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ERIC Number: EJ1130144
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0922-4777
That Noun Phrase May Be Beneficial and This May Not Be: Discourse Cohesion in Reading and Writing
Crossley, Scott A.; Rose, Dani Francuz; Danekes, Cassondra; Rose, Charles Wesley; McNamara, Danielle S.
Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, v30 n3 p569-589 Mar 2017
This paper examines the effects of attended and unattended demonstratives on text processing, comprehension, and writing quality in two studies. In the first study, participants (n = 45) read 64 mini-stories in a self-paced reading task and identified the main referent in the clauses. The sentences varied in the type of demonstratives (i.e., this, that, these, and those) contained in the sentences and whether the referent was followed by a demonstrative determiner and noun (i.e., an attended demonstrative) or a demonstrative pronoun (i.e., an unattended demonstrative). In the second study, 173 persuasive essays written by high school students were rated by expert judges on overall writing quality using a standardized rubric. Expert coders manually counted the number and types of demonstratives (attended and unattended demonstratives) in each essay. These counts were used to predict the human scores of essay quality. The findings demonstrate that the use of unattended demonstratives as anaphoric references is disadvantageous to both reading time and referent identification. However, these disadvantages become advantages in terms of essay quality likely because linguistic complexity is a strong indicator of high proficiency writing. From a text processing and comprehension viewpoint, the findings indicate, then, that anaphoric reference is not always beneficial and does not always create a more cohesive text. In contrast, from a writing context, the use of unattended demonstratives leads to a more linguistically complex text, which generally equates to a higher quality text.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305A080589; R305G020018