Congratulations to CLaC member James Henry

Congratulations to CLaC member James Henry

James just had the corrections to his thesis ‘Writing at the crossroads: A linguistic analysis of academic business report writing at a modern UK university’ accepted by the University of Birmingham.

James’ research focused on the ‘case study report’ genre of student writing and compared report texts produced in a subject Business module with reports written in an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) context. Corpus and genre analytic techniques were combined in the study to show how EAP students used language more appropriate for a professional context and took on an imaginary identity such as ‘Innovative Business Consultancy’.

This was compared to subject writers who approached the task in a more typically ‘academic’ way, for example by referring to the company in a more distanced way as a ‘case study’ rather than as a ‘real-life’ business.

Corpus-based findings acted as a springboard to later chapters which investigated how students analysed and evaluated the target company and how they formed their recommendations.  Interviews and focus groups with lecturers and student writers were also used to contextualise the linguistic results and to challenge some of the assumptions of both the EAP and subject teaching teams. James would like to thank all his colleagues, friends, and family for all their support and tolerance over the years and is looking forward to the next chapter or chapters in his research journey.

If anyone would like to discuss research into academic discourse in Business Studies, or in any of the applied disciplines such as Law, Engineering or Medicine then James would be happy to meet up.  He can be contacted at