Dr. Laura Aull
Professor Aull’s work focuses on language that distinguishes certain writers and texts, such as student academic writing versus expert academic writing, writing in particular fields, and web versus print writing. To do so, she uses corpus linguistic (computer-aided) analysis to expose recurring language patterns and to determine which patterns are most significant. These observations then help illuminate cultural and institutional values as well as possible recommendations for pedagogy and assessment. Her first book, First-Year University Writing, examined which patterns make incoming college student writing different from more advanced academic writing. Her current project, for which she received a Spencer Foundation Fellowship from the National Academy of Education, focuses on the linguistic patterns that characterize popular American essays over the past 100 years. She is also working on a writing textbook for students that uses recurring patterns in both student and published texts as a way to identify expectations of successful writing. She teaches first-year and upper-level writing-intensive and linguistics courses that share a focus on analyzing texts and rhetorical contexts.