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ERIC Number: EJ1061564
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 79
ISSN: ISSN-1522-7502
Linguistic Attention in Rhetorical Genre Studies and First Year Writing
Aull, Laura
Composition Forum, v31 Spr 2015
Since Carolyn Miller's Genre as Social Action, North American Rhetorical Genre Studies (RGS) has facilitated analysis of how typified rhetorical actions constitute the contexts and communities in which writers write. In first-year writing (FYW) specifically, RGS approaches have focused on macro-level textual constructs, like the audience and evidence expectations of different genres, and have bolstered valuable attention to genre awareness and transfer. In its attention to context and macro-level features, however, RGS has focused less on recurring linguistic patterns in written genres, which has contributed to two gaps in genre-based approaches to FYW: few large-scale analyses of first-year written genres, and little attention to language patterns in genre-based FYW pedagogy and research. This article aims to interrogate these gaps and offer a way beyond them, in three parts. First, it historicizes the institutional separation of U.S. rhetoric-composition and linguistics. Second, it outlines recent pedagogical genre research in RGS and English for Academic Purposes (EAP), which together offer valuable insights for approaches to FYW. Finally, it delineates selected observations from a context-informed corpus linguistic analysis of 19,463 FYW argumentative essays that draws on both RGS and EAP genre traditions. The analysis highlights rhetorical cues of the essay prompts (often absent in EAP corpus linguistic research) alongside shared linguistic patterns (often absent in RGS studies). The analysis likewise outlines overall patterns that distinguish FYW from published academic writing. The article closes with implications for pedagogy, research, and assessment.
Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North America