Researching writing

by Ken Hyland

2015, Continuum Companion to Second Language Research Methods 2nd ed. B. Paltridge and A. Phakiti (eds).

Writing is fundamental to modern societies and is of overarching significance in all our lives. However, it is difficult to pin down and as a result, many research approaches have emerged to help clarify both how writing works and the purposes it is employed to achieve. In this chapter I briefly summarize and evaluate some of these and illustrate a sample study.

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Peggy McCardle

2011, Reading and Writing

A focused scientific research effort on writing research and its relationship to language development and reading is needed to address the writing and broader literacy needs of today’s and tomorrow’s learners and workers. In the United States, as well as in many other nations, research on writing has been neglected in relation to the emphasis on reading and oral language more generally. The authors argue first for why there is a need for this refocused effort, what should be focused on, and how as a field we should consider moving forward and addressing this imperative. In addressing the why, the authors argue that need is not limited to a particular age or developmental range but rather is broad-based, beginning with our youngest learners and continuing through those transitioning into post-secondary and the workplace. The clear message is that the picture is surprisingly similar across age ranges with a demonstrated need beginning with those coming from less advantaged backgrounds into formal education to the majority of students transitioning from twelfth grade into the workplace or post secondary settings. The authors suggest next steps for research addressing both what and how: what areas of science are areas of high need and how the field may consider moving forward to address these needs. Interdisciplinary research on writing is needed that addresses and integrates cognitive, biological, and social-cultural traditions, contributions, and methods.

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Writing has an overarching significance in our lives. We experience this significance in our personal, professional and social activities. Much of who we are and who we wish to become in our social life, in the professional community we belong to and even in the privacy of our individual life is the outcome of what we write and how we write. We are often judged and evaluated by our control of it. The fact that we write for many reasons and purposes, that there are diverse contexts in which written texts are produced and consumed, and that those who wish to learn writing have diverse backgrounds and needs, all push the study of writing into wider frameworks of investigation. Teaching and Researching Writing should be seen as a response to the necessity of understanding these wider frameworks and meeting the needs of teachers and learners who belong to totally diverse contexts. As a brilliant reflection of many years of scholarly work of its writer, Ken Hyland, combined with insights from other prominent figures, the book primarily helps us gain glimpses of different social, cultural and institutional dimensions in which written communication operates. In light of these glimpses, the readers are expected to understand how much written communication has become an integral part of the complex webs of human's social, cultural and institutional life. Hyland's admirable applied linguistic perspective i links the social, cultural and institutional aspects of written communication to diverse research potentials and finally to multiple dimensions of the classroom practice of teaching and learning writing. This strong cycle of theory, research and practice makes up the skeleton of the book. The logic underlying this structure is a true reflection of an applied linguistic perspective. This perspective invites practitioners and teachers of writing to define and approach their problems with a theoretically-informed point of view. Following the logic outlined above, the author has organized the content in three major sections which link theory, research and practice together and one complementary section through which the opportunity for communication with the wider community is enhanced. The three chapters in Section I provide a rich conceptual overview of how writing can and should be defined by being linked to a number of key issues including text, writer, reader, context, literacy, expertise, technology, identity, dominance, culture, plagiarism and error. The chapters are expected to raise some of the key issues and questions currently occupying the field. The three chapters in Section II attempt to translate this conceptual overview to research potentials and possibilities. The author indicates how our theoretical understanding of social, cultural and institutional

BOOK REVIEW: Teaching and Researching Writing (3 rd Edition

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This chapter examines various theories and practices of writing within the context of dominant rhetoric about the knowledge economy, competitive curriculums and standards in education. The authors propose a framework for exploring traditional and alternative assumptions about learning (student learning and profession learning) and the implications of these assumptions for writing that is enacted in different settings. They argue that writing practices can be fruitfully examined with attention to artefact, process and medium (inclusive of socio-cultural understandings of medium), and that writing (in its multifarious forms) needs to be seen as a fundamental dimension of learning by students, pre-service teachers and professional teachers.

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This study charts the terrain of research on writing during the 6-year period from 1999 to 2004, asking “What are current trends and foci in research on writing?” In examining a cross-section of writing research, the authors focus on four issues: (a) What are the general problems being investigated by contemporary writing researchers? Which of the various problems dominate recent writing research, and which are not as prominent? (b) What population age groups are prominent in recent writing research? (c) What is the relationship between population age groups and problems under investigation? and (d) What methodologies are being used in research on writing? Based on a body of refereed journal articles (n = 1,502) reporting studies about writing and composition instruction that were located using three databases, the authors characterize various lines of inquiry currently undertaken. Social context and writing practices, bior multi-lingualism and writing, and writing instruction are t...

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2007, Reading Research Quarterly

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Alexandre Tokovinine

2020, Journal of Near Eastern Studies

There is no comparable survey written by a top specialist with the purpose of revealing structural similarities in language encoding by writing systems and dispelling several key misconceptions along the way. Its conclusions are thought-provoking and consequential. This book is a must-have, although its actual audience is somewhat narrower than intended. As a course textbook, however, it requires contextualization and extra readings

An Exploration of Writing. By Peter Daniels, with a foreword by David L. Share. Sheffield, UK: Equinox Publishing, 2018. Pp. 236 + 7 illustrations + 8 maps. $100 (cloth), $35 (paper).

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2000, Methods and Paradigms in Education Research

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This chapter illustrates the trends toward global writing research across languages, integration of social with cognitive writing research, and increasing emphasis on adult writing research related to the workplace and professional development. In the fi rst part of the chapter Roger Graves gives an overview of the cognitive approaches to writing studies in English Canada since the 1980s. Although writing studies in English Canada began with a focus on cognitive studies of writing processes, more recent work has focused on the social more than the cognitive part of social cognition. Most of the research done centers on professional writing by researchers in technical and professional writing. This work has become increasingly linked with genre study approaches that link social cognition, genre, and rhetorical studies in a multimodal research approach. In the second part of the chapter Céline Beaudet outlines 20 years of effort in French-speaking Quebec universities to move from a normative and prescriptive approach of writing to a comprehensive view of both writing products and the writing process. Research in Quebec draws from the French and English traditions of linguistic discourse analysis, cognitive research on written composition, and rhetoric studies. Thus writing studies incorporate a special twist different from that in Englishspeaking Canada. In the third part of the chapter Bertrand Labasse refl ects on the results of 30 years of international research on the psychology of writing and its impact on professional writers and describes a four-axis pedagogical intervention based on his experience teaching advanced journalism and scientifi c popularization. Together, these three sections give a deep and broad picture of cognitive studies of writing in Canada.

Writing Under the Infl uence (of the Writing Process

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Who defines what "good writing" is and how should researchers, policy makers, and educators approach writing in an ever increasing digital environment? How can educational institutions bridge writing that occurs "out-of-school" with the more academic writing expected in school?

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Ethnography, as text, is the main outcome of fieldwork. It is also the most important way in which anthropologists communicate and share their findings. As a consequence, despite substantial critique by postmodern anthropology on how ethnographic texts in the past have represented the reality and life-worlds of others, ethnographic writing remains at the centre of the anthropological enterprise. But how to write? The so-called Writing Culture debate, together with feminist and postcolonial approaches, has stimulated new ways to do and write ethnography. But where much has been published on how to master fieldwork, it is still hard to find advice on how to go ‘from notes to narratives’ (Ghodsee 2016) and write a convincing ethnography. This special issue brings together a diverse range of contributions on how to write ethnography. Contributors reflect on ethical challenges, including issues of confidentiality and questions of representation. Writing is discussed as a way to construct and deconstruct truth(s). Temporalities of ethnographic writing are scrutinised and different writing styles, like vignettes and portraits, are introduced. Engagement with other modes of representation and storytelling, like film-making and photography, pushes beyond the written medium. The special issue concludes with two contributions on how to teach and learn ethnographic writing.

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TWN Biennial Colloquium

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“What are the role and significance of the writer, the text and the reader in the teaching of writing?  And how can teachers use writing lessons to focus on them”

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Teaching and Researching Writing

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Teaching and Researching Writing:4th edition


Hyland, Ken (2022) Teaching and Researching Writing:4th edition. Routledge, Oxford. ISBN 9781032055770

The new edition of Ken Hyland’s text provides an authoritative guide to writing theory, research, and teaching. Emphasising the dynamic relationship between scholarship and pedagogy, it shows how research feeds into teaching practice. Teaching and Researching Writing introduces readers to key conceptual issues in the field today and reinforces their understanding with detailed cases, then offers tools for further investigating areas of interest. This is the essential resource for students of applied linguistics and language education to acquire and operationalise writing research theories, methods, findings, and practices––as well as for scholars and practitioners looking to learn more about writing and literacy. New to the fourth edition: • Added or expanded coverage of important topics like translanguaging, digital literacies and technologies, multimodal and social media writing, action research, teacher reflection, curriculum design, teaching young learners, and discipline-specific and profession-specific writing • Updated throughout––including revision to case studies and classroom practices––and discussion of Rhetorical Genre Studies, intercultural rhetoric, and expertise • Reorganised References and Resources section for ease of use for students, researchers, and teachers


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    In this chapter I briefly summarize and evaluate some of these and illustrate a sample study. See Full PDF Download PDF. Create a

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  14. Teaching and Researching Writing

    Ken Hyland is Professor of Applied Linguistics in Education and Director of the Centre for Academic and Professional