Challenges and issues in academic writing: Perspectives from peer tutors

Cissy Li, Jonathan Ngai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Peer tutoring is not "a universal, undifferentiated and instant panacea" for improving teaching quality (Topping, 1996, p. 321). Yet it has its advantages and is widely used in higher education in a variety of formats whereby students serve as peer tutors and are "engaged as partners in teaching" (Stigmar, 2016, p. 124). Where peer tutoring in academic writing is concerned, previous research has mainly dealt with such aspects as effectiveness and formats (e.g., Adams, 2011; O'Sullivan & Cleary, 2014). Relatively less is known, however, about how peer tutors look at academic writing itself. This paper looks at the views of 39 peer tutors on academic writing. These tutors were recruited as part of a peer tutoring programme in a Hong Kong university. The data come from different sources, including tutoring log sheets, end-of-programme evaluation forms and semi-structured focus interviews. Preliminary results show that their participation in the programme has contributed to their thinking about academic writing issues. In particular, they were able to identify recurrent problems in their tutees' academic writing and to develop ways of dealing with them. The research has implications for the teaching of academic writing in higher education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-116
Number of pages13
JournalAsian Journal of Applied Linguistics
Volume5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

User-Defined Keywords

  • Academic writing
  • Hong Kong
  • Peer tutor
  • Peer tutoring

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