Professor Nigel Harwood
School of English
Professor in Applied Linguistics
+44 114 222 8464
Full contact details
School of English
1 Upper Hanover Street
I joined the School of English as a Reader in Applied Linguistics in 2014 and was promoted to Professor in 2020. 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, citation, and proofreading. I have edited two books on theory and practice in ELT materials design: English Language Teaching Materials: Theory & Practice (CUP, 2010), and English Language Teaching Textbooks: Content, Consumption, Production (Palgrave, 2014).
I have authored or co-authored five articles exploring the proofreading of student writing.
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 published a book reporting our findings: Experiencing Master’s Supervision: Perspectives of International Students and their Supervisors (Routledge, 2017).
I am co-editor of the journal English for Specific Purposes (Elsevier) and an editorial board member of Journal of English for Academic Purposes, Journal of International Students, Journal of Language, Identity, & Education, Text & Talk, and Written Communication.
- Research interests
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
- Experiencing Master’s Supervision: Perspectives of international students and their supervisors. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
- English Language Teaching Textbooks: Content, Consumption, Production. Palgrave Macmillan.
- English Language Teaching Materials Theory and Practice. Cambridge University Press.
- Adaptive master’s dissertation supervision: a longitudinal case study. Teaching in Higher Education, 25(2), 68-83. View this article in WRRO
- L2 writing task representation in test-like and non-test-like situations. Written Communication. View this article in WRRO
- ‘I Have to Hold Myself Back from Getting into All That’: Investigating Ethical Issues Associated with the Proofreading of Student Writing. Journal of Academic Ethics, 17(1), 17-49. View this article in WRRO
- Helping international master’s students navigate dissertation supervision: research-informed discussion and awareness-raising activities. Journal of International Students, 9(1), 150-171. View this article in WRRO
- ‘The Snowball of Emails We Deal With’: CCing in Multinational Companies. Business and Professional Communication Quarterly. View this article in WRRO
- What Do Proofreaders of Student Writing Do to a Master’s Essay? Differing Interventions, Worrying Findings. Written Communication, 35(4), 474-530. View this article in WRRO
- What Can We Learn from Mainstream Education Textbook Research?. RELC Journal, 48(2), 264-277. View this article in WRRO
- Task requirements, task representation, and self-reported citation functions: An exploratory study of a successful L2 student's writing. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 12(2), 110-124.
- Editorial. English for Specific Purposes, 31(2), 79-80.
- Cleaner, helper, teacher? The role of proofreaders of student writing. Studies in Higher Education, 37(5), 569-584.
- Performance in the Citing Behavior of Two Student Writers. Written Communication, 29(1), 55-103.
- Ethics and integrity in proofreading: Findings from an interview-based study. English for Specific Purposes, 29(1), 54-67.
- Proofreading in a UK university: Proofreaders’ beliefs, practices, and experiences. Journal of Second Language Writing, 18(3), 166-190.
- An interview-based study of the functions of citations in academic writing across two disciplines. Journal of Pragmatics, 41(3), 497-518.
- Publication outlets and their effect on academic writers’ citations. Scientometrics, 77(2), 253-265.
- Citers' use of citees' names: Findings from a qualitative interview-based study. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 59(6), 1007-1011.
- This Is Too Formal for Us.... Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 22(1), 38-64.
- Political scientists on the functions of personal pronouns in their writing: An interview-based study of ‘I’ and ‘we’. Text & Talk, 27(1). View this article in WRRO
- (In)appropriate Personal Pronoun Use in Political Science. Written Communication, 23(4), 424-450.
- ‘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.
- ‘Nowhere has anyone attempted … In this article I aim to do just that’. Journal of Pragmatics, 37(8), 1207-1231.
- What do we want EAP teaching materials for?. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 4(2), 149-161.
- ‘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(3), 243-267.
- Demystifying institutional practices: critical pragmatism and the teaching of academic writing. English for Specific Purposes, 23(4), 355-377.
- Taking a lexical approach to teaching: principles and problems. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 12(2), 139-155.
- Writing in Test and Non-test Situations: Process and Product. Journal of Writing Research, 6(3), 233-278. View this article in WRRO
- An Experienced Teacher’s Use of the Textbook on an Academic English Course: A Case Study, English Language Teaching Textbooks (pp. 178-204). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Teachers’ Conceptualization and Use of the Textbook on a Medical English Course, English Language Teaching Textbooks (pp. 145-177). Palgrave Macmillan UK
- Content, consumption, and production: three levels of textbook research In Harwood N (Ed.), English Language Teaching Textbooks: Content, Consumption, Production (pp. 1-41). Palgrave Macmillan
- English for academic purposes, The Routledge Handbook of Applied Linguistics (pp. 243-258).
- Issues in materials development and design In Harwood N (Ed.), English Language Teaching Materials: Theory and Practice (pp. 3-30). New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Research-based materials to demystify academic citation for postgraduates In Harwood N (Ed.), English Language Teaching Materials: Theory and Practice (pp. 301-321). New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Teachersâ Conceptualization and Use of the Textbook on a Medical English Course, English Language Teaching Textbooks Palgrave Macmillan
- English for academic purposes, The Routledge Handbook of Applied Linguistics Routledge
- An Experienced Teacherâs Use of the Textbook on an Academic English Course, English Language Teaching Textbooks Palgrave Macmillan
- Research group
I am interested in hearing from PhD applicants who wish to conduct qualitative or predominantly qualitative projects relating to:
- projects related to TESOL textbook content, consumption, and/or production (see Harwood, 2010, 2014, 2017, 2021)
- the proofreading of students’ academic writing (see Harwood, 2018, 2019; Harwood et al., 2009, 2010, 2012)
- international students’ enculturation and their development of academic literacy (see Harwood & Petric, 2017)
- international students’ citation behaviour (see Harwood & Petric, 2012; Petric & Harwood, 2013)
- research projects related to EAP or ESP
- Teaching activities
I teach on the MA in Applied Linguistics with TESOL, teaching or co-teaching the Research Methods in TESOL, Teaching Writing in TESOL, Current Issues in ESP, and Curriculum Design modules.