Metacognition in student academic writing: A longitudinal study of metacognitive awareness and its relation to task perception and evaluation of performance.
Journal article, 2012

This article proposes a novel approach to the investigation of student academic writing. It applies theories of metacognition and self-regulated learning to understand how beginning academic writers develop the ability to participate in the communicative practices of academic written communication and develop rhetorical consciousness. The study investigates how this awareness changes over time and how it relates to students’ perceptions of the writing task, metacognitive awareness of strategic choices, and evaluation of their writing. Through a constructivist grounded theory approach, journals collected throughout a semester from students of beginning academic composition were analysed to determine qualitative changes. The data suggest a link between task perception and students’ conditional metacognitive awareness—their understanding of how to adapt writing strategies to specific rhetorical requirements of the task, and why—and performance evaluation. Metacognitive awareness also seems to have a reciprocal relationship with self-regulation and students’ development of individual writing approaches.


rhetorical awareness


English for academic purposes

self-regulated learning


Raffaella Negretti

Stockholm University

Written Communication

0741-0883 (ISSN)

Vol. 29 2 142-179

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology

Subject Categories


Applied Psychology

Specific Languages

Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work



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