Developing Analytical Writing: Learning to Connect Information, Learning to Take a Stance
- Publication type: Article
- EDS: .
- Journal: Pensamiento Educativo, Revista de Investigación Educacional Latinoamericana (PEL)
- Publishing house: .
- Year: 2021
- DOI: DOI
- authors: Elisa Rosado, Iban Mañas, Melina Aparici,
- elbec members involved: Elisa RosadoIban MañasMelina Aparici
The development of analytical writing requires mastery of specialized linguistic forms and functions. Students of all educational levels have problems with the organization of information and the use of specific formal resources. We focus on intra-sentential connectives and discourse markers that contribute to text cohesion and guide the logical-semantic relationships between units of discourse, as they are considered predictors of writing development and indicators of text quality. We analyze the texts produced by 128 Catalan high school and university students in order to identify the difficulties they have in establishing connectivity and defining developmental trajectories. The texts were produced after implementing a didactic sequence on academic writing. We examine the repertoire of markers (conjunctions, parenthetical markers, lexical markers) and the discursive functions they perform (propositional, structural, modal). The results show differences between the two groups in the use of conjunctions, which are used more frequently by high school students, and parenthetical markers, which are more commonly used by university students. With regard to discourse functions, differences between the groups also appear in modal markers. The structural efficacy and coherence of a text are related to proficient use of connectivity markers, their function within a text, and the expression of the writer’s stance. The use of structural markers is uncommon for both groups, but university students are more willing to use them in order to express their stance.