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Title: A corpus-driven investigation into the semantic patterning of grammatical keywords in undergraduate History and PIR (Politics & International Relations) essays
Author: Whiteside, Karin
ISNI:       0000 0004 6351 1879
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis involves a comparative lexico-grammatical analysis of third-year student writing belonging to the Essay genre family (Nesi and Gardner, 2012) in two disciplines, History and PIR (Politics and International Relations), from two UK higher educational institutions. The project adopts a corpus-driven approach which was developed by Groom (2007) in his analysis of professional academic writing in Literature and History: statistically significant grammatical words are identified using a keyness analysis, and the phraseological patterning around these grammatical keywords is then qualitatively analysed and phraseologies are categorised according to their semantic purposes. In the project five grammatical keywords - of, and, that, as and this - were analysed across four sub-corpora each consisting of student writing from one of the two disciplines at one of the two institutions. It was found that there were more similarities than there were variations in the semantic patterning of grammatical keywords across the four disciplinary/institutional sub-corpora, and that these similarities could to a large extent be explained in terms of the shared features of student Humanities and Social Sciences writing (Durrant, 2015). The variations that occurred fell along disciplinary rather than institutional lines and it is argued that, with regards to both similarities and differences, in the case of these two disciplines at the two target institutions, discipline seems to override institution as an influence at lexico-grammatical level on the nature of student academic writing. It is also argued that Groom’s (2007) approach is an extremely useful one to take in analysis of student writing as it uncovers lexico-grammatical features which occur extremely regularly within student texts and thus, from a pedagogical perspective, are of high value in terms of how much of the text they ‘operationalize’ (Bruce, 2011, p. 6).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: P Philology. Linguistics