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Manipulating texture and cohesion in academic writing: A keystroke logging study

Anthony Bowen, NEJ; Thomas, N; (2020) Manipulating texture and cohesion in academic writing: A keystroke logging study. Journal of Second Language Writing , 50 , Article 100773. 10.1016/j.jslw.2020.100773. Green open access

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Abstract

Research has repeatedly shown that problems arise when students are asked to link information co-textually and contextually across larger phases of discourse. Within Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), a text-oriented theory of language, co-textual and contextual links are analyzed and operationalized in terms of textual and logical metafunctions, both of which work together to connect and enable experiential and interpersonal metafunctions. While most writing studies to date have investigated text as product (synoptic approach), there has been increasing interest in studying text as an evolving process (dynamic approach). The current study contributes to this emerging research by examining the real-time choices made by six student writers. Drawing on keystroke logging software (Inputlog), it explores writers’ revision choices within the systems of theme, information, and identification, in conjunction with the logical metafunction. Results indicate that complex choices contribute to unfolding cohesiveness and information flow, where choices in specificity and congruency are key contributors to managing texture while also manipulating complexity and context-dependency. Overall findings suggest that students may benefit from an explicit focus on the nominal group as a means to create and maintain texture and cohesion through over-specification, classification (pre-modifiers), and qualification (post-modifiers).

Type: Article
Title: Manipulating texture and cohesion in academic writing: A keystroke logging study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jslw.2020.100773
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2020.100773
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Linguistics, L2 academic writing, Revision, Keystroke logging, SFL, Noun phrase
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10138183
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