Dr Nigel Harwood

Reader in Applied Linguistics


Jessop West
1 Hanover Street
Sheffield S3 7RA


I joined the School of English as a Reader in Applied Linguistics in 2014. Prior to taking up my post at Sheffield I worked at the University of Essex for 11 years as Teaching Fellow, Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer. Before becoming a lecturer, I taught English as a foreign language for seven years across southern Europe (Greece, Spain, and Portugal).

My primary research interests lie in the areas of academic writing, English for specific and academic purposes, academic literacy, materials and textbook design, and corpus-driven pedagogy. I have recently edited two books on theory and practice in ELT materials design: English Language Teaching Materials: Theory & Practice (CUP), and English Language Teaching Textbooks: Content, Consumption, Production (Palgrave).

Another area of interest focuses on students’ and supervisors’ experiences of dissertation supervision, research I conducted with Dr Bojana Petric (Birkbeck, University of London). We will publish a book in 2016 reporting our findings: Experiencing Master’s Supervision: Perspectives of International Students and their Supervisors (Routledge).

I am co-editor of the journal English for Specific Purposes (Elsevier) and an editorial board member of Journal of English for Academic Purposes, and review manuscripts for a number of other academic journals, including Applied Linguistics, TESOL Quarterly, Text & Talk, Journal of Second Language Writing, Written Communication, and Journal of Writing Research.


I am a qualitative researcher, and the primary research methods I use in my work are interviews and textual analysis. My doctoral thesis is a corpus-based study of how the personal pronouns I and WE are used in academic writing across four disciplines (Business, Economics, Computing, and Physics) by ‘experts’ writing journal articles and postgraduate students writing dissertations.

I have published papers on taking a lexical approach to ELT and on taking a corpus-based critical pragmatic approach to English for academic purposes. More recent work includes research on citation in academic writing, on proofreaders’ beliefs and practices when working on student texts, and on supervisors’ and supervisees’ experiences of master’s dissertation supervision.

I have published my findings in outlets such as Applied Linguistics, Written Communication, Text & Talk, English for Specific Purposes, Journal of Pragmatics, Studies in Higher Education, Journal of the American Society for Information Science & Technology, and Journal of Business & Technical Communication.

In general, my research interests lie in the following areas:

  • Analysis of academic writing - analysing the text and interviewing writers about their texts
  • Citation analysis
  • Academic literacies in higher education
  • Academic socialisation in higher education
  • English for specific and academic purposes
  • Development and use of and language teaching materials and textbooks
  • Critical pedagogy
  • English language teaching and learning


I teach on both the BA in English Language and Linguistics and the MA in Applied Linguistics with TESOL. At master’s level I contribute to the Research Methods module, and teach modules entitled Teaching Writing in TESOL and Researching Writing in TESOL in the second semester. At undergraduate level I convene the module Introduction to Linguistics.


I am interested in hearing from PhD applicants who wish to conduct qualitative or predominantly qualitative projects relating to academic writing, academic literacies, ESP/EAP, or language teaching materials/textbooks.


Harwood, N. (forthcoming, 2020). Materials development: what can you research, how, and why? In J. Norton & H. Buchanan (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Materials Development for Language Teaching. Abingdon: Routledge.
Harwood, N. & Petric, B. (2020). Adaptive master’s dissertation supervision: a longitudinal case study. Teaching in Higher Education 25: 68-83.
Khuder, B. & Harwood, N. (2019). L2 writing task representation in test-like and non-test-like situations. Written Communication 36: 578-632.
Harwood, N. & Petric, B. (2019). Helping master’s students navigate dissertation supervision: research-informed discussion and awareness-raising activities. Journal of International Students 9: 150-171.
Machili, I., Angouri, J., & Harwood, N. (2019). The snowball of emails we deal with: CCing in multinational companies. Business & Professional Communication Quarterly 82: 5-37.
Harwood, N. (2019). ‘I have to hold myself back from getting into all that’: investigating ethical issues in the proofreading of student writing. Journal of Academic Ethics 17: 17-49.

Harwood, N. (2018). What do proofreaders of student writing do to a master's essay? Differing interventions, worrying findings. Written Communication 35: 474-530.
Harwood, N. & Petric, B. (2017). Experiencing Master's Supervision: Perspectives of International Students and their Supervisors. Abingdon: Routledge
Harwood, N. (2016). What can we learn from mainstream education textbook research? RELC Journal
Khuder, B. & Harwood, N. (2015). L2 writing in test and non-test situations: process and product. Journal of Writing Research 6: 233-278.
Harwood, N. (2014). (editor) English Language Teaching Textbooks: Content, Consumption, Production. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 392pp
Harwood, N. (2014). Content, consumption, and production: three levels of textbook research. In N. Harwood (ed.), English Language Teaching Textbooks: Content, Consumption, Production. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.1-41
Grammatosi, F. & Harwood, N. (2014). An experienced teacher’s use of the textbook on an academic English course: a case study. In N. Harwood (ed.), English Language Teaching Textbooks: Content, Consumption, Production. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.178-204
Menkabu, A. & Harwood, N. (2014). Teachers’ conceptualization and use of the textbook on a medical English course. In N. Harwood (ed.), English Language Teaching Textbooks: Content, Consumption, Production. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.145-177
Petric, B. & Harwood, N. (2013). Task requirements, task representation, and citation functions: an interview-based study of the citing behaviour of a successful L2 student writer. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 12: 110-124
Harwood, N. (2013). (editor) English Language Teaching Materials: Theory & Practice [China Edition]. Beijing: Cambridge University Press & Foreign Language Teaching and Research Publishing
Harwood, N., Austin, L., & Macaulay, R. (2012). Cleaner, helper, teacher? The role of proofreaders of student writing. Studies in Higher Education 37: 569-584
Harwood, N. & Petric, B. (2012). Performance in the citing behavior of two student writers. Written Communication 29: 55-103
Harwood, N. & Petric, B. (2011). English for academic purposes. In J. Simpson (ed.), Handbook of Applied Linguistics. London: Routledge
Harwood, N. (2010). (editor) English Language Teaching Materials: Theory & Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 436pp
Harwood, N. (2010). Issues in materials development and design. In N. Harwood (ed.) English Language Teaching Materials: Theory & Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.3-30
Harwood, N. (2010). Research-based materials to demystify academic citation for postgraduates. In N. Harwood, (ed.) English Language Teaching Materials: Theory & Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.301-321
Harwood, N., Austin, L., & Macaulay, R. (2010). Ethics and integrity in proofreading: findings from an interview-based study. English for Specific Purposes 29: 54-67
Harwood, N., Austin, L., & Macaulay, R. (2009). Proofreading in a UK university: proofreaders’ beliefs, practices, and experiences. Journal of Second Language Writing 18: 166-190
Harwood, N. (2009). An interview-based study of the functions of citations in academic writing across two disciplines. Journal of Pragmatics 41(3): 497-518
Harwood, N. (2008). Publication outlets and their effect on academic writers’ citations. Scientometrics 77(2): 253-265
Harwood, N. (2008). Citers’ use of citees’ names: findings from a qualitative interview-based study. Journal of the American Society for Science & Technology 59(6): 1007-1011
Angouri, J. & Harwood, N. (2008). ‘This is too formal for us’: a case study of variation in the written products of a multinational consortium. Journal of Business & Technical Communication 22(1): 38-64
Harwood, N. (2007). Political scientists on the functions of personal pronouns in their writing: an interview-based study of I and weText & Talk 27(1): 27-54
Harwood, N. (2006). (In)appropriate personal pronoun use in political science: a qualitative study and a proposed heuristic for future research. Written Communication 23(4): 424-450
Harwood, N. (2005). 'We do not seem to have a theory...The theory I present here attempts to fill this gap': inclusive and exclusive pronouns in academic writing. Applied Linguistics 26(3): 343-375
Harwood, N. (2005). 'Nowhere has anyone attempted…In this article I aim to do just that'. A corpus-based study of self-promotional I & WE in academic writing across four disciplines. Journal of Pragmatics 37: 1207-1231
Harwood, N. (2005). 'I hoped to counteract the memory problem, but I made no impact whatsoever': discussing methods in computing science using I. English for Specific Purposes 24: 243-267
Harwood, N. (2005). What do we want EAP teaching materials for? Journal of English for Academic Purposes 4: 149-161
Harwood, N. (2004). Citation analysis: academic literacy for postgraduates. In M. Baynham, A. Deignan, and G. White (eds.), Applied Linguistics at the Interface. London: Equinox, pp.79-89
Harwood, N. & Hadley, G. (2004). Demystifying institutional practices: critical pragmatism and the teaching of academic writing. English for Specific Purposes 23(4): 355-377
Harwood, N. (2002). Taking a lexical approach to teaching: principles and problems. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 12(2): 139-155.
Harwood, N. (2000). The Sample Approach: teaching writing with Cambridge examination classes. CRILE Working Papers 52, Lancaster University. A revised version of this paper appears in Humanising Language Teaching 4(5) 2002