Embedding Academic Literacies through Growing Student and Staff Communities


  • Cathy Malone
  • Charlotte Coleman
  • Elizabeth Freeman
  • Sue Jamison-Powell




academic literacies, writing development, writing communities, higher education


In the UK, HE practical writing support has not kept pace with advances in our understanding of how students learn to write in their disciplines or greater comprehension of the nature of the discourses they are acquiring. Current institutional provision can still be characterised as fragmented, offering generic, deficit focused, skills-based instruction, despite such approaches being theoretically discredited. One alternative means to develop academic literacies in more inclusive and nuanced ways is to embed this work at a disciplinary level; while long recommended, this model is unusual in the UK. This paper reviews approaches to embedding academic literacies work and reports on our attempts to embed writing development work within a social science department through an extended action research project which aimed to increase student mastery of academic literacies within one department. We focused on building opportunities for engagement using Writing Exemplars, Retreats and Writing Circles. Key features of our work are identified that appear transferable and may further facilitate successful interdisciplinary collaborations.




How to Cite

Malone, C., Coleman, C., Freeman, E., & Jamison-Powell, S. (2020). Embedding Academic Literacies through Growing Student and Staff Communities. Journal of Academic Writing, 10(1), 98–112. https://doi.org/10.18552/joaw.v10i1.625