Eugenia Butler

Doctor of Philosophy, (Linguistics)
Study Completed: 2019
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Expressions of voice and trajectories of writers’ selves in academic writing: Transitioning from an academic bridging course to postgraduate programmes

Ms Butler’s qualitative study expands our understanding of how ‘voice’ is expressed in academic writing. She focused on second-language speakers who were beginning postgraduate study. Ms Butler investigated what student writers, their ESOL teachers, and their postgraduate lecturers think about ‘voice’ and examined how the students’ voices developed in their writing over two semesters. She found that several textual features reveal a writer’s voice, and that some aspects develop faster than others. Additionally, many aspects develop in line with people’s perceptions of themselves as writers and their willingness to participate in a disciplinary community. Ms Butler’s case studies reveal that voice is shaped by three main aspects of identity: the Rhetorical Self, developed through the writer’s interactions with the reader; the Experiential Self, developed through their own experiences; and the Authorial Self, their emerging view of themselves as an author.

Dr David Ishii
Dr Gillian Skyrme

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