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ERIC Number: EJ806080
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-0033-6882
Evaluating Textual Coherence: A Case Study of University Business Writing by EFL and Native English-Speaking Students in New Zealand
Rogers, Sandra H.
RELC Journal: A Journal of Language Teaching and Research, v35 n2 p135-147 2004
Writing research has long attempted to define and assess coherence in written prose; however the researchers have often ignored or inadequately met the needs of writing students who require a simple definition of coherence that they can use to revise their own prose. One exception is Joseph Williams, author of "Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace" (Williams 2000), who assures students that their writing will be considered coherent if they follow his two simple principles. While anecdotal evidence suggests he is correct, until now there has been no empirical evidence to validate or refute his claim. The present study develops a method to analyze written discourse according to Joseph Williams' two principles of coherence, and uses the resulting data to determine whether there is any correlation between coherence and overall writing quality in academic essays. Analysis of essays by EFL and native-speaking students reveals a negative correlation between what Williams believes to be the appropriate placement of topics and overall writing quality, but a strong correlation between topic continuity and quality. (Contains 2 tables and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand