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“So and so” says, states and argues: A corpus-assisted engagement analysis of reporting verbs

Published on Jun 1, 2019in Journal of Second Language Writing 3.32
· DOI :10.1016/j.jslw.2019.02.001
Cassi L. Liardét3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Macquarie University),
Sharyn Black (UNSW: University of New South Wales)
Abstract
Abstract A key feature of academic texts is the heteroglossic interaction that occurs between the writer and the experts he/she references. When integrating outside experts into their texts, writers often employ integral, author prominent reporting structures, selecting reporting verbs (RVs) to evaluate the veracity and merit of the propositions. This paper examines EAL and English L1 learners’ RV use and compares it with that of experts, providing a corpus-assisted, comparative analysis. It further explores how writers build intertextuality through these RV choices. Using the resources of Appraisal theory, and specifically, the Engagement system, we found that experts tend to favor dialogically contracting RVs (e.g., show and find ) that endorse the proposition whereas learners rely heavily on expanding RVs that entertain the evidence as an option to consider (e.g., suggest ) or simply attribute it to an outside expert (e.g., state ). In particular, both the EAL and English L1 learners strongly rely upon more “neutral” attribute: acknowledge structures (e.g., state , according to ), providing no overt indication as to their intersubjective stance on the evidence. These comparative findings provide a roadmap for novice writers to develop authorial stance and adapt to the expert conventions of their given fields.
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Published on Feb 1, 2019in Applied Linguistics 3.23
Ken Hyland58
Estimated H-index: 58
(UEA: University of East Anglia),
Feng (Kevin) Jiang6
Estimated H-index: 6
(JLU: Jilin University)
In this article we explore the ways in which academic citation practices have changed over the past 50 years. Based on the analysis of a corpus of 2.2 million words from the same leading journals in four disciplines in 1965, 1985, and 2015, we document a substantial rise in citations over the period, particularly in applied linguistics and sociology. This is partly because there is now so much more research to report and that recognizing previous work is much easier as a result of electronic acc...
4 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 1, 2018in English for Specific Purposes 1.36
Ken Hyland58
Estimated H-index: 58
(UEA: University of East Anglia),
Feng (Kevin) Jiang6
Estimated H-index: 6
(UEA: University of East Anglia)
Abstract Metadiscourse is the commentary on a text made by its producer in the course of speaking or writing. Here we take an interpersonal perspective, focusing on metadiscourse as a repertoire of resources available for writers to organise a discourse or their stance towards its content or the reader. In this paper we explore whether, and to what extent, metadiscourse has changed in professional writing in different disciplines over the past 50 years. Extending our diachronic work analysing a ...
2 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2017
Miki Mori1
Estimated H-index: 1
A key element of academic writing involves incorporation of external voices, which is a complex rhetorical and linguistic task. Student writers must face this challenge of using sources to strengthen their own arguments. Appraisal, specifically Engagement, provides a useful framework for analyzing source use in texts, as it considers evaluation and dialogic voicing. This article describes a semi-ethnographic case study that contrasts two undergraduate writers and their writing drafts. Results sh...
2 Citations Source Cite
Published on Apr 1, 2017in English for Specific Purposes 1.36
Peter Crosthwaite4
Estimated H-index: 4
(HKU: University of Hong Kong),
Lisa Cheung1
Estimated H-index: 1
(HKU: University of Hong Kong),
Feng (Kevin) Jiang1
Estimated H-index: 1
(JLU: Jilin University)
Abstract Medical students often lack key skills in academic writing, yet good academic writing is often a pre-requisite for employment, promotion and enculturation into the profession. This article focuses on the rhetorical strategies used for the presentation of academic stance by student writers of dentistry research reports. Adopting a contrastive, corpus-based approach, we compare student writing with that of comparable professionally-written research reports for evidence of hedging, boostin...
3 Citations Source Cite
Published on Dec 1, 2016in Journal of English for Academic Purposes 1.42
Ken Hyland58
Estimated H-index: 58
(HKU: University of Hong Kong),
Feng (Kevin) Jiang6
Estimated H-index: 6
(HKU: University of Hong Kong)
Engagement is the way that writers explicitly acknowledge the presence of their readers in a text, drawing them in through readermention, personal asides, appeals to shared knowledge, questions and directives. This is a key rhetorical feature of academic writing and has been a topic of interest to applied linguists for over 20 years. Despite this interest, however, very little is known of how it has changed in recent years and whether such changes have occurred across different disciplines. Are ...
10 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2016in Journal of English for Academic Purposes 1.42
Cassi L. Liardét3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Macquarie University)
Abstract This paper presents a systematic analysis of ten first-year university learners' texts. The texts are exposition essays written at the conclusion of the students' first semester of university study and collected as part of the Macquarie University Longitudinal Learner Corpus (MQLLC). The MQLLC is a longitudinal corpus that follows learners from their first year Academic Communication (AC) unit throughout their tertiary careers. These units are taught using a scaffolded, genre-based peda...
8 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 12, 2015
Ken Hyland58
Estimated H-index: 58
29 Citations
Published on Dec 1, 2014in Linguistics and Education 0.89
Ryan T. Miller4
Estimated H-index: 4
(CMU: Carnegie Mellon University),
Thomas D. Mitchell3
Estimated H-index: 3
(CMU: Carnegie Mellon University),
Silvia Pessoa8
Estimated H-index: 8
(CMU: Carnegie Mellon University)
Abstract In this study, we explore rhetorical moves used by students in argumentative, analytical writing in a college-level world history course. Drawing on the system of Engagement within the Appraisal framework from Systemic Functional Linguistics, we investigate differences between higher-graded and lower-graded essays in the combinations and patterns of resources used to expand and contract dialogic space while building an argument. The results show that while both higher-graded and lower-g...
20 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2014in Journal of English for Academic Purposes 1.42
Guangwei Hu24
Estimated H-index: 24
(NIE: National Institute of Education),
Guihua Wang1
Estimated H-index: 1
(CWNU: China West Normal University)
Abstract Citation, as an integral part of academic discourse and a signature feature of scholarly publication, has attracted much research attention. Previous research, however, has focused on several aspects of citation practices in a largely discrete fashion and addressed disciplinary and ethnolinguistic influences on citation in isolation from each other. This article reports on a study designed to investigate cross-disciplinary and cross-linguistic variations of multiple citation features fr...
25 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jan 1, 2014in Written Communication 1.27
John M. Swales49
Estimated H-index: 49
(UM: University of Michigan)
This is a corpus-based study of a key aspect of academic writing in one discipline (biology) by final-year undergraduates and first-, second-, and third-year graduate students. The papers come from the Michigan Corpus of Upper-level Student Papers, a freely available electronic database. The principal aim of the study is to examine the extent of variation in citation practice in the biology subcorpus. To that end, it explores citation practices from a number of perspectives, including the distri...
20 Citations Source Cite
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