Valid academic writing connections across the curriculum

  • Josephine Ellis AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Susan O'Rourke AUT University, Auckland
Keywords: academic writing, short story, framing, visual imagery, digital technology


A writing course teaching the principles of academic writing to Communication Studies students incorporates technology, visual imagery and the short story in an exercise that integrates a range of cognitive, technical and writing skills which link effectively to these students’ academic programs and their future careers. Using Photoshop®, students conceptually and digitally frame a selected image from Bruegel’s “Flemish Proverbs” to develop an understanding of the process of framing a story and identifying the story’s “kernel of truth”. This “truth” is linked back to their understanding of the thesis of the academic essay, and linked forward to applications of “telling a story” in their future writing for the media or client organisations. A case is presented to justify the place of the short story in academic writing programs for these students, and it is furthermore suggested that the academic writing of an even wider range of students could benefit from exposure to the principles and possibilities of the structured short story genre.

Author Biographies

Josephine Ellis, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Lecturer School of Communication Studies
Susan O'Rourke, AUT University, Auckland
Senior Lecturer, School of Communication Studies
How to Cite
EllisJ., & O’RourkeS. (2008). Valid academic writing connections across the curriculum. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 2(1), A1-A10. Retrieved from
Research Articles