This volume aims to raise awareness of the underlying complexities concerning student writing in the universities. The authors address a series of theoretical as well as practical questions regarding the literacies required of students in Higher Education, from the perspective of both students themselves and of their tutors. The research described here intends to move beyond the narrow confines of current policy debates and the quick fix solutions of writing manuals, to explore the epistemological, cultural, historical and theoretical bases of such writing. Issues addressed include the nature of competing epistemologies that underlie the writing process and the varying degrees of explicitness about what academic writing entails; ways of challenging the institutional marginalisation of academic writing as teaching, learning, and research practice; what counts as knowledge and how far it is mediated by the rhetorical conventions of one culture; to what extent the challenging of such rhetorical conventions is itself a crucial epistemological issue. Writing, in this volume, then, is addressed in terms of academic literacy practices involving relations of power, issues of identity and theories of knowledge.