Doctoral writing and the politics of citation use




doctoral writing, citation use, citation practices, politics of citations


Conventions shape scholarly writing and citations practices are one set of conventions that dominate how and what we write. Yet, many of these practices naturalize exclusion and discrimination in a way that becomes normalized and, consequently, invisible. For doctoral students, learning the conventions of citing is part of developing an identity around scholarship, research and writing. In this paper, we examine our own experiences of the politics of citations to understand our socialization processes and resistances. We use an autoethnographic narrative approach to frame this qualitative study. Our findings show how citation use abounds with the contradictions and paradoxes in our doctoral writing journeys where the pressure to succeed can compromise identity-building as ethical scholars. Each of us has many needs and multiple positionalities and resisting the naturalizing grammar of citations can be complicated. Yet, once aware of the politics of citations, one cannot go back to being unaware.

Author Biographies

Arif, Memorial University

Abu Arif is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education, Memorial University.

Kelvin, Memorial University

Kelvin Quintyne is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland. He comes from Barbados, and the focus of his current research is in academic literacies.


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How to Cite

Badenhorst, C., Arif, A., & Quintyne, K. (2022). Doctoral writing and the politics of citation use. Discourse and Writing/Rédactologie, 32, 262–280.



Special: Rethinking the Structures of Academic Writing