An investigation of student writing in Civil Engineering: A corpus linguistics case study in the Middle East

  • Priya Mathew

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This thesis attempts to characterize the two main genres in the Omani Corpus of Academic Writing-Civil Engineering (OCAW-CE) using Corpus Linguistic methods. The design of OCAW-CE allows for the comparison of two different genres within the same discipline, Case Study (CS) and Methodology Recount (MR), making it one of the first studies that have isolated two student academic genres to study their effects on linguistic choices. It addresses three main questions relating to these two genres. The first question is about the move structure of the primary genres in OCAW-CE. A detailed move structure analysis of the CS and MR genres was undertaken in the Swalesian tradition. The second question was regarding similarities and differences in phraseology between the CS and MR genres. The phraseology of the two genres was explored using Lexical Bundle (LB) analysis. The findings indicate that these two genres differ in pedagogically relevant ways. The third question, which explores the similarities and differences in phrasal complexity between the CS and MR sub-corpora, was investigated using an analysis of word strings. The findings show how genre differences influence the type of linguistic features used to meet the task requirements. The pedagogical implications of this study will be discussed, as EAP practitioners, researchers, students and course book developers need to be aware that situational factors such as genre and discipline need to be considered in characterising student writing at university
    Date of Award2020
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorHilary Nesi (Supervisor) & Benet Vincent (Supervisor)

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