Voicing the Academy

Keywords: voice, voice research, L2 writing, Ivanic and Camps, academic writing


The development of an appropriate authorial voice is considered to be fundamental to successful academic writing in the target language. Voice research in second language writing, therefore, seeks to delineate voice salience in L2 academic texts, the relationship between voice and high quality academic writing, the second language (L2) writer’s development of an appropriate authorial voice, and how voice research might inform second language writing pedagogy. However, while voice research addresses a range of concerns in second language writing, there are a limited number of methods available for analysing authorial voice in texts. The following article investigates Ivanic and Camp’s (2001) typology, which indexes voice as a series of ideational, interpersonal, and textual voice types, as a possible method for measuring voice. The typology was applied to two long argument essays written by postgraduate international students studying at an Australian university. The results of the application of the typology underscored a range of both normative and non-normative voices in the students’ texts. The article concludes that Ivanic and Camp’s (2001) typology has the potential to contribute to present understandings apropos of the language resources that correlate to normative and non-normative voice types. The article also provides some recommendations for future research.

Author Biography

Davina Allison, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Davina Allison is the coordinator of Academic English 1 and 2 at the Queensland University of Technology. She is also a poet with work published in various Australian and international literary journals.