chapter  12
14 Pages

Use of personal pronouns in science laboratory reports

WithJean Parkinson

This chapter focuses on the teaching of undergraduate student writing: specifically the student laboratory report. The teaching of both the genre features and stylistic features of laboratory reports are considered in the chapter. It begins by outlining the results of empirical corpus-based analysis of student laboratory reports from the corpus of British Academic Written English (BAWE). Rhetorical features of this genre and how to teach them are discussed. In addition, there is a focus on analysis and pedagogy of stylistic features that are important in expression of writer stance. These include the writers’ use of personal pronouns in referring to themselves, as well as their use of obligation/necessity modal verbs (must, should, need to, and have to) to express their actions and decisions arising from the exigencies of experimental work.