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Title: Chinese students' practice of using sources and citations in their one-year taught Master's programmes in a UK university
Author: Sun, Qingyang
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2019
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This study investigated ten Chinese students' practice of using sources for rhetorical purposes during one-year taught Master's programmes (TESOL and Applied Linguistics) in a UK university. Participants' texts written over the year were collected and analysed for their citation use; discourse-based interviews were then conducted to understand the participants' reasons behind their own source use in texts; further, semi-structured interviews with the participants and collection of artefacts explored the support available to the participants on source use. The findings of text analysis mainly confirm previous literature that student writers primarily use citations for knowledge display and less often establish links between sources or evaluate sources. However, they made more links between sources in their literature review chapter at the end of the year. In addition, the high-scorers used more citations and a wider range of rhetorical functions than the mid/low-scorers. The discourse-based interviews with students revealed complicated reasons behind their source use. Awareness of the rhetorical aspects of source use, language proficiency, grasp of domain knowledge, personal dedication to and time limits on coursework writing, and genre differences in coursework, were all found to be influential on students' source use. Further, a range of input on source use has been identified in the department and institution investigated. The majority of such support tends to be general advice. Only a few types of support involved a limited amount of specific contextualised source use, and only a part of this is about rhetorical source use. On the other hand, the participants clearly engaged with such support differently, and some were able to assimilate more input into their writing than others. However, a particular learner's level of engagement and dedication to study were often unstable - they cannot always be classified as cue-seekers or cue-deaf. Pedagogic implications will be discussed.
Supervisor: Soden, Bill Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available