Academic language for essay writing: content-analysed 150 essays

Academic language for essay writing: content-analysed 150 essays

The analysis reports on challenges associated with the application of the language of attribution in academic essay composing by Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) pupils at Rhodes University, being a microcosm of comparable challenges faced by college pupils somewhere else. The research content-analysed 150 essays written by 50 PGCE students using the program ‚Language, Learning and Cognition‘ which the researcher taught. Key groups analysed had been: pupil preferences when it comes to kind and style of including authors‘ tips in very own educational essays, appropriateness of attributive terms utilized, punctuation in the language of attribution, tight consistencies, appropriateness of attendant lexico-grammatical collocations, attributive terms‘ fit aided by the syntax and sentence structure associated with journalist’s a few ideas, in addition to their consonance because of the character and intent for the citations. Although findings indicate challenges that are gross all types of analysis, these were many glaring in the matching of attributive terms using the intent of citations plus in the usage of appropriate punctuation. Chief on the list of study’s suggestions may be the importance of explicit instruction in, and attention to, the language of attribution in college pupils‘ essays by all lecturers and not only those in scholastic literacy development.

Key words: educational writing, attributive tags, attributive verbs, writer’s sound, citing, direct quotes, essay, essay quality, language of attribution, paraphrases, referencing, tight consistencies.


In Southern Africa, such as many countries, there is certainly a growing dominance of English due to the fact international medium of educational „writing and publishing which derives from English’s unrivalled status as a worldwide lingua franca. English is really a revered language of academia, and composing in the language is offered prominence. Curry and Hewings (2003:32) observe that at university degree, „. ..disciplinary knowledge and understanding are mostly exhibited and valued through the medium of writing.“ This will be specially therefore into the Humanities where evaluation is situated, mostly on essay writing. Through the some ideas of Plato and Aristotle through Rousseau, Saussure, Vygotsky, Bloomfield, and Pinker, Kern and Schultz (2005) observe a reversal into the power relationship that is speech-writing. In antiquity, message had been conceived because the primary medium of interaction whereas writing had been considered additional and a representation of message. Presently, in academia, writing is accorded an even more prestigious status than message. To your contemporary college student, composing merits greater scholarly attention than speech. Deviant language features in students‘ writing are seen as emblematic of decreasing criteria (Lillis & Scott, 2007). The significance of effective writing abilities transcends higher education in to the world that is subsequent of. Chovanec (2012:8) appropriately observes that, „In penned discourse that is academic linguistic, rhetorical and genre norms are not just anticipated, but are additionally earnestly enforced.“ Effective educational essay writing is, consequently, among the hallmarks of good scholarship. This describes the prevalence for the usage of essay -writing as a method to evaluate both students‘ progress and understanding of problems.

In accordance with Gray (2011:8), „there was a consensus that is general also beyond your scholastic community, that scholastic writing has distinct faculties that set it aside from other styles of language.“ Scholastic writing is governed by internationally recognized conventions which signify sound scholarship and permit for the appreciation that is global of rigour of an educational piece of content. The event of variety as fundamental to communicative practices will be problematic if it absolutely was extended to relativism of conventions regulating writing that is academic. Because scholastic writing requirements are universal, research on traditional components of educational writing, consequently, usually includes a international application.

The post-independence reorganization associated with racially stratified South African university system allowing ‚black‘ pupils into historically ‚white‘ universities has resulted in a expansion in pupil diversity with regards to their linguistic competence, among other factors. Such quantitative widening of college access just isn’t unique to Southern Africa. That reality, along with the worldwide nature of educational writing, talks towards the relevance of this current research for a wider readership outside Southern Africa. The onus is on advanced schooling organizations to create pupils of diverse competence amounts to your appropriate requirements of academic writing, that are mostly fixed as well as universal application, and perhaps not reduce the requirements to support pupils‘ quantities of proficiency.

The essay solution can demonstrate erudition that is robust not merely by its content, but in addition by the types of its presentation of this content.

Flawed compromises that are writing quality regarding the response and effects from the score the student gets as feedback to their solution. A well-presented solution posseses a impactive impact on the impression made from the audience, and if they’re the assessor, it may well tip the scales within the student’s favor. The appraisal of the well crafted response is less exacting than compared we do your essays to a piece that is shoddy of. Effective essay that is academic, consequently, has a reciprocal advantage on pupils and lecturers. Academic writing requires enlisting ideas of authorities on the go to bolster a person’s very own. Incorporation of authors‘ a few ideas ordinarily calls for an attributive tag to „. bridge the gap amongst the supply details as well as the real quote“ (Sibanda, 2010:39). Such attribution serves to give the intent and spirit associated with the writer’s vocals and also to make sure the writer’s input integrates efficiently with all the essay author’s conversation. Attributive constructions should incorporate efficiently inside the text rather than be an appendage towards the essay.

The researcher’s previous college training knowledge about Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) and PGCE pupils has affirmed students‘ have trouble with academic essay composing as a whole. This, despite the B.Ed students holding Diploma skills additionally the PGCE pupils keeping undergraduate levels. That individual experience is corroborated by Afful’s (2009:32) observation, from their own experience as educational editor, that „. graduate pupils‘ research writing evinces several composing challenges. These include linguistic, rhetorical, and discoursal in general.“

Declaration of this issue

On the list of persistent and pervading challenges the researcher has noted among college pupils‘ writing, may be the not enough proficiency into the utilization of the language of attribution. Notwithstanding its pervading nature, there clearly was a dearth of studies and literary works from the challenge. The language of attribution straddles the lexical, grammatical, syntactic, and discourse proportions of pupils‘ writing and yet it’s, at best, glossed over in research. The present study contributes for this human anatomy of real information through the paperwork regarding the nature and level of challenges associated with making use of the language of attribution in academic essay composing by PGCE pupils, the effect for the challenges regarding the quality associated with the pupils‘ responses, plus the feasible factors. The analysis’s focus is manufactured more explicit within the objectives which guide it.

The leading goals for the study that is present:

  • To spot, categorise, quantify and exemplify the (mis)-use of this language of attribution in PGCE students‘ essays (the selected language corpus).
  • To infer the supply or cause of errors through the nature associated with the mistake.
  • To talk about the results associated with mistakes pertaining to the language of attribution from the interaction of meaning.

The objective that is first diagnostic; trying to document the pupils‘ proficiency degree, while the final two are prognostic; possibly informing college lecturers‘ instruction based on pupils‘ present challenges. The goals aren’t mutually exclusive and, as a result, are talked about simultaneously in place of sequentially. a definite conceptualisation regarding the concept attribution is prerequisite to an admiration of this kinds of analysis utilized in the analysis.

The language of attribution pertains to terms an essay author makes use of to move duty of a preceding or subsequent concept to an alternative celebration, the writer of this text embodying the theory (Murphy, 2005). It distinguishes the essay journalist’s terms through the supply writer’s vocals. (‚Writer‘ is, henceforth, utilized to refer towards the pupil as essay writer and ‚author‘, to your author of the foundation product being cited into the essay). The signalling of attribution is generally in one basic statement in the form of the writer’s name and/or a guide with their work; and an assertion (usually a verb) designating the way the citation pertains to the writing. The language of attribution thrives from the usage of reporting verbs.