Learning from contrasts: first-year students writing themselves into academic literacy
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Further and Higher Education. 2020, . 10.1080/0309877X.2020.1813264
The contribution of this article is to highlight how exploring various writing genres in the beginning of higher education can contribute to academic literacy. While many studies have addressed the transition into academia by focusing on academic writing, the use of various writing genres has scarcely been researched. Based on the thematic analysis of focus-group interviews that explore first-year students’ experience of writing in academia, we present and discuss three emerging themes: 1) academic writing as a dull and constricted world, 2) playing with and playing out identities through writing in various genres, and 3) learning academic writing from contrasts. Our research indicates that starting with other writing genres than the academic genre might foster an experience of mastery that could enhance self-efficacy when it comes to academic writing. Moreover, discovering contrasts to academic writing can help students to understand the boundaries and characteristics of academic writing.