A Systematic Review on Inquiry-Based Writing Instruction in Tertiary Settings

Vivien Lin, Neil E. Barrett, Gi Zen Liu*, Howard Hao Jan Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In science disciplines, students need sufficient and well-designed support to successfully gain writing competence along the different stages of their writing development. This study examines effective inquiry-based writing pedagogies and the contextualization of scientific writing instruction for supporting student writers in the scientific community. The researchers first systematically reviewed effective pedagogical practices that can help students gain writing competence through inquiry-based learning, then explicated how scientific writing is situated in inquiry-based writing instruction (IBWI) with respect to text structures using a genre-based approach. A systematic review of 40 empirical studies published between 2000 and 2021 was conducted. The researchers examined the pedagogies, methods, and models that effectively support IBWI and identified some emerging trends that aim to raise undergraduates’ scientific writing communicative competence. Implications for how scientific writing should be situated in IBWI were provided to help disciplinary faculty respond more precisely to science students’ writing needs in tertiary settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-281
Number of pages44
JournalWritten Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan


  • Learning-to-Write
  • Writing-to-Learn
  • inquiry-based writing instruction
  • science writers
  • scientific writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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