Approaches to Developing Students’ Academic Writing Skills

The experience of higher education institutions shows that most universities are fully aware of the importance of academic skills and conduct specialized courses aimed at the development of academic literacy of students. The basis of these courses is the teaching of academic writing. Such attention is paid to academic writing is not in vain, because in higher education testing of students ‘ knowledge is carried out through the control of written works, including academic essays. Making academic writing easier will help paper writing service.

When organizing the process of teaching academic writing, there are two approaches:

  1. The product approach to the teaching of writing.
  2. The process approach to the teaching of writing.

The product approach to the teaching of writing

This approach is also called the text approach and is considered to be traditional. It is based on the fact that the finished text is used as a sample.

This approach involves the following working steps:

  • announcement of the text as a sample;
  • its study, reflection, analysis and conduct of various actions on speech design and content;
  • writing a similar text based on the sample provided.

Analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of this approach, it should be noted that in terms of the development of writing skills, it has shortcomings, since when writing text based on the sample, students can simply change the speech design, while they do not reflect directly on the writing and do not show individuality, having a ready-made template before their eyes. But in defence of the use of this approach in teaching academic writing say the facts that this type of writing has a template character. It is understood that all academic written works have a similar structure and organization, lexical and grammatical statements in a scientific format.

The process approach to the teaching of writing.

This approach is an alternative to the first approach and is widely used in higher education. The creation and writing of the text is the basis of this approach. The student independently builds the whole process of creating a text, starting with the development of ideas and search for sources of information to the correction and writing of the finished text.

This approach allows students to demonstrate their writing skills without pushing them into a certain framework, opening up more freedom of action. Students approach the writing of works creatively, freely expressing their thoughts.

The process of writing the work in this approach can be schematically depicted as a circle because the student has the opportunity at any time to return to a particular stage.

If we talk about the advantages of this approach, it is important to highlight the fact that the writing process is not focused on the result – a report, essay or other written work, but directly on the process and the student personally – the expression of his own ideas and thoughts, independent analysis and study. However, due to the fact that written works are of a standard and similar nature, students may have difficulties in presenting their point of view. It will have to be adapted to the established parameters of written works. The use of this approach is suitable for those who already have a large enough knowledge of writing academic works, has a clear idea of their structure and stylistic features.

Complex approach

Due to the fact that both of the above approaches, with their undeniable advantages, have a number of disadvantages, in the practice of higher education institutions, there is a combination of them, as a result of which one can distinguish another approach – a complex approach.

The meaning of this approach is that teaching students academic writing is not based on the understanding of the language as independent of the social context of the set of symbols and signs, and in the understanding of the language as a tool for creating socially adapted texts and documents. As a result of this approach, students acquire language skills in a particular social and cultural context.

At any stage of learning academic writing should pay special attention to the development of mental abilities, which will contribute to the special tasks performed by students. It is believed that an important criterion of academic writing is the ability of a person to think critically. This importance is due to the fact that a person can translate his thoughts logically building consistency in the writing that refers to a certain academic subculture.