A framework for analysis of authorial identity:heterogeneity among the undergraduate dissertation chapters

Olmos Lopez, Pamela (2015) A framework for analysis of authorial identity:heterogeneity among the undergraduate dissertation chapters. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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Thesis writing is an enterprise which integrates knowledge of different domains, i.e. the subject’s content, rhetoric, academic discourse, the genre they are writing, and research skills (Bartholomae, 1985; Read, et al. 2001; Johns, et al. 2006). The integration of these elements makes thesis writing a challenging endeavour, especially when facing it for first time, as is the case for undergraduates. Thesis writing at undergraduate level becomes more challenging when the writing is in a foreign language. In Mexico, undergraduate students are often required to write a thesis in English. However, researching writing at undergraduate level has sometimes been undervalued as undergraduates are considered to lack an authorial voice (Helms-Park & Stapleton, 2003; Stapleton, 2002). Based on the premise that every piece of writing contains voice (Ivanič, 1998), an element of authorial identity, I focus my research on exploring authorial identity.In my study I analyse how undergraduates, novice writers, express authorial identity across their dissertation chapters. I propose a framework for the analysis of authorial identity (Ivanič, 1998, Hyland, 2010, 2012) and communicative functions, and apply it to a corpus of undergraduate dissertations. The corpus consists of 30 dissertations that are written in English as Foreign Language in the area of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and Applied Linguistics (TESOL/AL) and translation. The framework includes analysis of first person pronouns, passives, impersonal constructions, reporting verbs and evaluative adjectives, which were found to be keywords in these dissertations compared to a reference corpus (the British English 2006 or BE06 corpus). The framework I propose will facilitate the analysis of the writer’s identity and communicative functions as they occur in each chapter of their dissertations. I also include a case study focussing on one participant with the aim of integrating the suggested framework with awareness and understanding of the participant’s self-presentation as a writer. I include some pedagogical implications for L2 writing research, suggesting that students could be made aware of the full range of choices available in academic writing and how they project different authorial identities. I close my thesis by exemplifying the framework within my own case of authorial identity and with a reflection on the authorial identity of speakers of other languages in dissertation writing.

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Thesis (PhD)
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29 Feb 2016 09:14
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 00:17