The intersection of professional and academic discourses: Hybridity as a strategy in MTech Policing proposals
In most cases, postgraduate students have to shuttle between working and studying, and this impacts on research writing in English. Among other things, research on postgraduate students has tended to focus on supervision, completion rates, quality, English as an additional language and academic literacy. Most of these are surveys targeting multiple academic disciplines. Not many studies have been conducted on postgraduate MTech policing students accessing academic discourse in an Open Distance Learning (ODL) context. This study employs a linguistic analysis with ethnographic framing to describe and explore the writing practices of police postgraduate students. The data comes from a linguistic analysis of (two) students’ writing informed by intertextuality, and appraisal analysis of written proposals. In the linguistic analysis of students’ writing, findings point to hybridization when police attempt to access academic discourse. Findings suggest that the ‘practices’ from the workplace professional contexts intersect with various subject positions in the literature reviews of proposals. This hybridity can be harnessed as a strategy when supervising or teaching research writing by all stakeholders and is a key feature of academic literacy in the police discipline.
Keywords: intertextuality, hybridity, academic literacies, appraisal