Application of Swalesian Genre Analysis to Academic Writing Pedagogy: A Corpus Perspective

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Lynne Flowerdew


This short article reviews key corpus-based pedagogic initiatives in the spirit of the Swalesian tradition of genre analysis. Pedagogic genres covered include report writing, thesis writing, writing a grant proposal and legal essay writing. More recently, attention has been paid to the writing of research articles by postgraduate students for whom published articles are becoming a prerequisite for a PhD to be awarded. These pedagogic endeavours invariably commence from a top-down perspective. Genre moves are first identified followed by more bottom-up corpus searches for the identification of prototypical lexico-grammatical patterning for specific move structures. In a few cases, relevant sub-sections of freely available corpora, such as the Michigan Corpus of Upper-level Student Papers (MICUSP), are used. However, most pedagogic initiatives make use of self-compiled specialised corpora to meet the needs of students from a specific discipline. Genre-based research findings can also usefully inform classroom-based corpus activities.


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Author Biography

Lynne Flowerdew, Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication, Birkbeck, University of London

An honorary visiting research fellow in the Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication, Birkbeck, University of London.


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