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ERIC Number: ED461299
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Feb-26
Pages: 30
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Making E-Mail Requests to Professors: Taiwanese vs. American Students.
Chen, Chi-Fen Emily
This study compared how Taiwanese and U.S. graduate students at one U.S. university made e-mail requests to professors. Taiwanese students had received formal English education in Taiwan but none in the United States. All participants provided several e-mails containing requests to their professors. E-mail data were divided into high-imposition and low-imposition requests. The study involved a distribution analysis of the general textual features of openings and closings and a detailed intertextual analysis of the requests. Opening features included formal address terms, salutations, self-introduction, and greetings. Closing features included thanks and complimentary closings. The three request types were requesting an appointment for course-related advice or information with a professor known to the student, requesting a recommendation from a professor the student has taken a course with, and requesting a special consideration or arrangement from a professor the student knows only by name. Taiwanese students used different, culturally influenced discourse strategies than U.S. students when structuring their e-mail requests. Students varied their choice of strategies according to their perception of the power relation with the professor, familiarity with the professor, and the purpose and imposition level of the request. (Contains 42 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A