SACHIKO YASUDA (KOBE UNIVERSITY)

DISCIPLINARY VOICES IN SCIENTIFIC WRITING : LITERACY AND 21ST CENTURY SKILLS IN ELT

Writing teachers have long proclaimed the belief that good writing emerges from authors' authentic interests, convictions, and perspectives. Teaching resources emphasizing authors' “voice” thus rise in popularity year by year. However, when it comes to scientific writing, “objectivity” is often viewed as a coherent and stable ideal, and popular academic writing style guides often provide misleading or simplistic advice, such as the directive to avoid writing in the first person. In this presentation, we report on initial steps towards developing materials that could help teachers and students recognize that scientific texts are not devoid of voice. To this end, we analyzed published research articles contained in the Academic Word Suggested Machines (AWSuM) (Mizumoto, 2016) to identify the ways authors of scientific texts infuse their perspectives and guide readers. We show some examples from AWSuM demonstrating that scientific argumentation is not always objective but is imbued with a point of view.

Sachiko Yasuda is an associate professor at Kobe University, Japan. Her research interests include second language writing, academic literacy, disciplinary voice, and genre analysis.