Rethinking academic literacies: a conceptual development based on teaching practice

Ursula Canton, Michelle Govan, Daniela Zahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
161 Downloads (Pure)


Academic Literacies, the most influential conceptual framework for writing practitioners at UK universities, is closely related to widening participation. At the same time, writing support is often justified with the argument that written communication is among the most important employability skills for graduates. While these concepts are often used simultaneously, their underlying premises are not necessarily congruent. This paper reflects on a writing intervention that highlighted the difficulties that can arise from a seeming ‘pick and mix’ use of these two frameworks, Academic Literacies and writing as an Employability Skill. Based on this analysis of the practice of teaching writing at a post-92 university, it establishes the need for an expanded, theoretical framework for writing support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668–684
Number of pages17
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Issue number6
Early online date12 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • academic literacies, writing support, employability, discourse community

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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