The stage is an apt metaphor for how the ERPP community has come to understand research-based writing: research writing is of course a textual practice, but it is also inherently social, with both cognitive and affective dimensions. The aim of our paper (based on a talk given at NFEAP in 2021) is to bring new insights to our understanding of these stages by presenting a few data examples derived from a task completed by a group of doctoral students in the sciences. The task was designed to foreground primarily social facets of writing: writing as genre performance on a specific stage, for a specific audience and as a form of situated, purposeful communication against the backdrop of the current knowledge within a field. Further, the task foregrounded writing as a form of development towards a self-directed, agentive and possibly creative adaptation of one’s authorial choices. We present three main arguments: first, we show that a straightforward disciplinary framing of research-based writing may not be reflective of the hybridised, fluid and multidisciplinary audiences that our students write for; second, we argue that students need support in recognising this complexity and in developing rhetorical adroitness in order to write effectively; and third, we call for deeper engagement with well-established theories of learning such as self-regulation and metacognition to design tasks that investigate and promote student learning, and that encompass the social, cognitive and affective dimensions of genre performance.
Copyright (c) 2022 Raffaella Negretti, Lisa McGrath
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