ERIC Number: ED227503
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar-1
Reference Count: 0
Discourse Type and Composition Research.
The discourse classification systems used most frequently by reseachers in composition credit A. Bain, J. Moffett, J. Emig, J. Kinneavy, J. Britton, and R. Lloyd-Jones. A majority of the studies that have included discourse types as a major focus of their work were designed to investigate students' syntactic structures. Other studies focused on the composing processes, cognitive patterns, test conditions, cognitive factors, and audience awareness. Unfortunately, little reliable evidence can be gleaned from these studies. Researchers are either inconsistent in their use of the terms "types" and "modes" or confuse the two. Another problem is that the classification systems used to discuss results are not translatable into terms of other systems. Also, researchers sometimes make assertions about results based on an inadequate understanding of the discourse type within the system they used. In some reports researchers collapse the data and report on written discourse as a single category. Sometimes the inadequacy in the design is in the writing prompt itself. Some of the deficiencies can be removed by more thoughtful and extensive inquiry designs. A more difficult problem is the diversity of discourse classifications. A possible solution is to define discourse type through discourse-analysis studies that examine discourse by using a bottom-to-top approach, going from the small features in discourse to see which cluster together in a written product. The repeated cooccurrence for such features may provide a taxonomy of discourses and thus define discourse types that can be accepted as standards for all researchers. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Regional Laboratory for Educational Research and Development, Los Alamitos, CA.