Fluency in social work essays
Keywords:academic writing, fluency, essays, social work education, social theory
As Paltridge (2004, p.90) has claimed, ‘there is no such thing as the one-size-fits-all academic essay that can be written in all areas of study’. Yet research on academic writing by scholars such as Ivanič and Lillis and ideas from social theory offer useful insights, which can be applied to the specific demands of essay-writing on pre-qualifying social work degrees. By failing to clarify how students may succeed, social work educators may misdirect their efforts to improve students’ written communication skills or make students feel falsely that they personally are not smart or hard working enough to meet the requirements of higher education. We close the article by proposing 22 unspoken requirements for success in social work essay-writing, and drawing out the implications of our analysis for social work educators.