Genre as Implicit Methodology in a Collaborative Writing Initiative


  • Gillian Lazar Middlesex University
  • Eddie Ellis Middlesex University
Keywords: academic genres, assignment guidelines, assessment criteria


It is often assumed that the academic genres taught by EAP specialists at universities are fixed and stable, provide easily accessible exemplars for student writers and feature in programmes running prior or parallel to the students‟ courses. This paper describes a collaborative writing initiative in which these assumptions were challenged. A writing specialist collaborated with a team of academics on a Post-graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) in order to improve students‟ writing of a Masters-level assignment. While the writing specialist was implicitly committed to a genre-based teaching methodology, this was necessarily framed in terms of the aims of the PGCE academics, who were particularly concerned about improving student understanding of both assignment guidelines and assessment criteria. An impact study detailing positive outcomes for this collaboration, suggests that a genre-aware pedagogy can still inform a programme for writing within the disciplines even when the focus on genre is implicit.


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Author Biography

Gillian Lazar, Middlesex University

is a Senior Lecturer (Academic Writing and Language) in the Learner Development Unit at Middlesex University, U.K., where she also teaches on the MA TESOL and Applied Linguistics and supervises dissertations. She has published in international journals and teachers’ magazines such as ELT Journal and English Teaching Professional; has written materials for BBC English; and has worked as a lexicographer on a number of learner dictionaries, including The Oxford Dictionary of Collocations for Students of English (2002). She is the author of Literature and Language Teaching: A guide for teachers and trainers (1993), A Window on Literature (1999) and Meanings and Metaphors (2003), all published by Cambridge University Press. Her research interests include the use of literature in language teaching, figurative language, academic literacies, materials development and online learning.
How to Cite
Lazar, G., & Ellis, E. (2011). Genre as Implicit Methodology in a Collaborative Writing Initiative. International Journal of English Studies, 11(1), 155–168.