|Buchreihe||REAL Studies / Research in English and Applied Linguistics|
The need for a comparative empirical approach to academic writing has become evident during the development of new MA and PhD programmes in the so-called Bologna process, where academic skills components had to be included. This is not only because more and more students even at postgraduate levels seem to lack the skills that have been taken for granted for a long time at European universities or that were considered part of the autonomous efforts of young scholars themselves and not the responsibility of their teachers. This is also because with the further expansion of English as THE language of science and international cooperation during the last few decades, new challenges and opportunities have arisen for English specialists.
On the one hand, there seems to be a standardising trend in international writing that discourages national styles and traditions in specific disciplines and genres that scholars need to be aware of, if they want to take part successfully in international science discourse. On the other hand, English departments and English graduates in Europe may be able to prove their “usefulness” by research and teaching in the expanding field of academic writing.