METM17 presentation

Genre analysis and its role in writing for research: insights from a study on scientific publishing in English

Raffaella Negretti, Gothenburg, Sweden
Genre analysis has been a powerful catalyst in the study of academic and scientific writing in the field of applied linguistics, leading to areas of specialization such as English for academic purposes (EAP) and English for specific purposes (ESP). Genre analysis has also dominated the education and training of researchers-to-be, from graduate students to junior scholars, especially in L2 contexts, as a vehicle to understand the social and contextual dimensions of research writing as a means to knowledge construction. In this presentation, I will provide a brief overview of what genre analysis is and how it can be applied to scientific publishing in English. I will then summarize the results from a recent study that aimed to understand how genre analysis in an EAP course supports doctoral students in writing for publication, focusing on how genre analysis seems to provide these junior researchers with tools for thinking about writing and controlling their writing process. Thus, I will argue that genre analysis, and some of the specific tasks adopted in this study, can be a vehicle to scaffold not only awareness of genre characteristics but also the performance of genre across writing contexts and time. Finally, I will discuss how the results of this study connect with recent trends within genre studies emphasizing the need to promote genre innovation and creativity in scientific writing.
Devitt, A.J. (2015). Genre performances: John Swales' Genre Analysis and rhetorical-linguistic genre studies. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 19, 44–51.
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Hyland, K. (2010). Community and individuality: Performing identity in applied linguistics. Written Communication, 27(2), 159–188.
Johns, A.M. (2011). The future of genre in L2 writing: Fundamental, but contested, instructional decisions. Journal of Second Language Writing, 20(1), 56–68.
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Tardy, C.M. (2016). Beyond Convention: Genre Innovation in Academic Writing. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Swales, J. (1990). Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Raffaella Negretti is an associate professor of academic and scientific writing in English at Chalmers University of Technology, Division for Language and Communication, Department of Communication and Learning in Science, in Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research focuses on the development of academic writing expertise, metacognition, genre pedagogy, and writing for publication in English. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Second Language Writing, Written Communication, Applied Linguistics, and the English for Specific Purposes Journal. From Brescia, she graduated from Verona University (laurea), and received an MA in ESL and a PhD in educational psychology from the University of Hawaii (US).