ERIC Number: ED440387
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
A Syntactical and Rhetorical Analysis of Selected Annual Reports.
For an analysis of real-world writing, a researcher picked annual reports since they are written for stockholders, financial advisers, and "the competition." Annual reports are essentially "puff pieces," documents written by company people aiming to please the stockholders. Because of the varied audience, the narrative section, the largest and most important prose section of these documents, was chosen for analysis. Thirty reports were examined--10 picked by financial magazines as "best of the year," 10 picked as "worst of the year," and 10 chosen at random from the Fortune 500 list. An analytic method came from an examination of other reports which allowed pinpointing 32 characteristics important to understanding what these documents were made of--22 syntactic and stylistic features, and 10 rhetorical features. After the documents were scanned and put into a readable format, the "Correct Grammar" computer program was used to provide figures on the total number of words, average sentence and paragraph length, possible passive voice, and syllables per hundred words. All 30 narratives were read for the rhetorical analysis. Testing the data using a modified t-test, significant differences were found in the variables between the successful and average groups in only two places; data analysis suggests that 68.1% of the time the groups do not vary. Figures gathered in this study could be used to characterize those rhetorical and syntactic characteristics to business writing students, and in turn, these students could use the figures to examine their own writing to determine its "fingerprint." (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A