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Supervisor perceptions of the academic literacy requirements of postgraduate students at the University of Pretoria

G Butler


The difficulty that students experience with regard to engaging in productive academic writing at university does not appear to be restricted to students who are new to the tertiary academic environment. A number of postgraduate supervisors at the University of Pretoria (UP) confirmed that many postgraduate students still struggled with academic writing. This article considers the contextual component of a generative framework for academic writing course design. Within this framework, the contextual component serves to describe the academic environment in which students are required to produce written academic texts. The article reports the results of a survey conducted at the UP that determined the academic writing requirements for postgraduate studies offered in different faculties and departments/centres/units at the University. In the construction of the questionnaire, the researcher focused on supervisor awareness and perceptions of the academic literacy levels of their postgraduate students, the specific writing difficulties experienced by these students, the academic writing requirements of postgraduate studies throughout the University, the nature and extent of supervisor feedback and the issue of writing assistance offered to postgraduate students.

Keywords: Academic literacy; academic writing; the writing process; postgraduate supervision; writing requirements; writing difficulties

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eISSN: 2958-9320
print ISSN: 0259-9570