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Title: Citation practices in Maltese academic writing in English : a corpus-based study of undergraduate dissertations in education
Author: Schembri, Natalie
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis is a corpus-based investigation of citation practices III undergraduate dissertations in Education written in English as a second language. The first part of the study draws on a corpus of 60 literature review sections to provide a quantitative analysis of citation practices across the parameters of citation density, source type, secondary citation, integral and non-integral citation, reporting and non-reporting citation and forms of integrating report. The second part of the study uses a case-study approach to examine the contribution of these features to textual voice and overall success in a subcorpus of six dissertations chosen from the top end and the bottom end of the grading scale. It also investigates the expectations of members of the academy with respect to citation practices, and any positive or negative underlying factors as reported by the dissertation writers. It is shown that citations in the corpus are characteristically primary, integral, reporting summaries that are likely to be taken from a book. The case study results suggest that the single, most reliable predictor of success was the use of non-reporting citation; that citations with a combination of non-integral, non-reporting structures, the use of text transforming forms of integrating report and the use of journal articles and book sections was more frequent in higher-graded dissertations. Citation density was not generally shown to be a good predictor of success. The fulfilment of supervisor expectations with respect to citation practices tended to reflect overall success. Previous training, supervisor support and language competence were found to be positive underlying factors whereas lack of time was reported to be the most negative underlying factor. The study introduces the notion of framing in citation as a contributor to textual voice. The results from the case studies suggest that citations with stronger, more visible frames weaken textual voice and are less conducive to success and citation with weaker, less visible frames strengthen textual voice and are more conducive to success. The study further proposes the application of a knowledge-telling/knowledge-transforming perspective on citation as an interesting link between knowledge and its transformation, in particular as applied to text transforming forms of integrating report. The thesis supports previous work documenting a relationship between citation use and dissertation grade.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available