Narrative Writing

Essential Knowledge and Skills for Essay Writing - A Practical Guide for ESL and EFL Undergraduates - Neil Evan Jon Anthony Bowen

Neil Evan Jon Anthony Bowen [+-]
Thammasat University
Neil Bowen is an Associate Professor at Thammasat University and an ESRC Doctoral graduate from Cardiff University. He holds a PhD in Language and Communication, an MA in Applied Linguistics, and a BA in English and TEFL. His research focuses on process–product relationships in writing using a combined cognitive and Systemic Functional Linguistics approach. His 2019 article, “Unfolding choices in digital writing: A functional perspective on the language of academic revisions,” was the runner-up for the 2022 John R. Hayes’ best article award given by the Journal of Writing Research. His work can also be seen in other prominent journals such as Journal of Second Language Writing, TESOL Quarterly, Written Communication, Computers and Composition, Teaching and Teacher Education, System, and others.


Designed for intermediate and advanced users of English, this book offers an integrated approach to essay writing by focusing on both the processes and products of writing. It has been developed over many years of teaching and researching written English, in particular, with university students in Thailand. In addition to addressing common issues involving written English which many novice writers face, it covers the basic elements of writing—sentences and paragraphs—and introduces students to descriptive, narrative, expository, and argumentative writing. The book’s content and layout are carefully tailored for student writers, as reflected in color highlighting of important text and images, placement of key information in boxes, and inclusion of plentiful exercises with answer keys. Care also been taken to avoid formality and unnecessary complexity. Model examples taken from actual students’ essays as well as published texts help to ensure the book’s appeal and educational value to its intended audience of novice writers. Drawing on the Systemic Functional Linguistics of Michael Halliday and others, each of the five units begins with a form–function orientation. The purpose is to raise students’ awareness of the links between language structures at the micro-level of words, phrases, and clauses, and to introduce them to higher-order rhetorical goals at the macro-level of paragraphs and essays. Students learn to recognize and evaluate texts for key language features (formal knowledge), such as descriptive phrases, figurative language, and various types of transitions. Students then practice putting these elements together to form larger functional units (rhetorical knowledge), focusing on unity, cohesion, and a clear overall purpose. Each unit then focuses on generating ideas and content (subject knowledge) using critical questions, collaborative discussions, and visualization techniques. At strategic points, students are cycled through key reflective practices (process knowledge) as a way to help them complete longer writing tasks. These longer tasks include clear scoring rubrics, which can be used by the student or teacher as a means to gauge progress and provide feedback. The book will help students acquire essential knowledge alongside transferable and functional skills—both of which can be applied across areas of study and in future writing projects.

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Bowen, Neil Evan Jon Anthony . Narrative Writing. Essential Knowledge and Skills for Essay Writing - A Practical Guide for ESL and EFL Undergraduates. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Aug 2023. ISBN 9781800503670. Date accessed: 02 Feb 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.44482. Aug 2023

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