Document Type : Research article


Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Literature, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran


This article proposes a socio-cognitive approach toward the instruction of source-based writing, a common practice students are required to perform in the academic milieu at higher education. Writing from sources entails cognitive processes of critically selecting the reliable sources of input, connecting their content to one’s own ideas, and integrating them into one’s written text to construct meaning. It also requires knowledge of socio-contextual dimensions of academic writing literacy, including ethics of acknowledging the authorship of sources and writers’ awareness of their disciplinary genre (Dovey, 2010). The purpose of this interpretive qualitative research, accordingly, is to inquire into the status quo of the approaches implemented in the Iranian academic writing courses of English majors, i.e. English Literature, English Translation, and TEFL, to practice source-based writing. To this end, seven university professors who had the experience of teaching academic writing courses in the context of interest were selected based on purposeful sampling to take part in in-depth semi-structured interviews. The results revealed that our academic writing courses fail to effectively value the cognitive processes of meaning-making involved in writing from sources; these are overshadowed by the existing dominant product-based pedagogy and number of constraints underlined by the interviewees, including learners’ limitations, time restraint, and technological facility impediments. The implications of the study for the curriculum developers and academic writing instructors will be discussed.