2,340 research outputs found

    Hedging in the Discussion Section of Research Articles Written by Native and Non-Native Writers of English

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    Hedging as a pragmatic-discourse phenomenon has gained much attention among academics and linguists researching the English language as well as other languages. The use of hedging is a significant communicative resource for academic writers to put forth their claims without the fear of being negated by the discourse community. This study compared the use of hedges in the discussion section of Research Articles (RAs) of two groups of writers (native versus Malaysian) and of two different disciplines (humanities versus science). For this purpose, the hedging patterns in 40 RAs (10 each from the two groups of writers and the two different disciplines) were analysed contextually. The findings from the study showed that both the native writers and Malaysian writers generally did use hedges in the discussion section of their RAs. However, by comparison, the native writers tended to hedge more than Malaysian writers. In addition, it was also found that formulaic hedging expressions were popular among Malaysian writers. In comparing between the disciplines, writers of the science discipline appeared to hedge slightly more than writers from the humanities disciplines. In sum, hedging is an important rhetorical device that permeates academic writing and therefore, language instructors should sensitize their writing students to the effective use of hedging in academic writing

    Patterns of schematic structure and strategic features in newspaper editorials: a comparative study of American and Malaysian editorials

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    To carry a message through effectively to the public, newspaper editors need to employ the generic pattern of editorials as a rule of thumb. Yet few studies have investigated the schematic structure and persuasive style of editorials. Hence, this study aims to compare the generic characteristics in 240 editorials of The New York Times (NYT, n = 120) and New Straits Times (NST, n = 120). To realize the objectives, the corpus was subjected to a content analysis based on a composite framework drawn from the data and previous models. The findings revealed that American and Malaysian editorials share a similar schematic structure at the move level including four obligatory moves. However, at the step level, evidence of disparity of the style of writing was apparent. The data obtained could be used as informed input in the English for Specific Purposes (ESP) classroom, so that English as a Secondary Language (ESL)/English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students’ awareness on the conventional structures in editorial writing could be heightened

    Persuasive linguistic elements in NYT and NST editorials: discoursal pragmatic interpretive study

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    In positioning the stance of the editorials that play a pivotal role in articulating the official position of the newspaper, the editor needs to have the craft of writing in a credible manner. It is important then that persuasive linguistic elements such as hedges and boosters are utilized in the editorials. Hence, this study aims to adopt a content analysis to investigate the use of hedges and boosters in 240 randomized editorials of The New York Times (NYT: n=120) and New Straits Times (NST: n=120). The results reveal that generally editors use more hedges than boosters. Moreover, interestingly, it was found that NYT editorials tend to use more boosters while the NST editorials exhibit a tendency to hedge more. One possible reason could be the political climate of the time. America being the epitome of democracy provides freedom of speech and this is reflected in the ownerships of newspapers. Unlike Malaysia, owners of NYT newspapers are public individuals and not the government. Therefore, writers of NYT are bold enough to articulate their views without fear or favor. NST editors, in contrast, have to be mindful of what they write as the newspapers are owned by the government of the day

    Extracting and comparing the intricacies of metadiscourse of two written persuasive corpora

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    Previous studies (Wu 2007; Hyland, 2004; Hyland & Tse 2004; Intaraprawat & Steffensen 1995; Crismore et al 1993; Vande Kopple 1985) have established the use of Metadiscourse (MD) as an essential element in writing as it allows the writer to create a dialogic space with his readers. In recent years, attempts have been made to analyse MD through the use of text corpus with the help of computer technology especially when the corpus is large. In this investigation, data have been obtained through an electronic means to illustrate the use of MD in writing samples of a group of Malaysian undergraduates. In order to investigate the use of MD by these students, their writing was benched against an established standard, the open access BAWE corpus, available online. The MD features were analysed through the concordancing software, monoConc Pro 2.2, for this research. The paper demonstrates how the software manages the data to reveal patterns of use between writers of the two corpora. The paper concludes on initial insights obtained from the comparison to show the nature and manner of MD between standard proficient writing(extract from BAWE corpus) and evolving student writing at the tertiary level that would have implications for writing improvement in educational institutions

    English for Mathematics and Science: current Malaysian language-in-education policies and practices

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    Bahasa Malaysia (the Malay language) was chosen as the national language to unite the linguistically diverse groups in Malaysia in the mid-1950s. This choice brought about a total change in education policy, whereby Bahasa Malaysia became the medium of instruction for all subjects (other than English) in public schools. The decision saw a complete reversal of the role of English, which before the implementation of the 1963 National Language Act was the medium of instruction and administration. The current milestone in policy change is the decision to make English the medium of instruction in mathematics and science. With this change, a number of corollaries emerged that may determine the direction of policy execution. This paper examines contentious reactions to this new policy from various interest groups, teacher trainers and classroom practitioners, and to the implementation of language education programmes related to the teaching of mathematics and science. Among the issues discussed are the perceived difficulty of mastering English, the advantaged and disadvantaged bilingual learner, the rural-urban dichotomy in learner capability, and the question of national identity. © 2006 S.H. Chan & H. Tan

    Design Preferences of U.S. and Chinese Virtual Communities: An Exploratory Study

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    This paper explores the design preferences of virtual communities in two cultural groups – the U.S. and China. The design preferences studied are web design, tools used and types of virtual communities preferred. Content analysis was employed to study twenty of the most popular Chinese and U.S. virtual communities. The study found that there are differences in the preference for the type of virtual communities and the tool used by Chinese and U.S. communities. The findings challenge aspects of website design across these cultural groups thought to be dissimilar based on prior research. Implications for research and practice are also discussed

    Interpersonal-driven features in research article abstracts: cross-disciplinary metadiscoursal perspective

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    Being a specific communicative genre of disseminating knowledge in today's academic arena, the research article abstract has its own specific conventional structure. Through such a seminal genre, research article writers are able to ratify and contribute their own new findings to the research community they belong to. Taking a cross-disciplinary quantitative approach, this study explores the status of interactional metadiscourse markers as prevalent interpersonal-driven features in research article abstracts. The central objective is to investigate how research article writers in particular discipline tackle and deploy interactional metadiscourse markers in the abstract section of their papers in the effort to propagate their ideas. Hyland's (2005) taxonomy of metadiscourse was adopted to analyse sixty research article abstracts written in two disciplines (Applied Linguistics and Economics) sourced from discipline-specific journals. As found, variations across the two fields of knowledge studied were enormously marked. Results of the present research may be of help for research article writers, particularly novice writers, to learn more about the socio-rhetorical conventions and prevalent discursive strategies established in their own specific disciplinary community

    Myelopoiesis in spleen-producing distinct dendritic-like cells

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    Dendritic cells (DC) represent a heterogeneous class of antigen presenting cells (APC). Previously we reported a distinct myeloid dendritic-like cell present in spleen, as an 'in vivo' counterpart to cells produced in murine spleen long-term cultures (LTC-DC). These cells, named 'L-DC', were found to be functionally and phenotypically distinct from conventional (c)DC, plasmacytoid (p)DC and monocytes. These results suggested that spleen may represent a niche for development of L-DC from endogenous progenitors. Adult murine spleen has now been investigated for the presence of L-DC progenitors. Lineage-negative (Lin)(-) ckit(lo) and Lin(-) ckit(hi) progenitor subsets were identified as candidate populations, and tested for ability to produce L-DC; 'in vitro' upon co-culture with the spleen stromal line STX3, and 'in vivo' after adoptive therapy into mice. Both subsets colonized STX3 stroma 'in vitro' for L-DC production, indicating that they contained either a common or two distinct progenitors for L-DC. However, only the Lin(-) ckit(hi) subset gave progeny cells after adoptive transfer into lethally irradiated mice. 'In vivo' development was however multilineage and not restricted to L-DC development. Multilineage reconstitution reflects long-term reconstituting haematopoietic stem cells (LT-HSC), suggesting a close relationship between L-DC progenitors and LT-HSC. L-DC were however produced 'in vivo' in much higher number than monocytes/macrophages and cDC, indicating the presence of a specific L-DC progenitor within the Lin(-) ckit(hi) subset. A model is advanced for development of L-DC directly from haematopoietic progenitors in spleen and dependent on the spleen microenvironmentNHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia

    ESL Pre-university Learners’ Writing Apprehension Levels in Argumentative Writing

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    Writing ability is essential in second language (L2) learners’ educational and professional life. However, experiencing writing apprehension can inhibit the L2 learners’ confidence (Daly, 1975). The objective of this study was to investigate the writing apprehension levels of ESL pre-university learners in writing argumentative composition. 320 pre-university learners from a local institution participated in the study. Two instruments were employed in the study. The first was the Second Language Writing Anxiety Inventory (SLWAI) and the other one was the Analytic Scale of Argumentative Writing (ASAW). The findings revealed a moderate level of writing apprehension among the pre-university learners in argumentative writing. Among the three Second Language Writing Apprehension (SLWA) dimensions, avoidance behaviour obtained the highest mean score. As writing is one of the important components tested in Malaysian University English Test (MUET), the findings of the present study may become a platform for instructors to develop a better understanding about SLWA. Hence, it may throw light on what educators can do to help these L2 learners cope with or eliminate writing apprehension as it hampers the writing quality