Recreating Discourse Community for Appropriating HOCs in Law Undergraduates’ Academic Writing

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Author: Suman Luhach, Bennett University, India
Email: kulhari.suman87@gmail.com
Published: November 27, 2020
https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.8.4.09

Citation: Luhach, S. (2020). Recreating Discourse Community for Appropriating HOCs in Law Undergraduates’ Academic Writing. IAFOR Journal of Education: Studies in Education, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.8.4.09


Abstract

Like any other discipline, academic writing is equally crucial for law undergraduates to master. Project reports, argumentative essay writing on current socio-legal affairs and research paper writing comprise requisites in academia for law learners. Students’ appropriation of higher order concerns in academic writing is a major challenge for teachers, as the physical classroom discourse community is typically passive and does not give enough opportunities to students to think critically about their writing processes. The teacher is expected to provide feedback to students on their writing, which often leads to the creation of only one feedback centre, restriction of the scope for varied perceptions and formation of multiple small discourses where the teacher is the central point of reference in every discourse. Consequentially, students can fail to develop self/peer-critiques in the ongoing discourse. The present paper has its focus on the recreation of discourse communities using a learning management system at the Law School, Bennett University, India, to promote peer-to-peer learning for honing higher order concerns in academic writing. The paper investigates how law students behave whilst interacting in a recreated online discourse community, benefit through peer feedback, and enhance their knowledge of the academic writing genre of argumentative essays, its subject matter and rhetoric involved. The methodological triangulation of pre-test/post-test analysis, student survey and conceptual content analysis of students’ interaction transcripts support recreation of online discourse communities in academic writing instruction.

Keywords

academic writing, argumentative essay writing, discourse community, higher order concerns, law undergraduates