"It's like a story": Rhetorical knowledge development in advanced academic literacy

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In the academic ranks of schooling, writing tasks move gradually from a focus on the transmission of knowledge to the transformation of knowledge. As a more complex writing task, knowledge-transforming requires writers to engage in the rhetorical act of persuading readers of their work's value, significance, and credibility. At the graduate level, writers may be wrestling with these issues for the first time, often discovering this more occluded rhetorical dimension only after they have become somewhat more comfortable with issues of generic form or subject-matter content. This paper explores the nature and role of rhetorical knowledge in advanced academic literacy through the writing of two multilingual writers. As these writers engage in high-stakes writing tasks, their rhetorical knowledge of disciplinary writing becomes more explicit and more sophisticated, influenced by mentoring, disciplinary participation, identity, and task exigency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-338
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of English for Academic Purposes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Advanced academic literacy
  • Disciplinary writing
  • English for academic purposes
  • Rhetorical knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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