The 'Build-Up' Approach to Academic Writing Skills Development: The Case for a Discipline-Driven Collaborative Design

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Title: The 'Build-Up' Approach to Academic Writing Skills Development: The Case for a Discipline-Driven Collaborative Design
Authors: O'Brien, Orna
Dowling-Hetherington, Linda
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Date: 2013
Abstract: This paper discusses the design and delivery of support for academic writing skills development. The paper also presents a case study of such support on an undergraduate, part-time degree programme at University College Dublin (UCD). Elton (2010) suggests that the approach to academic writing is discipline dependent and that neither specialists in academic writing nor practising academics in a discipline can separately provide students with the necessary support to develop the ability to write. Three models of academic skills support are provided in the literature; bolt-on, build-on and build-up. These models provide a useful framework for conceptualizing the different approaches to skills development (academic writing in this case). The 'bolt on' approach describes institutions that provide additional sessions to address academic writing (Wingate, 2006). The 'build-in' approach is where the provision of such support is embedded into the curriculum and usually occurs early in a student’s studies. Finally, the ‘build-up’ approach, first suggested by Dowling and Ryan (2007), is explored. In this approach, institutions provide supports embedded in the delivery of the curriculum and allow students to 'build-up' their academic writing skills, not only upon programme commencement, but throughout the duration of their studies. The paper asserts a greater likelihood of success in developing academic writing skills where interventions are embedded within a broader framework of student support. Through ongoing collaboration between programme support and academic staff, academic writing skills interventions can be scheduled in a progressive manner throughout a degree.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: AISHE-J
Keywords: Academic writingCritical thinking
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Business Research Collection

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