Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2542-9477
  • E-ISSN: 2542-9485
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



While there have been many studies describing L2 academic writing, most of these studies have used corpora of first year or assessment writing (Crosthwaite 2016; Weigle & Friginal 2014). The present study seeks to describe linguistic variation in L2 writing for content classes and to compare these linguistic patterns to those found in L1 writing. A multi-dimensional (MD) analysis was conducted in two corpora, BAWE and BrAWE, extracting five dimensions. The L2 corpus contained 379 texts written by Brazilian students doing part of their undergrad in the UK and the L1 corpus contained 395 texts from BAWE. The results of this study indicate that L1 and L2 writers use similar linguistic resources to convey the purpose of university registers, with the exception of case studies, designs, exercises and research reports. This linguistic variation between L1 and L2 writers might be explained by students’ interpretation of these registers’ communicative purposes.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Alsop, S., & Nesi, H.
    (2009) Issues in the development of the British Academic Written English (BAWE) corpus. Corpora, 4(1), 71–83. 10.3366/E1749503209000227
    https://doi.org/10.3366/E1749503209000227 [Google Scholar]
  2. Biber, D.
    (1988) Variation across speech and writing. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511621024
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511621024 [Google Scholar]
  3. (1992) On the complexity of discourse complexity: A multidimensional analysis. Discourse Processes, 15(2), 133–163. 10.1080/01638539209544806
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01638539209544806 [Google Scholar]
  4. (2006) University language: A corpus-based study of spoken and written registers (Vol.23). John Benjamins Publishing. 10.1075/scl.23
    https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.23 [Google Scholar]
  5. Biber, D., & Conrad, S.
    (2019) Register, genre, and style. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781108686136
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108686136 [Google Scholar]
  6. Crosthwaite, P.
    (2016) A longitudinal multidimensional analysis of EAP writing: Determining EAP course effectiveness. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 22, 166–178. 10.1016/j.jeap.2016.04.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2016.04.005 [Google Scholar]
  7. Friginal, E., & Weigle, S.
    (2014) Exploring multiple profiles of L2 writing using multi-dimensional analysis. Journal of Second Language Writing, 26, 80–95. 10.1016/j.jslw.2014.09.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2014.09.007 [Google Scholar]
  8. Gardner, S., & Nesi, H.
    (2013) A classification of genre families in university student writing. Applied linguistics, 34(1), 25–52. 10.1093/applin/ams024
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/ams024 [Google Scholar]
  9. Gardner, S., Nesi, H., & Biber, D.
    (2019) Discipline, level, genre: Integrating situational perspectives in a new MD analysis of university student writing. Applied Linguistics, 40 (4), 646–674. 10.1093/applin/amy005
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amy005 [Google Scholar]
  10. Goulart, L.
    (2017) Compilation of a Brazilian academic written English corpus. Revista e-scrita: Revista do Curso de Letras da UNIABEU, 8(2), 32–47.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Gray, B.
    (2015) Linguistic variation in research articles. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 10.1075/scl.71
    https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.71 [Google Scholar]
  12. Hardy, J. A., & Friginal, E.
    (2016) Genre variation in student writing: A multi-dimensional analysis. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 22, 119–131. 10.1016/j.jeap.2016.03.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2016.03.002 [Google Scholar]
  13. Nesi, H., & Gardner, S.
    (2012) Genres across the disciplines: Student writing in higher education. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781009030199
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009030199 [Google Scholar]
  14. Pan, F.
    (2018) A multidimensional analysis of L1–L2 differences across three advanced levels. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 36(2), 117–131. 10.2989/16073614.2018.1476162
    https://doi.org/10.2989/16073614.2018.1476162 [Google Scholar]
  15. Tasker, D. G.
    (2019) Situational and linguistic variation in undergraduate English-department student writing. Unpublished Doctoral dissertation, Northern Arizona University.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Weigle, S. C., & Friginal, E.
    (2015) Linguistic dimensions of impromptu test essays compared with successful student disciplinary writing: Effects of language background, topic, and L2 proficiency. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 18, 25–3. 10.1016/j.jeap.2015.03.006
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2015.03.006 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error