ERIC Number: ED235482
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Frames, Content Organization, and Themes in Student Expository Essays: An Analysis of Discourse Structure.
Hult, Christine A.
To examine the relationship between writers' knowledge of expository frames--conventions accepted by both writers and readers in association with a particular type of discourse--and writing skill, 60 persuasive essays were analyzed for content organization. The essays, evaluated as either above average or average on a high school writing assessment examination, were studied to determine (1) hierarchical organization of arguments, (2) discourse structure, and (3) devices used to highlight themes. A comparison of average and high quality essays revealed more effective global organization among the higher scored papers, producing more adequate, unified, and coherent arguments. These papers also showed greater control over syntactic or grammatical theme-marking devices and had fewer unconventional paragraphs or unrelated themes. The great consistency among readers' evaluations supports the existence of an expository frame by which readers interpret expository texts. Results suggest that average or below average writers can benefit from direct instruction in planning, organizing, and structuring their writing and should be given opportunity to write in a variety of contexts and modes and in response to different audiences and purposes. (MM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Awareness; Author Reader Relationships