Writing Program Director @ University of Michigan

Laura Aull

- University of Michigan

Laura Aull, serving as an Associate Professor and the Writing Program Director at the University of Michigan, has made significant contributions to academic writing and corpus linguistics. She is the author of three scholarly monographs and a textbook published by Oxford University Press. Additionally, Aull’s extensive research and expertise are reflected in her numerous articles featured in respected peer-reviewed journals, including Composition Forum, Journal of Teaching Writing, Assessing Writing, and Written Communication.


You Can’t Write That…8 Myths about Correct English (Cambridge University Press, 2024)

How Students Write: A Linguistic Analysis (Modern Language Association, 2020)

First-Year University Writing: A Corpus-Based Study with Implications for Pedagogy (Palgrave MacMillan, 2015)


A Case-Based Approach to Argumentative Writing, with lead author Sonja Launspach (Oxford University Press, 2020) 

Recent Articles

“FAQs about Language and Linguistics in Writing,” with Shawna Shapiro. WAC Repository (in press)

Attention to Language in Composition.” Composition Forum (2023)

Student Interpretation and Use Arguments: Student-led, evidence-based language.” Journal of Response to Writing (2022)

What is ‘Good Writing?’ Analyzing Metadiscourse as Civil Discourse.” Journal of Teaching Writing (2022)

Directed Self-Placement: Subconstructs and group differences at a U.S. university.” Assessing Writing (2021)

From Cowpaths to Conversation: Rethinking the Argumentative Essay,” with Valerie Ross. Pedagogy (2020)

Linguistic Markers of Stance and Genre in Upper-Level Student Writing.” Written Communication (2019)

“A Taxonomy for Writing Analytics,” with lead author Susan Lane, and Bill Marcellino. Journal of Writing Analytics (2019). 

“Civil Assignments: Moving Beyond Argumentative Writing Tasks,” with Maddie Moseley. English Journal (2019)

 “Corpus Analysis of Argumentative Versus Explanatory Discourse in Writing Task Genres.” Journal of Writing Analytics (2017)

 “Generality in Student and Expert Epistemic Stance: A Corpus Analysis of First-year, Upper-level, and Published Academic Writing.” With Dineth Bandarage and Meredith Miller. Journal of English for Academic Purposes (2017)

“Elaborated Specificity vs. Emphatic Generality: A Corpus-Based Comparison of Higher and Lower Scoring Advanced Placement Exams in English,” with lead author David West Brown. Research in the Teaching of English (2017)


Corpus Linguistic Analysis – A Bird’s Eye View of Writing

Language is vast, and when we read, we often focus on individual words, sentences, or specific texts. This narrow perspective can cause us to overlook broader patterns and trends. For instance, it’s easy to miss the recurring linguistic choices that individuals make, both fruitful and less effective, especially in academic writing. However, by taking a step back and observing language from a broader, bird’s-eye perspective, we gain a clearer understanding of the unique characteristics of different texts. Recognizing and studying these patterns helps improve your comprehension and mastery of written language.