Areas of interest
Academic genres and styles
I have been interested in the styles of academic writing in different disciplines, viewing them as subgenres or variants of academic genres. In writing classes, I find it helpful to have students analyze the text and discourse features of published papers in their fields.
I enjoy teaching source use, including various citation systems like APA, MLA, Chicago, IEEE, and others. This leads to questions of evaluating sources, especially for college writers. Teaching a two-way distinction between popular and academic sources is a traditional method that I find unhelpful, since there are better non-academic sources that can be cited, especially in introductory college course papers, versus lower quality popular sources. I thus make a three-way distinction between the following:
- Popular sources – not usually cited in college papers
- Professional sources – citable, especially in introductory courses
- Academic sources – commonly used by graduate students; college students in advanced courses might begin to read and use some of these in their papers and coursework.
These can be classified by pragmatic criteria like author, audience, type of information, and quality control mechanisms. See http://enwiki.org/w/Academic_versus_non-academic_sources for more.
Definite and indefinite articles
The way these grammatical forms have been taught, especially for L2 learners, is unhelpful, and linguistically unsound. I have been developing my own system for analyzing and teaching such forms, based on cognitive semantics. I have presented my system at several conferences, and hope to analyze my data and publish some papers in the future.
L2 connector use
I have done some research on L2 problems with usage of English connectors or transitional words in academic writing, particularly with East Asian students.
Feel free to contact me for workshops on topics like the following.
- Academic writing
- Evaluating sources
- Using sources
- Using citations and referencing
- Paraphrasing and summarizing
- Writing in various disciplines
- Academic & scientific paradigms
- Styles issues
- L2 style and grammar issues
- Definite and indefinite articles
- Conjunctions, connectors, transitionals, or discourse markers in writing