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Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, April 2006
This paper presents an analysis of stance-taking and development in the essays of a group of non-native (English) speaker (NNS) students following instruction in stance-taking and stance-maintenance in expository essay writing. Assuming and maintaining a stance or position, definitive discourse acts in the English expository/argumentative essay, may be unfamiliar acts for students whose literacy traditions favour discourse practices different from those expected in the Anglo-American model of the academic essay. Stance development in this paper is evaluated on the basis of stance-enhancing topicality. Lexico-grammatical items are considered stance enhancing if they raise topics and make topic comments that perform some rhetorical function in arguing the writer’s stance. An analysis of post-instruction essays revealed an increase in stance-enhancing topicality and a drop in non-functional topicality. The results suggest that teaching students the thinking
processes underlying the discourse practices of expository writing can effectively
improve their ability to sustain a consistent stance and avoid digression or ‘going out of point’.
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CRP 5/04 AC
Appears in Collections:CRPP - Conference Papers

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