Papers of the 16th Euro-International Systemic Functional Linguistics Workshop
Miraflores de la Sierra, Madrid, Spain
28th-31st August 2004.
The spread of interpersonal meaning: Propagating values in academic writing
by Susan Hood
Faculty of Education, University of Technology, Sydney
In this paper I report on one aspect of a larger study that explores the construction of evaluative stance in academic research writing, from a discourse semantic perspective within SFL, that is drawing on Appraisal theory (Martin 2000). The paper focuses in particular on the prosodic patterning of interpersonal meanings in both published texts, and texts written by undergraduate students. I explore the means by which explicit Attitude positioned strategically in the text can impact or 'propagate' (Lemke 1998) across a considerable stretch or phase of text, with particular attention to the role of Graduation in this process. An analysis of the prosodic patterning of interpersonal meanings in the academic texts in this study reveals that prosodies of value can be construed both prospectively and retrospectively, and the preference for one or other strategy corresponds to the construction of a particular field kind of argument. The analyses of prosodic patterning contribute to a framework for deconstructing model texts in the teaching of EAP, and for negotiating appropriate rhetorical strategies with novice academic writers.
Martin, J.R. 2000. 'Beyond exchange: appraisal systems in English'. In S. Hunston and G. Thompson (eds), Evaluation in text: authorial stance and the construction of discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (142-175).
Lemke, J.L. 1998. 'Resources for attitudinal meaning; Evaluative orientations in text semantics'. In Functions of Language, 5 (1). (33-56).
Actually this is a paper generated from her PhD thesis: "Appraising Research: Taking a stance in academic writing"
For the full version of her thesis, I'll upload it here later. Here is the abstract.
This thesis is located at the intersection of linguistics and education. The aim of the thesis is to explore, from a linguistic perspective, the construction of evaluative stance in the introductory sections of academic research papers, in order to input directly into pedagogic practice in academic literacy in English. The pedagogic focus is research writing at undergraduate level, a context that represents an important transition for many students into new forms of language, as they learn to argue for their own research in relation to other knowledge and other knowers in their field.
The data for the study include the introductory sections of both undergraduate dissertations written in English as a second language, and the introductory sections of published research papers that were used as pedagogic models. The linguistic construal of evaluative stance is investigated through a detailed study of the discourse semantics of interpersonal meaning, drawing on the model of Appraisal within Systemic Functional Linguistics (Martin 2000) as the theoretical point of departure. Language choices in the data are interpreted with reference to the theory. At the same time the theory itself is interrogated and further developed in its application to the academic texts that comprise the data in this study. An initial analysis of the construal of evaluative stance in the published texts becomes a reference point for identifying the resources and strategies used by the student writers. The objective, however, is not primarily to make generalisations about how published writers and student writers evaluate. Rather the aim is to develop a theoretical framework to explain the evaluative strategies that are encoded in the texts, and the implications of choosing
amongst different strategies.
The thesis contributes a theoretically motivated, multidimensional and dynamic explanation of evaluative stance in the context of academic argument. The study addresses the kinds of values that are expressed, how and by whom, as well as how interpersonal meanings are distributed in texts and how they interact dynamically in the construction of an argument for the writer’s own study. The thesis contributes functional linguistic explanations of the ways in which academic writers manage the dual demands of ‘objectivity’ and argument, as well as how they manage to maintain solidarity with their academic discourse community while establishing difference and hence space for their own research. The thesis explicates a range of evaluative strategies employed by academic writers, and demonstrates how different evaluative strategies have implications for the construction of different kinds of knowledge.
Academic writing condition those students regularly effort with: in exacting, the character of argument and analysis in college writing assignments. The chapter structure three ordinary kinds of writing assignments writers may suppose to receive and offers suggestion on how to address them. It closes by detailing exacting textual features usually probable in academic essays.
Academic writing is is formal. it may impersonal and objective and cautious or tentative. Interpersonal communication is defined as an interactional process between two people, either face-to-face or through mediated form. Reference other writer's work. that may help you alot