Photo: Rob Suisted
Going to university involves challenges for students as they are educated within a specialised academic community. They need to understand the key strategies to become part of that community, and be able to produce academic writing.
At the same time, this process — academic literacy — will allow them to be part of a scientific and professional community in the future (Radloff and de la Harpe, 2000). For this reason, many universities around the world have introduced writing programmes and workshops, understanding that teaching them to write specialised texts is essential.
In 2011, the Faculty of Law at the Catholic University of Valparaiso, Chile (PUCV) included four compulsory courses in linguistic skills, called ‘Strategies’. These courses are offered during the first four years of the programme, and one of them is ‘Strategies for producing a written discourse’. The course primarily aims to teach students to develop strategies for writing clear text that can be understood by the varied audiences they will encounter as lawyers.