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Academic Paper


Title: Visible and Occluded Citation Features in Postgraduate Second Language Writing
Author: Diane Pecorari
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Linnaeus University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Discourse Analysis
Abstract: As novice members of their academic discourse communities, postgraduates face the challenge of learning to write in ways which will be judged as appropriate by those communities. Two resources in this effort are students' own observations of the features of published texts in their disciplines, and feedback on their texts from teachers and advisors. These resources depend, though, on the extent to which textual features can be observed. Swales [Swales, J. M. (1996). Occluded genres in the academy: The case of the submission letter. In E. Ventola & A. Mauranen (Eds.). Academic writing: intercultural and textual issues (pp. 45–58). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.] has noted the existence of occluded academic genres. The notion of occlusion is extended here to refer to the features of academic texts which are not ordinarily visible to the reader. One important area of occlusion is citation and, specifically, the relationship between a reference to a source and the source itself. This article reports the findings of an investigation into three visible and occluded features of postgraduate second-language writing. The novice writers in this study were found to respond to their disciplines' expectations in terms of the visible aspects of source use, but with regard to the occluded features their writing diverged considerably from received disciplinary norms. The findings also suggest that, with respect to disciplinary norms, a gap may exist between what is prescribed and what is practiced.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: In Progress
Publication Info: English for Specific Purposes, 25, pp. 4-29


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