IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Critical realism and academic writing: why theory matters for practice

25 January 2024, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

University students studying in the library. Image: Tony Slade for UCL Digital Media

Join this event to hear Julia Molinari apply the theory of critical realism to examine academic writing as a potentially more diversified and just social practice.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Academic Writing Seminar Series

Watch the recording

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In this talk, Julia explains why some approaches to academic English writing instruction stymie rather than advance knowledge.

She will argue that for academic writing to have epistemic value, it is best understood as a social practice and as a method of enquiry, rather than as a ‘linear’, ‘neutral’, or ‘objective’ transferable skill. In this event, she will showcase academic discourses that differ significantly from standardised ‘transparent’ academic prose - which has ideological and colonial roots.

This online event will be particularly useful for those interested in writing development, academic writing support, EAP and the politics of pedagogy.

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About the Speakers

Dr Julia Molinari

Academic writing scholar and teacher

Her multilingual background in applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, philosophy, and education have significantly influenced her scholarship and practice.

She currently leads the Open University’s Graduate School PACE programme in Professional Academic Communication in English (PACE).

More about Dr Julia Molinari

Dr Jackie Tuck (Chair)

Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and English Language at the Open University

Her research applies an Academic Literacies theoretical and methodological lens to throw light on ‘hidden’ literacy practices which play a huge but taken-for-granted role in university work and study.

More about Dr Jackie Tuck (Chair)