About us

The Centre for Research in Writing has been established to promote writing research which crosses boundaries – methodological, philosophical and contextual. The history of research in writing is not characterised by a unified and incremental body of empirical, theoretical and professional knowledge: this is largely due to the very different paradigms which are employed in research into writing which draw variously upon cognitive, social and developmental psychology; sociology; socio-cultural theory; linguistics; literary theory and creativity theory. Our interests are in drawing together these different disciplinary perspectives to generate new understandings about writing and the teaching of writing, which advance both theoretical and professional understanding.

Aims of the Centre:

  • promote research in writing which draws on inter-disciplinary research
  • create an international site for inter-disciplinary writing research
  • facilitate research collaboration across disciplinary and national borders
  • build on existing academic networks and relationships to create a hub of writing research which addresses social and educational needs
  • provide a forum for cross-disciplinary research exchange
  • generate research which has social impact
  • communicate writing research and its applications to user communities

Who we are

Staff affiliated to the Centre for Research in Writing, include some based in University units beyond the Graduate School of Education.  In addition, we have a number of international affiliates working closely with us.

Core members

Professor Debra Myhill 
(Centre Coordinator)
Debra’s research interests centre upon: composing processes in writing; the role of grammar and metalinguistic understanding in writing; the relationship between talk and writing.
Dr Esmaeel Abdollazadeh Esmaeel’s research interests focus upon: disciplinary writing, and generic practices across disciplines; contrastive rhetoric, and intercultural communication; metalanguage in spoken and written discourse; corrective feedback and writing performance. 
Dr Philip Durrant Phil’s research interests focus upon: the role of language in higher education; the implications of this for university students studying in a second language; variation in language use across academic disciplines; the acquisition, processing and use of vocabulary and formulaic language.
Dr Susan Jones Sue’s research interests focus upon: composing processes in writing; the role of grammar and metalinguistic understanding in writing; the relationship between talk and writing; gender issues in writing pedagogy. 
Dr Helen Lines Helen's research interests focus upon: the criteria used for assessing writing; ideas that students have about improving writing; the role of grammar and metalinguistic understanding in writing.
Dr Ruth Newman Ruth’s research interests focus upon: the role of talk in teaching and learning; the teaching of collaborative talk; the role of meta-talk and emotional engagement in talk; the potential of dialogic pedagogies for writing
Dr Lucy Oliver

Lucy’s research interests focus upon: representations of the composing process; how and why writers revise; the development of drafting/revising expertise and effective pedagogies; digital writing processes. 

Dr Annabel Watson

Annabel's research interests focus upon: the writing development of secondary school pupils; the role of grammar and metalinguistic understanding in writing; the relationship between metalinguistic understanding and digital writing practices; the relationship between teachers' beliefs and practices in writing instruction.

Dr Anthony Wilson Anthony's research interest focus upon: the composition of poetry by children and young people; creative writing pedagogy; assessment of creative writing; creative approaches to the teaching of writing (including writers in schools).