irvin--what-is-academic-writing - What Is Academic Writing by L Lennie Irvin This essay is a chapter in Writing Spaces Readings on Writing Volume 1 a

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What Is “Academic” Writing? 1. College readers. 2. English language--Rhetoric. I. Lowe, Charles, 1965- II. Zemliansky, Pavel. PE1417.W735 2010 808’.0427--dc22 2010019487
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3 What Is “Academic” Writing? L. Lennie Irvin Introduction: The Academic Writing Task As a new college student, you may have a lot of anxiety and questions about the writing you’ll do in college. * That word “academic,” espe- cially, may turn your stomach or turn your nose. However, with this first year composition class, you begin one of the only classes in your entire college career where you will focus on learning to write. Given the importance of writing as a communication skill, I urge you to con- sider this class as a gift and make the most of it. But writing is hard, and writing in college may resemble playing a familiar game by com- pletely new rules (that often are unstated). This chapter is designed to introduce you to what academic writing is like, and hopefully ease your transition as you face these daunting writing challenges. So here’s the secret. Your success with academic writing depends upon how well you understand what you are doing as you write and then how you approach the writing task. Early research done on college writers discovered that whether students produced a successful piece of writing depended largely upon their representation of the writing task. The writers’ mental model for picturing their task made a huge differ- * This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License and is subject to the Writing Spaces Terms of Use. To view a copy of this license, visit http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/us/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA. To view the Writing Spaces Terms of Use, visit .
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