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Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Cassi's research interests include academic literacy, research communication, scholarly expression, genre-based pedagogy, English for Research Publication Purposes, English Medium Instruction, Systemic Functional Linguistics, Corpus Linguistics and grammatical metaphor.


Cassi is an Applied Linguist with a particular interest in social semiotics and Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). Her research generally focusses on academic literacy and writing for research purposes (e.g., ERPP). After compiling the Chinese Learner Longitudinal Corpus (CLLC; 2009-2013), she went on to develop the Macquarie Longitudinal Learner Corpus (MQLLC; 2014-2018). Findings from these projects have informed several publications on the deployment and development of grammatical metaphor, a key linguistic resource necessary for achieving the diverse demands of academic discourse. 

Cassi's more recent research projects have explored higher degree research candidates' experiences preparing their doctoral theses and specifically, the unique challenges associated with preparing a thesis-by-publication. Her current project, Benchmarking Success, revisits undergraduate student writing, examining the benchmarks disciplinary experts employ when assessing texts as more or less successful.

Research student supervision

Cassi currently supervises PhD students investigating grammatical metaphor, academic literacy, writing strategies, Twitter discourse, candidate-supervisor co-authorship, and English as the Medium of Instruction (EMI).

* Cassi does not have any supervision availability *

Supervision Areas: Systemic Functional Linguistics, academic writing, grammatical metaphor, English Medium Instruction, English for Research Publication Purposes

Current PhD Supervision

  1. Jiayu Wang: Shaping Writer Identity of Doctoral Students in Co-Authoring with Supervisors for Publication  
  2. Reema Abouzeid: An Exploration of English Medium Instruction (EMI) in Lebanon: The Conceptual Imprecision of EMI and the Vagueness of Policy
  3. Bao Tram Nguyen: Writing Strategies and Learner Autonomy for English Major Students in a University in Vietnam 
  4. Akiko Nagao: Adopting a Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL)-oriented approach to evaluate genre-based writing of English as a foreign language (EFL) undergraduate students in Japan: From novice to experienced learners
  5. Manar Almalki: Roe v. Wade and the Recurrent Ideological Debate: A Corpus-Assisted Exploration of the Lexical Struggle within #RoeVWade Twitter Discourse

PhD Completions

  1. Leigh McDowell (2023): Japanese scientists’ English for Research Publication Purposes: An Elaborated Error Analysis
  2. Darby McGrath (2023): A Corpus-Assisted Exploration of Grammatical Metaphor Across Populations: Successful Student Writers, Expert Authors, and EFL Learners
  3. Khatmah Alanazi (2021): Exploring English as a Medium of Instruction for the teaching of medicine in Saudi Arabia

Masters by Research Completions

  1. Reema Abouzeid (2019): Aligning Perceptions with Reality: Lebanese EMI Instructor Perceptions of Students’ Writing Proficiency
  2. Bao Tram Nguyen (2018): Investigating Autonomy in International Students’ approaches to University Writing Assignments (supervised with Prof. Phil Benson)
  3. Khatmah Alanazi (2017): Investigating First Year Science Students’ Academic Writing Development
  4. Leigh McDowell (2016): An Error Analysis of Japanese Scientists’ Research Articles
  5. Nur Afifi (2016) Indonesian EFL Learners’ Development of Academic Literacy: A Study of Grammatical Metaphor. (supervised with Dr. John Knox)
  6. Sarah Timbs (2016) Raising learners’ metalinguistic awareness: An examination of students’ academic writing development At university. (supervised with Dr. John Knox)

Research engagement

Cassi serves as an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Second Language Writing.


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