"A theoretical and methodological coup! This book is challenging but critical for anyone interested in widening participation in higher education."
- Min-Zhan Lu, Drake University
Student Writing presents an accessible and thought-provoking study of academic writing practices. Informed by composition research from the US and academic literacies studies from the UK, the book challenges current official discourse on writing as a "skill". Lillis argues for an approach that sees student writing as social practice. The book draws extensively on a three-year study with ten non-traditional students in higher education and their experience of academic writing. Using case-study material – including literacy history interviews, extended discussions with students about their writing of discipline specific essays, and extracts from essays - Lillis identifies the following three significant dimensions to academic writing:
* Access to higher education and to its language and literacy representational resources
* Regulation of meaning making in academic writing
* Desire for participation in higher education and for choices over ways of meaning in academic writing.
Lillis' book raises questions about why academics write as they do, who benefits from such writing, which meanings are valued and how, on what terms "outsiders" get to be "insiders" and at what costs.
Preface: Why Write This Book
Introduction: Focus and Research Background
1. Language, Literacy, and Access to Higher Education
2. Student Writing as Social Practice
3. Restricted Access to a Privileged Practice
4. The Regulation of Authoring
5. Essayist Literacy, Gender, and Desire
6. Dialogues of Participation
7. Re-thinking Student Writing in Higher Education
Appendix 1: Overview of Student-Writers
Appendix 2. Details of UK Examinations, ualifications, and Courses
Appendix 3. Data Collection and Transcription
Appendix 4. Feedback and Talkback Sheets