University lecturers' perceptions of gender and undergraduate writing

Francis, B., Read, B. , Melling, L. and Robson, J. (2003) University lecturers' perceptions of gender and undergraduate writing. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 24(3), pp. 357-373.

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It has been argued that male and female undergraduates adopt different, gendered writing styles. This paper discusses findings from a project that examined this issues, and explores lecturers' perceptions of gender and undergraduate writing. It shows that, in the case of 'second-class' awarded essays, a majority of academics were unable to correctly identify the authors gender. Applying analysis of discourse to the explanations of academics concerning their attempts at gender identification, we found that narratives used by academics tended to support discourses of gender difference, particularly in terms of ability. These various narratives, and the resulting constructions of male and female students, are discussed. It is argued that the narratives position male and female students in stereotypical ways, with implications for their power positions. We conclude that while it is important that gendered trends around undergraduate writing are recognised and addressed, the stereotyping of students according to gender must be avoided.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Read, Dr Barbara
Authors: Francis, B., Read, B., Melling, L., and Robson, J.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:British Journal of Sociology of Education
ISSN (Online):1465-3346

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