Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Writer, the Text and the Reader: An Exploration of Identity in Second Language Academic Writing

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posted on 2023-03-14, 23:26 authored by Reid, Kirsten

Students studying in university contexts often find learning to write English for academic purposes especially challenging. Some of the challenges reside in acquiring the necessary skills and strategies to be successful academic writers. A less tangible consideration which has received recent attention from first and second language writing researchers is the relationship between writing and identity. How do student writers become part of a situated community in which some discourses may be privileged over others? While all writing can be a potential site of struggle, this may have particular significance for second language students who bring their own unique backgrounds and literacy histories to their academic writing and may find becoming part of a new and heterogeneous discourse community profoundly unsettling. Using case study methods, this dissertation explores the experiences of four undergraduate students as they become academic writers in a second language. It also carries out an analysis of some of the linguistic features one particular student essay to examine how writers simultaneously construct their texts and are constructed by them.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Applied Linguistics

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies


Vine, Elaine; Macalister, John