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Open Access 'Academic literacies' as moving beyond writing: Investigating multimodal approaches to academic argument

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Research on academic literacies has predominately focused on writing practices in higher education. To account for writing practices in the digital age, this paper emphasizes the importance of extending the focus of academic literacies beyond writing to include multimodal composition. Drawing on social semiotics, we put forward a framework for understanding and analysing multimodal academic argument. This framework views argument in relation to features that make up text, namely mode, genre, discourse, and medium. We also look at ways in which multimodal resources are appropriated into argument through citation. Becoming more explicit about the ways in which academic argument is constructed is important for enabling student access into the discourses and practices of academia.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2017

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  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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