ERIC Number: ED187119
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
An Analysis of Some "Supra-grammatical" Aspects of Writing Done by Undergraduate Students.
Das, Bikram K.
CIEFL Bulletin, v14 n2 p9-27 1978
Some of the "supra-grammatical" features of scripts written by undergraduate students in India are examined. The script writing was a test administered to assess the proficiency of students in the advanced cognitive and rhetorical skills involved in composition, both in their native language and English. The particular type of composition chosen for investigation was expository writing, or that which is disigned to inform. The test was designed to present the students with specific problems of expository writing, and to force them to use certain anticipated rhetorical structures and strategies. The writing task was based upon a statistical table on fatal motorcycle accidents, and required interpretation and explanation. Both the interpretation and explanation of facts involved drawing inferences from available evidence, making generalizations, and summarizing facts. In addition, students had to adopt certain hypotheses to explain facts, for which no evidence was directly available. Examples from the scripts are analyzed. Oral and written communication are discussed in light of the finding that bad writing has many of the qualities of spontaneous speech. What primarily seemed to distinguish bad writing from good was the presence of linearity and literalness. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Central Inst. of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderbad (India).