Strategies for successful academic writing - institutional and non-institutional support for students

Neil Gopee, Mary Deane

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Students develop better academic writing skills as they progress through their higher education programme, but despite recent continuing monitoring of student satisfaction with their education in UK, there has been relatively little research into students' perceptions of the active support that they need and receive to succeed as academic writers. Aim of the study: To examine the strategies that university students on health or social care courses utilise to develop as writers in the face of many pressures and demands from different sources. Research method used: Qualitative research conducted at a British University into undergraduates' writing practices in the field of healthcare. Ten participants took part in semi-structured interviews, half of whom were international students. The data was analysed by the researchers from the field of writing development using thematic analysis. Results: The main findings are that certain students struggle as academic writers if they do not receive tuition on appropriate and effective academic writing through institutional provisions, or through non-institutional strategies, that can promote success with the writing process. There is also uncertainty over the extent to which nurse educators are expected to teach academic writing skills, alongside their discipline-specific subject areas. Conclusions: Both institutional provisions for academic writing development, such as a dedicated writing support department, and non-institutional factors such as peer-collaboration should be fully recognised, supported and resourced in tertiary education at a time when students' satisfaction and performance are high on the agenda.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1624–1631
    JournalNurse Education Today
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Bibliographical note

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    • academic writing
    • barriers to writing
    • motivation to write
    • peer support
    • peer-collaboration
    • social capital
    • writing enablers
    • writing in genres


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