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Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Commerce, Law, and Management

CLM Postgraduate Writing Unit

The overall goal of the Postgraduate Writing Unit is to work with CLM schools to develop systematic writing interventions for postgraduate research students that is directed at improving their writing competence, in order to promote their academic success. The PG Writing Unit draws on global and local best practice in postgraduate education and current research on postgraduate writing pedagogy.

The work done by the unit is underpinned by socio-cultural approach to writing, which has come to be termed the ‘academic literacies’ approach, the basic tenets of which are that research writing is a social practice impacted by power relations, and that writing is a key site for scholarly identity development (Badenhorst & Guerin 2016; Wilmot & Lotz-Sistika 2015).

This approach is informed by the understanding that writing is not ‘a single, generalizable skill’, but ‘a complex and continuously developing response to specialized text-based discourse communities’ and is ‘embedded in the differentiated practices of those communities’ (Russell 2002: 5). Thus, research writing is inextricable from knowledge construction and, consequently, research writing development is best situated within the specific institutional, disciplinary and social contexts of the students, and should be focused on the texts that students are required to produce during their postgraduate studies.