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ERIC Number: ED400704
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
"At Your Earliest Convenience:" A Study of Written Student Requests to Faculty.
Hartford, Beverly S.; Bardovi-Harlig, Kathleen
A study analyzed electronic-mail requests from college students (n=34 native speakers of English/NSs, 65 non-native speakers/NNSs) to faculty, randomly gathered over the period of a year. The requests were analyzed for the affective response they produced both on the faculty recipient and on a non-recipient faculty member, and for linguistic forms used, including mitigators, for degree of imposition on the faculty member, and for content, including references to time frames. Results indicate that requests that had a negative affect generally demonstrated a different interpretation of the rights and obligations of the parties involved than positive-affect requests: negative-affect requests frequently assumed a greater obligation to comply by the faculty than the faculty member assumed. Requests with positive impact in general also differed formally from those with negative impact. Differences also appeared in the messages' content, especially in acknowledgement of the degree of imposition to the addressee, in the manner and presentation of time constraints related to the request, and in explanations for the requests. NNSs used fewer downgraders in their requests with negative impact, used personal time needs more often, and acknowledged imposition on the faculty members less often than NSs. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A