Fluency in social work essays: A semiotic approach

Robbie Duschinsky, Sue Lampitt, Jamie Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


As Paltridge (2004, p.90) has claimed, 'there is no such thing as the one-size-fits-all academic essay that can be written in all areas of study'. Yet research on academic writing by scholars such as Ivanič and Lillis and ideas from social theory offer useful insights, which can be applied to the specific demands of essay-writing on pre-qualifying social work degrees. By failing to clarify how students may succeed, social work educators may misdirect their efforts to improve students' written communication skills or make students feel falsely that they personally are not smart or hard working enough to meet the requirements of higher education. We close the article by proposing 22 unspoken requirements for success in social work essay-writing, and drawing out the implications of our analysis for social work educators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-63
JournalSocial Work and Social Sciences Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


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