts. These variations can be problematic for the EAP tutors who have to prepare students for writing in the disciplines.


Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5430/elr.v1n2p33

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English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)

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