Academic blogging: writers’ views on interacting with readers

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Academic blogs have become increasingly important as a means of disseminating research and attracting wider non-academic audiences or like-minded peers to new areas of scholarly activity. The heterogeneity and unfamiliarity of the audience means that writers need to present information in perhaps unfamiliar ways, creating interest and encouraging readers to engage with the topics. In this paper, we explore academics’ perceptions of this challenge and particularly how they go about establishing a relationship which will hook and then persuade these new readers. Based on semi-structured interviews with 22 UK academics from a variety of disciplines, we explore the perceptions and practices of writers and how these differ from when they are engaged in writing research papers. We also compare their perceptions with academics who routinely read blogs as part of their scholarly work. The results show key ways in which writers go about interacting with readers and how they seek to draw them into the text through a range of rhetorical devices. We also observe that these rhetorical practices exhibit features of both academic and disciplinary conventions, suggesting that academic blogs are very much an academic genre.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-294
Number of pages28
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

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