Feedback as a space for academic social practice in doctoral writing groups

Deya Chakraborty, Ali Soyoof, Mehdi Moharami, Ade Dwi Utami, Shaoru Zeng, Ngo Cong-Lem, Danielle Hradsky, Jacky-Lou Maestre, Elham M. Foomani, Lynette Pretorius

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: While academic writing is considered a core competency in academia, academic writing anxiety is ubiquitous in doctoral student cohorts. Doctoral writing groups provide a space for participants to learn from each other’s writing through the peer feedback process. In this conceptual review, we explore the dialogic nature of the peer feedback process in doctoral writing groups. Methods: The findings in this study are based on thematic analyses of published peer-reviewed research using standard word processing, annotation, and referencing software. Results: We focus on how the space of security and trust that is created in doctoral writing groups encourages participants to explore writing as a social practice. Through the relationships built in this type of interactive community, doctoral writing group participants discover and explore the discourses of scholarly communication. Furthermore, doctoral writing groups foster students’ ability to navigate the often-times implicit narratives of academia, thereby building student agency. Conclusion: We argue, therefore, that feedback in doctoral writing groups should be viewed as a space of academic social practice. Implications: This study underscores the importance of embedding opportunities for peer-based learning into doctoral programmes not only in the fields of educational and developmental psychology, but also in other disciplines more broadly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-248
Number of pages11
JournalEducational and Developmental Psychologist
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Academic writing
  • cooperative learning
  • doctoral education
  • feedback
  • writing groups

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