1st Edition

Academics Engaging with Student Writing Working at the Higher Education Textface

By Jackie Tuck Copyright 2018
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    230 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Student writing has long been viewed as a problem in higher education in the UK. Moreover, the sector has consistently performed poorly in the National Student Survey with regard to assessment and feedback. Academics Engaging with Student Writing tackles these major issues from a new and unique angle, exploring the real-life experiences of academic teachers from different institutions as they set, support, read, respond to and assess assignments undertaken by undergraduate students.

    Incorporating evidence from post-1992 universities, Oxbridge, members of the Russell Group and others, this book examines working practices around student writing within the context of an increasingly market-oriented mass higher education system. Presenting a wealth of relevant examples from disciplines as diverse as History and Sports Science, Tuck makes extensive use of interviews, observations, texts and audio recordings in order to explore the perspectives of academic teachers who work with student writers and their texts.

    This book will be of interest to researchers, academics and postgraduate students in the fields of academic literacies, higher education, language and literacy, language in higher education, English for academic purposes and assessment. Furthermore, academic teachers with experience of this crucial aspect of academic labour will welcome Tuck’s pioneering work as an indispensable tool for making sense of their own engagement with student writers.

    1. Introduction  2. Researching Pedagogies around Writing as Social Practice  3. Academics' Experiences of Engaging with Student Texts  4. The Tyranny of the Pink Sheet: The Assessment of Student Writing in Institutional Context  5. Is It My Job to Teach Them How to Write?': Identities and Relationships around Student Writing  6. 'Somebody Else's Issue': Distributing and Justifying Work around Student Writing  7. Creating Hospitable Spaces for Writing Pedagogies in the Disciplines in Higher Education  8. What is Writing in Higher Education for?  References  Appendix 1  Index


    Jackie Tuck is Lecturer in English Language and Applied Linguistics at the Open University. She has over thirty years of teaching experience in Applied Linguistics, English Language and Literature, Communication and Study Skills, English as an Additional Language and English for Academic Purposes. She completed her PhD in academic literacies in 2013.

    ‘By shining a light on the all too often hidden work of university lecturers engaging with their students’ writing, this book reveals not only the complexities involved but also the emotional energy that goes into it. It is a fascinating read offering insights and perspectives that will reassure academic teachers that they are not alone.’ - Fiona English, Honorary Senior Research Associate, Centre for Applied Linguistics, UCL Institute of Education, UK

    ‘This book provides a ground-breaking "insider" perspective, ‘warts and all’, on what it feels like reading and providing feedback on student texts. It also tackles the thorny issue of how labour around student writing is distributed in contemporary higher education, and argues powerfully for the continuing importance of academic writing, amidst the plethora of other semiotic media, for learning and knowledge production in the 21st century.’ - Joan Turner, Emeritus Professor, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Goldsmiths, University of London.

    ‘This book provides unique perspectives on how academic writing in higher education is learnt and taught through a consideration of the lived experience of discipline-based teachers as they assess student writing and provide feedback.’ - Sue Starfield, Professor, School of Education, University of New South Wales, Australia

    ‘Academics Engaging with Student Writing by Jackie Tuck is a beautifully crafted book drawing on the experiences of disciplinary specialists to explore what it means to teach writing in contemporary higher education. The book offers a refreshing angle on the many challenges surrounding the teaching and learning of academic writing as well as an inspiring account of the many pedagogic possibilities currently being created and enacted.’ - Theresa Lillis, Professor of English Language and Applied Linguistics, The Open University, UK

    ‘Through the eyes of an academic in the disciplines, Jackie Tuck takes us into the vexed problem of student writing in the changing university. This ethnographic study shows brilliantly that the challenge of student writing is best understood as a crisis of meaning rather than skill. Set in the UK, but resonating beyond, it reveals how deficit views of student writing persist, and what’s to be done. This is the book we’ve been waiting for: a memorable and ultimately hopeful book on student writing from the inside, written with great delicacy and power.’ – Lucia Thesen, Professor in Research Literacies in the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED), University of Cape Town, South Africa.