Academic Writing: An Introduction – Fourth Edition
  • Publication Date: March 31, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781554815234 / 1554815231
  • 380 pages; 6½" x 9"

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Academic Writing: An Introduction – Fourth Edition

  • Publication Date: March 31, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781554815234 / 1554815231
  • 380 pages; 6½" x 9"

Academic Writing has been widely acclaimed in all its editions as a superb textbook—and an important contribution to the pedagogy of introducing students to the conventions of academic writing. The book seeks to introduce student readers to the lively community of research and writing beyond the classroom, with its complex interactions, values, and goals. It presents writing from a range of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, cultivating students’ awareness of the subtle differences in genre.

The fourth edition has been revised throughout and includes a new chapter on visual rhetoric, a new section on the academic peer review system, updated examples, expanded exercises, and new glossary entries.


1 Introducing Genre

  • 1A Hearing Voices
  • 1B Hearing Genres
  • 1C High-School vs. University Writing
  • 1D The University as Research Institution

2 Citation and Summary

  • 2A Introducing Scholarly Citation
  • 2B Is Citation Unique to Scholarly Writing?
  • 2C Why Do Scholars Use Citation?

3 Summary

  • 3A Noting for Gist
  • 3B Recording Levels
  • 3C Using Gist and Levels of Generality to Write Summary
  • 3D Establishing the Summarizer’s Position
  • 3E Reporting Reporting
  • 3F Experts and Non-Experts

4 Challenging Situations for Summarizers

  • 4A High-Level Passages
  • 4B Low-Level Passages
  • 4C Summarizing Narrative

5 Think-Aloud Protocols in the Writing Classroom

  • 5A Who Do You Think You’re Talking To?
  • 5B Traditions of Commentary on Student Writing
  • 5C An Alternative to Traditional Commentary: The Think-Aloud Protocol
  • 5D Adapting the Think-Aloud Protocol in the Writing Classroom
  • 5E Reading on Behalf of Others
  • 5F Reliability of Readers
  • 5G Presupposing vs. Asserting

6 Orchestrating Voices

  • 6A Making Speakers Visible: Writing as Conversation
  • 6B Orchestrating Scholarly Voices
  • 6C The Challenges of Non-Scholarly Voices
  • 6D Orchestrating Academic Textbooks and Popular Writing
  • 6E Research Proposals

7 Definition

  • 7A Dictionaries
  • 7B Appositions
  • 7C Sustained Definitions
  • 7D The Social Profile of Abstractions and Their Different Roles in Different Disciplines

8 Introductions

  • 8A Generalization and Citation
  • 8B Reported Speech
  • 8C Documentation
  • 8D State of Knowledge and the Knowledge Deficit
  • 8E Student Versions of the Knowledge Deficit

9 Scholarly Readers

  • 9A Think-Aloud and Genre Theory
  • 9B The Mental Desktop

10 Scholarly Styles I: Nominal Style

  • 10A Common and Uncommon Sense
  • 10B Is Scholarly Writing Unnecessarily Complicated, Exclusionary, or Elitist?
  • 10C Nominal Style: Syntactic Density
  • 10D Nominal Style: Ambiguity
  • 10E Sentence Style and Textual Coherence

11 Scholarly Styles II: Messages about the Argument

  • 11A Messages about the Argument
  • 11B The Discursive I
  • 11C Forecasts
  • 11D Emphasis

12 Scholarly Styles III: Visual Rhetoric

  • 12A Figures
  • 12B Graphs
  • 12C Tables
  • 12D Research Posters

13 Making and Maintaining Knowledge I

  • 13A Peer Review
  • 13B Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion (IMRD)
  • 13C Making Knowledge
  • 13D Method Sections
  • 13E Qualitative Method and Subject Position

14 Making and Maintaining Knowledge II

  • 14A Modality
  • 14B Other Markers of the Status of Knowledge
  • 14C Tense and the Story of Research

15 Conclusions and the Moral Compass of the Disciplines

  • 15A Conclusions
  • 15B The Moral Compass of the Disciplines: Research Ethics
  • 15C The Moral Compass of the Disciplines: Moral Statements

Subject Index
Index of Researchers Cited

Janet Giltrow is Professor of English and Associate Dean of Arts at the University of British Columbia. Richard Gooding is Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Department of English at the University of British Columbia. Daniel Burgoyne is Professor and Chair of the Department of English at Vancouver Island University.

  • • chapter on visual rhetoric, with material on figures, graphs, and tables, and section on the genre of the research poster, is new to the second edition
  • • sections on the academic peer review system and IMRaD (Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion) are new to the fourth edition
  • • updated examples throughout, including timely passages from research on COVID
  • • expanded examples from the sciences
  • • new exercises throughout
  • • new glossary entries