Academic Writing and Issues of Identity: A Focus on Texts and Practices of a Postgraduate Student
Keywords:Academic writing and identity, Academic Literacies Approach, Higher education, Systemic Functional Linguistics
Writing in English is essential at the higher education level. The present study seeks to find the complexities involved in academic writing at the postgraduate level. The paper aims to explore dominant literacy practices associated with writing and the way writing intersects with identity by focusing not only on the texts but also the perspectives of a postgraduate student. The study demands an in-depth analysis of manifold data collected through different phases; therefore, only one postgraduate student is chosen, and her written narrative, interview, and her academic texts are taken for the study. Academic Literacies Approach and ethnographic method of research are used to look into the studied phenomenon while Systemic Functional Linguistics is used for the linguistic analysis of the academic texts which proves to substantiate the findings. The frequent themes that arose from this research are aspects of identity that the student identifies with or rejects, and those that she aspires to represent. The findings help to achieve a precise and true understanding of writing at university, the issues of the writer’s identity, and those of the issues related to disciplinary and academic conventions. The study reveals the student’s concerns about the demands placed upon them by the teachers, disciplines, and institutions broadly which they must conform to as well as the need to adhere to established writing practices and academic conventions in order to succeed.
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