Academic writing is an important skill for all students in higher education, but can be particularly demanding for international students. Pre-sessional English courses aim to assist these students to reach a level of ability in the language that will enable them to successfully complete their programs of study, and a significant component of this process is learning the features, characteristics, and techniques of academic writing. However, there is some cause to question how accurately the content of such courses reflects the reality of how academic writers write, or the disciplinary variation found across academic discourse communities. An analysis of academic corpora composed of writing from published sources as well as from native, and non-native English speaking students may prove extremely useful in guiding pedagogy by highlighting the features of academic writing that may most benefit pre-sessional students.
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