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Title: The use of engagement resources in high- and low-rated undergraduate geography essays
Authors: Siew Mei, W. 
Keywords: Academic discourse
English for academic purposes
Issue Date: Jul-2007
Citation: Siew Mei, W. (2007-07). The use of engagement resources in high- and low-rated undergraduate geography essays. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 6 (3) : 254-271. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Recently, the interactive quality of text has been more extensively examined as finer analytical approaches and tools are developed to tease out these evaluative meanings. For instance, the engagement sub-system of the appraisal framework [Martin, J.R. (2000). Beyond exchange: Appraisal systems in English. In: Hunston, S., Thompson, G. (Eds.), Evaluation in text: Authorial stance and the construction of discourse (pp. 142-176). Oxford: Oxford University Press; White, P. (2002). The language of attitude, arguability and interpersonal positioning. Retrieved June 2002,] has provided yet another avenue through which one aspect of interaction in text, the negotiation of dialogic space, can be examined closely. The present study focuses on this aspect of interactive meaning used in undergraduate geography essays as a diversion from the concentration on professional academic texts. More importantly such meanings, though present in and central to tertiary level persuasive writing, may be more difficult to detect in less well-constructed novice texts. The investigation shows that writers of high-rated essays use certain engagement options that develop a contrastive stance strategically to bring out potential contradictions in presenting evidence. Interestingly, markers' comments along the margin seem to encourage the negotiation of contradictory evidence. Also, options that negotiate credibility through strong endorsement by authoritative sources are preferred by these writers to options that signal lower levels of certainty in propositions made. These insights provide useful directions for specific areas to which novice writers can be alerted more concretely as they learn the ways of academic discourse. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Journal of English for Academic Purposes
ISSN: 14751585
DOI: 10.1016/j.jeap.2007.09.006
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