Changing Times; Changing Texts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In ‘Shaping Written Knowledge’, Chuck Bazerman opened a new world to many of us, demonstrating how scholars construct a ‘stable rhetorical universe’ within which their ideas make sense to others. One of the key ideas in this book was how the research article is a child of its time; a response to a particular historical context which shapes both the forms of scientific writing and the communities that use them. Coming from applied linguistics and without Bazerman’s unique ability to combine insights from rhetorical, sociological and literary perspectives, this paper nevertheless attempts to suggest how today’s context has changed writing practices in the academy. Since Bazerman published his book in 1988, the academic landscape is almost unrecognisable. There has been an explosion of journals, papers and authors with the globalisation of research and the encroaching demands of publishing metrics on scholars across the planet. We have also witnessed a growing imperative for authors to reach new audiences and sponsors and seen the fragmentation and specialisation of research. Based on a corpus of 2.2 million words from the same leading journals in four disciplines at three periods over the past 50 years, I explore some of the ways these changes have impacted knowledge construction practices of the disciplines.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWriting as a Human Activity
Subtitle of host publicationImplications and Applications of the Work of Charles Bazerman
EditorsPaul M. Rogers, David R. Russell, Paula Carlino, Jonathan M. Marine
Place of PublicationDenver, USA
PublisherWAC Clearinghouse
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-64215-180-0, 978-1-64215-181-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-64642-391-0
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2023

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