Using a Corpus-Based Approach to Explore Writing Variation in Engineering Subdisciplines: Pedagogical Implications (73710)

Session Information: Higher Education
Session Chair: Jayson Barlan

Friday, 24 November 2023 09:25
Session: Session 1
Room: Room 604
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

In the contemporary academic culture where publications are highly valued, Engineering graduate research students are generally expected to publish their research outcomes during their doctoral candidature. Writing for publication can be challenging if one is not aware of the writing conventions in a subdiscipline. Technical text books have been found inadequate in providing writing advice to novice writers who intend to write in Engineering subdisciplines, and some scholars have suggested engaging students with authentic language data relevant to the field, thus helping them better understand language conventions in their discipline. The present study aims to explore writing variation on the use of the first-person pronoun with an active verb and the use of passive construction, and their rhetorical functions in writing journal abstracts, across eight Engineering subdisciplines with AntConc, a corpus analysis tool. A main corpus of 480 abstracts from 8 Engineering sub-disciplines was compiled and divided into 8 mini corpora, each with 60 best paper abstracts from the top 5 journals in the field. AntConc was used to explore and analyse the corpus. The rhetorical functions of the target linguistic items were further analysed. The findings revealed that there were significant variations across these Engineering subdisciplines in terms of usage frequency and rhetorical functions. To train Engineering graduate research students in research writing, awareness in sub-disciplinary writing variation should be raised, and language analysis tools can be introduced for the students to further train themselves to be writers in their respective sub-disciplines.

Li Lian Khaw, Monash University, Australia

About the Presenter(s)
Lilian received her PhD in Education from the University of Melbourne in 2008. She currently works as a senior learning skills adviser, and manages the Graduate Research Academic Support program in the Faculty of Engineering at Monash University.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00