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Basic concepts of the theory of genre and the analysis of argumentative writing
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Media, Literature and Language Didactics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8634-715X
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Media, Literature and Language Didactics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4074-5643
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In our conference paper we will make an in-depth study of the relation between, on the one hand, basic notions in genre theory, genre, activity type and style, as used for instance in Fairclough (1992) and Cope & Kalanzi (1993) and, on the other hand, the outcome of an investigation into the nature of argumentative writing on different levels of the Swedish school system and in higher education.

 

There is still much work to be done when it comes to helping people to learn how to write discursive texts. (See the results of a pilot study to be found in Lindberg & Sandblom, 2013.) The need for more research in this area has been brought to attention by for example Ask (2007); Bergh Nestlog (2009); Ciolek-Ciastek (2008); Johansson (2010) and Nyström (2000) and is further emphasized due to changes within the Swedish school system. A consequence of these changes has been that more focus has been put on the proficiency of pupils to adapt their writing to given circumstances.

 

This situation motivated an investigation of argumentative texts produced by pupils in upper secondary high school (grades 7 and 9), college students (grades 1 and 3) and students at university level studying to become teachers of Swedish (one group during their second semester of Swedish and one during their third semester).

 

The method used in the investigation rests upon Grounded theory (Bryman, 2011, s. 513ff.) which allows an interaction between the analysis of the data and theoretical considerations. The focus of interest has been the form, content and structure of the argumentation but also the way the authors of the texts adapt their writing to the recipient and to the genre.

 

The analysis is mainly qualitative, based on a close reading of the texts, but some aspects have been supplemented with a quantitative analysis. We assume, as do many others, that different levels of description are necessary in order to grasp the flexibility of language use depending on the given situation, the aim and the recipient of the text. We have therefore used theories and methods from several different areas: linguistics, literature and Toulmin’s model of argumentation (2003). This choice of methods is also motivated by the wish to avoid too rigid a conception of notions such as genre and text type.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
Keyword [en]
theory, genre, argumentation, writing, Toulmin
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-22683OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-22683DiVA, id: diva2:678649
Conference
Is the Study of Genre Still Front Line Research, University of Copenhagen, the 14th-15 th of November, 2013
Available from: 2013-12-12 Created: 2013-12-12 Last updated: 2016-01-14Bibliographically approved

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Lindberg, YlvaSandblom, Elisabet

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