'A balancing act' : a case study of a student’s experience as a writer at university

Peters, Helen and Sutton, Thelma (2003) 'A balancing act' : a case study of a student’s experience as a writer at university. Investigations in university teaching and learning, 1 (2). pp. 7-12. ISSN 1740-5106


This paper examines the experience of one student (Thelma) as a writer through her three-year undergraduate programme, and the principal issues that arose for her. We attempt to relate this experience to those of other students in the US and the UK through examining the literature around academic literacy, and issues of writing and identity. Also of relevance are theories of discourse and attitudes to different discourses and genres and their importance in the higher education context. The process of reflecting on and writing about Thelma’s three years at the university has brought up many questions, most of which have been raised by others before in different contexts. These range from the very broad - such as ‘What (and who) is higher education for?’ and ‘What is the nature of knowledge and who decides?’ - to the more specific - such as ‘What does it mean to succeed?’ and ‘What do students need to do to achieve this?’

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