Intertextuality and business communication textbooks : Why students need more textual support

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

34 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-321
Journal / PublicationEnglish for Specific Purposes
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


The intertextual nature of workplace writing is well attested, and the efficacy of intertextuality as a tool for investigating the ways in which genres are linked in workplace settings is also recognized (Berkenkotter, 2001; Bhatia, 2004). Intertextuality not only accounts for the links between texts, but is also an important factor influencing the way in which texts are constructed. It would therefore seem that a grasp of the ways in which genres are linked intertextually and shaped by this phenomenon could be of benefit to the student writer. However, an analysis of eight currently used business communication textbooks suggests that intertextuality is acknowledged only implicitly, if at all. Moreover, few tasks provide students with the kinds of intertextual support that would help them in understanding the ways in which this aspect of the writing process helps shape the texts they write. Tasks which take account of intertextuality and provide students with a selection of textual resources to draw on would provide more realistic contexts and also help them to understand this important feature of workplace writing. © 2008 The American University.