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Title: The dynamics of derivative writing : explanatory variables for plagiarism and derivative language in ESL texts
Author: Lesko, John Philip
ISNI:       0000 0004 2678 7817
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2000
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The current work represents an attempt to provide an account of the dynamics and explanatory variables in cases of apparent plagiarism and derivation involving ESL students. Through an extension of the Dynamic Model of L2 Writing, the explanatory variables and dynamic interactions involved in derivative writing contexts are analysed. An analysis is also undertaken of the distinct nature of appropriation by ESL students as opposed to general appropriation within the broader, postmodern-influenced academy, and within the popular communications genres of music video production, journalism, the news media, literature, and popular fiction. A brief history of referencing and citation is outlined, and following this history and description of currently widespread appropriation activity, the theoretical Dynamic Model-influenced framework is presented. This framework relies on, and is integrated with, fieldwork data results obtained from conducting a student questionnaire among 135 ESL students enrolled in pre-sessional EAP courses (followed by informal interviews and discussion sessions), by conducting questionnaires among 53 MSc course co-ordinators and 27 EAP specialists from language centres across the UK, and by analysing particular cases of derivation/plagiarism and the texts involved in those cases. These cross-referenced questionnaire and case study results are presented in separate appendices. The study results, in line with the immediate influence hypothesis, suggest that the immediate influences and variables of an L2 writing context, such as L2 proficiency, time constraints, lack of confidence, writing anxiety and a desperate "survival mentality" mindset, contribute to a decision-making-process which leads to the use of derivation/plagiarism as a composing strategy. In such L2 contexts of derivation, the text-mediated reader-writer interaction, occurring within a discourse community (the space surrounding a text), is disrupted by the importation of a text (and author) which should have remained exterior to the interaction, into what should have been a genuine interchange and discourse community contribution. After discussing possible motivation and opportunity considerations behind the use of derivative writing strategies, and giving suggestions for preventing, detecting, and investigating apparent plagiarism in ESL contexts, recommendations are made for institutional policy and procedure, the limitations of the current study are discussed, ideas for further research are presented, and the relationship of postmodern ideology to academe in the Information Age is discussed, culminating in some thought-provoking implications and questions for the Foucault-Barthes assertion that the death of the Author has occurred.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available