ERIC Number: ED280065
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Nov
Reference Count: 0
An Analysis of Students' Writing.
Jeremiah, Milford A.
Some errors in adult black students' writing cannot be analyzed merely within the traditional hierarchy of grammatical rules; a look at sociological factors is germane to an evaluation of students' writing ability or inability. Data for an analysis of black adult students' writing at the syntactic level have shown that problems of clarity might be related to language structure and use in the students' speech community. Samples of students' writing were taken from essays obtained at an urban community college, and considering the cultural dimensions of a writer's background proved helpful in determining the reasons for certain lexical choices. To facilitate the analysis, a general topic and a variable from each sentence were extricated (since they were manifestations of ideas which were expressed through the written word, the topic and variables were usually found together). Researchers hoped to determine (1) whether specific issues were evident in the writers' samples, and (2) if so, whether these sociolinguistic variables were apt to influence these issues. This has proved to be the case insofar as the samples in this study were concerned, thus supporting the view that studies of language cannot be carried out in a "narrowly defined view of grammar." (Sample sentences and their extensive analysis are included.) (AEW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (76th, San Antonio, TX, November 21-26, 1986).