Crow at Corpus Linguistics 2017

From Crow team member Wendy Jie Gao:

Photo shows two women, Dr. Shelley Staples and Wendy Jie Gao standing on either side of their research poster at the 2017 Corpus Linguistics conference.
Wendy Jie Gao and Dr. Shelley Staples at Corpus Linguistics 2017

In July, Crow researchers gave a poster presentation at the Corpus Linguistics (CL 2017) in Birmingham, England.

The poster introduced our citation project initiated in the summer of 2016–”Variability in Citation Practices of Developing L2 writers in First-Year Writing Courses”.  By examining L2 students’ citation practices in their assignments (Literature Review and Research Paper) for an introductory writing course, we explored their preference for particular citation styles and possible variance across assignments and instructors.

Preliminary research results show a more frequent use of integral citation as well as a hybrid citation pattern. Pedagogical materials used by instructors may also play a role in influencing students’ citation practices. We received important feedback to help us move the project forward. 

Question: Every discipline and profession has its own writing guidelines or conventions. Why do we need to look at students’ writing in introductory composition classes?

Response: The first-year writing course is aimed at helping students adapt into academic writing genres, which might not be familiar to international undergraduate students. Because first year writing is a required course for colleges and universities in the United States, it could help students navigate through the long tunnel of writing processes, including writing in different genres, for multiple purposes and audiences, as well as professional writing in their future.

  • This question reminds the research team that first-year writing can be a new concept to those who are not familiar with the U.S. higher education setting. We need to have more clarification of the background information for future conversations

Question: What will be the next step after categorizing citation practices based on formal features (integral citation, non-integral citation and hybrid citation)?

Response: We are planning to focus on functional coding as the next step. Our literature review covers related research such as Omizo and Hart-Davidson (2016) and Petrić (2007). Closer analysis will reveal rhetorical functions intended by student writers, such as attribution, exemplification, or extraction.

Question:  What does you mean by “students’ citation practices might be influenced by pedagogical materials”?

Response: We collected pedagogical materials used by the three instructors and have noticed some connection. For example, most of the students used more citations in the Literature Review assignment. Two instructors have made it an explicit requirement that their writing needs to include at least three citations, which is not a “must-do” for the other assignment. Summarizing and evaluating are the focus for the assignment of literature review, while the research paper emphasizes more on argumentation. This helps in explaining a higher number  of integral citation while students are writing a literature review.

The citation project research team has revised our proposal and submitted it for AAAL 2018 (Applied Linguistics Conference). All these thought-provoking questions  and feedback are indispensable to the progress of our research in the future.


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