Publications & Presentations
We’re glad to share our work as we develop Crow.
Lan, G., Lucas, K., & Sun, Y. (2019). Does L2 writing proficiency influence noun phrase complexity? A case analysis of argumentative essays written by Chinese students in a first-year composition course. System, 85, 1–13.
This corpus-based study investigated the association between noun phrase complexity and L2 writing proficiency based on the 11 noun modifiers in Biber, Gray, and Poonpon’s (2011) index of complexity features. A corpus was built based on 100 argumentative papers written by first-year Chinese students, including 50 papers from high-proficiency students (TOEFL writing score > 23) and 50 papers from low-proficiency students (18 < TOEFL writing score < 23). The noun modifiers in Biber et al.’s (2011) index were then extracted with a computational program to calculate the frequencies of the noun modifiers. Via a Chi-square test on the normalized frequencies, the findings demonstrate an association (p = 0.016) between the 11 noun modifiers and the students’ writing proficiency levels (i.e., high and low). Next, a residual analysis was applied, which pinpointed that four noun modifiers used by the students from both proficiency levels contribute to the association the most: attributive adjectives, relative clauses, premodifying nouns, and prepositional phrases (of). The four modifiers were then further explored and interpreted based on a qualitative analysis of the argumentative papers. Pedagogical implications are provided at the end to discuss possible ways of teaching the noun modifiers in an EAP writing course.
Lan, G., & Sun, Y. (2019). A corpus-based investigation of noun phrase complexity in the L2 writings of a first-year composition course. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 38, 14–24.
This study presents frequency and correlation analyses of noun modifiers in L2 student writing, as represented in Purdue University’s Corpus and Repository of Writing (Crow). In the study, 79 argumentative papers are extracted from Crow to examine the use of 11 noun modifiers reported in Biber, Gray, and Poonpon (2011). In the frequency analysis, the modifiers used by L2 student writers are compared to those found in academic journal articles. In the correlation analysis, the frequency of each noun modifier is correlated with the students’ TOEFL writing scores. The results show that the modifiers, especially phrasal noun modifiers (i.e., nouns as modifiers, prepositional phrases), are used more frequently in academic journal articles than in L2 writing and that the correlation between the modifiers and the students’ TOEFL scores is much stronger for basic than for advanced noun modifiers. This suggests that first-year L2 students would benefit from targeted instruction on advanced noun modifiers during academic writing courses.
Kwon, H., Partridge, R. S., & Staples, S. (2018). Building a local learner corpus: Construction of a first- year ESL writing corpus for research, teaching, mentoring, and collaboration. International Journal of Learner Corpus Research, 4(1), 112-127.
This paper describes the construction process involved in creating a robust local learner corpus of texts produced by international students in a first-year writing course at a large public, mid-western university in the U.S. We show how involving faculty members and graduate students of our local writing program in the process of learner corpus analysis provides them with opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge as writing instructors, course designers, and, ultimately, knowledge producers. An additional benefit of such an undertaking is that the corpus can become part of the infrastructure of a research community that allows continued contributions by others individually and collaboratively. We also illustrate the usefulness of our local learner corpus for research, teaching, mentoring, and collaboration within our writing program with examples of the research projects and teaching interventions we have developed.
Kwon, H., Staples, S. & Partridge, R. S. (2018). Source work in the first-year L2 writing classroom: Undergraduate L2 writers’ use of reporting verbs. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 34, 86-96.
The present study investigated the reporting verb practices of second language (L2) writers in a first-year writing program in a North American context. We used a literature review assignment from Corpus and Repository of Writing (Crow) to explore first-year L2 writers’ use of reporting verbs in an academic genre that incorporates a variety of sources to explain a topic of their choice. We report not only the frequency of use across verb forms but also the ways in which writers use verbs from particular established semantic categories (e.g., Argue, Think, Find, Show) and rhetorical functions (Reporting from text (R), Self-referential (S), Uncited Generalization (U)). The results show that the first-year L2 writers in this study use many of the same patterns chosen by upper-level undergraduate writers to attribute writing to outside sources. However, pedagogical attention can be given on the instruction to help first-year L2 writers 1) use more varied and academic vocabulary for reporting sources, 2) understand different rhetorical functions of reporting verbs and the relative impact of using these functions in evidence-based arguments.
Shin, J., Velázquez, A. J, Swatek, A., Staples, S., & Partridge, R. S. (2018). Examining the effectiveness of corpus-informed instruction of reporting verbs in L2 first-year college writing. L2 Journal, 10(3), 31–46.
Previous research has shown that developing second language (L2) academic writers use a limited set of reporting verbs in comparison to more advanced writers (Biber & Reppen, 1998; Hinkel, 2003; Kwon, Staples, & Partridge, 2018; Neff et al., 2003; Staples & Reppen, 2016). These writers also tend to rely on verbs that are typical for conversation (Biber et al., 1999). The present study examines the effects of corpus-informed instruction on developing L2 writers’ learning of reporting verbs in a first-year writing course by comparing drafts of literature reviews before and after a workshop. The forty-five-minute workshop was designed to improve L2 writers’ lexical and functional uses of reporting verbs using corpus-informed materials. The researchers compared the literature review drafts written by 40 students who participated in the workshop to 38 randomly chosen drafts from our corpus. The results show an increase in the experimental groups’ reporting verb lexical variety and a decrease in the use of verb types used in speech in favor of types used in academic writing. The results suggest that corpus-informed instruction may support L2 writers in the development of lexical and functional reporting verb
We will be presenting a workshop at the Teaching and Language Corpora (TALC) conference, virtually, July 15-18, 2020.
Past conference presentations
Staples, S., & Gevers, J. (2018, October). Multi-modality in the Corpus and repository of writing (Crow). Presentation for L2DL Digital Literacies Symposium, University of Arizona.
Picoral, A., Reppen, R., Staples, S., Novikov, A., Lan, G. (2018, September). Annotating learner data for lexico-grammatical patterns: a comparison of software tools. Presentation for American Association of Corpus Linguistics, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Staples, S., Reppen, R., Holcomb, C., Novikov, A., Lan, G., Picoral, A., Liu, Q. (2018, September). Lexico-grammatical patterns in first-year writing across L1 backgrounds. Presentation for American Association of Corpus Linguistics, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Picoral, A., Staples, S., Shin, J., Swatek, A., Wang, Z., & Gao, J. (2018, July). Exploring variation and intertextuality in L2 undergraduate writing in English: Using the Corpus and Repository of Writing Online Platform for research and teaching. Preconference workshop at Teaching and Language Corpora (TALC), Cambridge, England.
Gao, J., Macdonald, L., Wang, Z., Picoral, A., & Staples, S. (2018, March). Citation Practices of L2 Writers in First-year Writing Courses: Form, Function, and Connection with Pedagogical Materials. Paper presented at AAAL 2018, Chicago, IL, USA.
Gao, J., Macdonald, L., Wang, Z., Picoral, A., & Staples, S. (2017, July). Variability in citation practices of developing L2 writers in first-year writing courses. Poster presented at Corpus Linguistics, Birmingham, UK.
Shin, J. (2017, July). Stance in first-year composition: Genre, process, and writers. Paper presented at Symposium of Second Language Writing (SSLW), Bangkok, Thailand.
Dilger, B., Buell, D., Holcomb, C. Moore, J., & Baird, N. (2017, July). Advancing quantitative writing research. Panel presented at Council of Writing Program Administrators 2017, Knoxville, TN.
Gao, J., Banat, H., & Bushner, A. (2017, June). Users of a Web-based Writing Repository: A Needs Analysis Survey., Panel presented at Computers and Writing 2017. Findlay, OH.
Velázquez, A., McMullin, M., Craig, S., & Dilger, B. (2017, June). Structuring Active Work: Developing Sustainable Digital Infrastructures for Collaborative Research Teams. Workshop facilitated at Computers & Writing 2017, Findlay, OH.
Shin, J., Partridge, R. S., Lan, G., & Staples, S. (2017, March). Corpus-based learning of reporting verbs in L2 academic writing. Paper presented at TESOL 2017, Seattle, WA, USA.
Banat, H., Craig, S., Wang, Z., & Staples, S. (2017, March). Building a Collaborative Interdisciplinary Research and Pedagogical Project for SLW. Presented at TESOL 2017, Seattle, WA, USA.
Banat, H., Lan, G.,Gao, J., Staples, S., & Dilger, B. (2017, March). Developing a Corpus of L2 Writing and Repository of Pedagogical Artifacts: Methodology, Usability and Research. Poster presented at AAAL 2017, Portland, OR, USA.
Staples, S., Omizo, R., & Hart-Davidson, W. (2017, March.) Promoting RAD Writing Research through Inter-Institutional Collaboration. Panel Presented at CCCC 2017, Portland, OR, USA.
McMullin, M, Wang, Z., Dilger, B., & Staples, S. (2017, March.) Cultivating Writing Research via Corpus and Computational Collaboration. Panel presented at CCCC 2017, Portland, OR, USA.
Gao, J., Macdonald, L., and Craig, S. (2017, March). Building a Better Team:
Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration in the Crow Project. Panel presented at Purdue Languages & Cultures Conference 2017, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
Velázquez, A., Shin, J., Swatek, A., & Staples, S. (2017, March). Corpus-based learning of reporting verbs in L2 academic writing. Paper presented at Purdue Languages and Cultures Conference West Lafayette, IN.
Wang, Z. (2017, March). A corpus-driven study of first person pronouns in ESL introductory writing. Paper presented at Purdue Languages and Cultures Conference 2017. West Lafayette, IN.
Banat, H., Wang, Z., Staples, S., Swatek, A. (2016, October). Building Community Expertise: Developing a Corpus and Repository of Writing for Writing Professionals. 2016 Symposium on Second Language Writing. Tempe, AZ, USA.
Partridge, R.S., Staples, S., Velazquez, A., & Shin, J. (2016, October). Examining the Effectiveness of Data-Driven Instruction of Reporting Verbs in L2 Writing: A Corpus-Based Study. 2016 Symposium on Second Language Writing. Tempe, AZ, USA.
Staples, S. (2016, September). Boundary work: Reflections on collaboration across disciplines for technology enhanced (language) teaching and learning. Opening plenary at L2 Digital Literacies and Arizona Computer-Assisted Language Learning, Tucson, AZ.
Shin, J., Lan, G., Gao, J., Partridge, R. S. & Staples, S. (2016, September). The Effectiveness of ‘Soft’ DDL on Reporting Verbs in L2 Writing: A Corpus-Based Study. Presentation at the American Association of Corpus Linguistics. Ames, IA, USA.
Dilger, B. (2016, August). Advancing Writing Research with Crow, the Corpus & Repository of Writing. Presentation at College Writing: From the 1966 Dartmouth Seminar to Tomorrow. Hanover, NH, USA.
Swatek, A., Banat, H., Staples, S. (2016, July). Developing First Year Composition L2 Writing Corpus: Research, Pedagogy and Teacher Training. Presentation at the 12th Teaching and Language Corpora Conference. Giessen, Germany.
Dilger, B., McMullin, M., Macdonald, L., Staples, S., & Wang, Z. (2016, May). Boundary Work: Designing a Composition Archive for Research and Mentoring Across Disciplines. Roundtable at Computers and Writing 2016. Rochester, NY, USA.
Gao, J., & Craig, S. (2016, March). The Design and Research Potential of Crow for Language Research and Teaching. Purdue Languages and Cultures Conference 2016. West Lafayette, IN, USA.