Academic writing at advanced levels is the most important way of demonstrating one``s expertise in a discipline. Developing this kind of competence is especially a challenging effort for students in foreign language contexts. Many factors may be involved in determining why some students are more and some are less motivated in writing successful, discipline-specific academic texts. One of these important factors is motivation. In educational psychology, one view of academic motivation is in telms of different goal orientations that students hold in their academic activities. This study, as part of a larger project, tries to explore different goal orientations that postgraduate students in a foreign language academic context hold while they are involved in writing practices necessary to achieve success in an academic context. The sample was chosen according to convenience sampling. Following a qualitative design, 28 postgraduate students of TEFL (Ph. D. candidates, M.A. holders, and M.A. students) were selected for this study. The participants took part in in-depth interviews. They were asked questions on the way they compose their professional texts, the required compositions (especially paper assignments) and any factor that motivates them in their writings. Analyzing the transcribed interviews, the researchers were able to identify four categories of goal orientations. These categories were named as career-directed, context-directed, mastery, and work avoidance goal categories. This taxonomy brings together the issue of motivation as goal orientation in educational psychology and the socio-cognitive view of writing in a foreign languagc academic contcxt.