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ERIC Number: ED249479
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979
Pages: 32
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Developmental Trends in the Use of Cues for Establishing the Identity of Referents in Written Discourse.
Murphy, Sandra; Gunderson, Lee
Twenty randomly selected subjects in inner city schools at grades 2, 5, 8, and 11 participated in a study that examined whether (1) the number of cohesive units produced in writing will be greater for older students than for younger subjects; (2) the use of cohesive ties in consecutive sentences (a measure of awareness of audience) will increase with age of subjects; and (3) the subjects will signal "given" information with appropriate uses of the definite article. Subjects were asked to write on three different writing tasks (narration, argument, and description) over three 45-minute writing sessions. Each of the 240 writing products was then scored for number of T-units, number of cohesive ties per T-unit, number of cohesive ties per T-unit in consecutive sentences, and the number of exophoric uses of the definite article. Results showed no significant differences in the number of cohesive ties per T-unit over the four grade levels. There was, however, a statistically significant linear relationship between grade level and cohesive ties per T-unit. Eighth grade subjects produced significantly fewer exophoric uses of the definite article than did the fifth grade subjects, while eleventh grade subjects produced significantly more than did eighth grade subjects. Further analysis of 11th grade writing products showed that they used the definite article as a rhetorical device, creating an effect of immediacy and involvement by introducing the reader to the character and the action of the story "in media res." (Author/HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A