Academic journal article English Language Teaching

The Use of Demonstrative Pronoun and Demonstrative Determiner This in Upper-Level Student Writing: A Case Study

Academic journal article English Language Teaching

The Use of Demonstrative Pronoun and Demonstrative Determiner This in Upper-Level Student Writing: A Case Study

Article excerpt

Abstract

Demonstrative this is worthy to investigate because of the role of this as a common cohesive device in academic writing. This study attempted to find out the variables underlying the realization of demonstrative this in graduate-student writing of Semarang State University, Indonesia. The data of the study were collected by asking three groups of students (first semester, second semester, third semester students) to write an essay. The collected data were analyzed by identifying, classifying, calculating, and interpreting. Interviewing to several students was also done to find out the reasons underlying the use of attended and unattended this. Comparing the research results to those of the Michigan Corpus of Upper-level Student Paper (MICUSP) as proficient graduate-student writing was done in order to know the position of graduate-student writing of Semarang State University in reference to MICUSP. The conclusion of the research results is that most occurrences of demonstrative this are attended and these occurrences are stable across levels, similar to those in MICUSP. The reasons underlying the usage are to create unity, to build text and context relationship, to keep theme-rheme structure, to have variation. And the choice of using attended this or unattended this can be explained as a choice of maxim of manner or maxim of quantity proposed by Grice. It is suggested that a writing teacher review the theory how to write such as cohesion, unity, theme-rheme pattern in writing class since this will facilitate the writing process.

Keywords: demonstrative pronoun, demonstrative determiner, attended this, unattended this, MICUSP

1. Introduction

Writing competence facilitates professionals' and students' success in their career and in their study. In order to produce a coherent text, a writer needs to employ sufficient metadiscourse markers to explicitly organize their texts, for linking one part of a text to another (Rustipa, 2014, p. 44). It is likely that writing in English is still the hardest work for many Indonesian scientists (Rustipa, 2013, p. 41). Therefore, writing is a field worthy of investigation, ranging from genre, professional writing, academic writing, student writing, metadiscourse markers in order to come up with pedagogical significances. This study is also another attempt to contribute to writing pedagogy. It is aimed at investigating and describing a linguistic phenomenon of the use of metadiscourse marker this found in upper-level student writing. Romer and Wulff (2010) call this term as attended vs. unattended this. Swales' study (2005) revealed the role of this as a common cohesive device in academic writing.

This case study searched the variable realization of the demonstrative pronoun this standing alone and the demonstrative determiner attended by a noun or noun phrase. Especially when occurred in initial position, the demonstrative is sometimes followed by a noun or noun phrase and sometimes not. It is a way of structuring sentence based on theme-rheme or given-new information pattern. And it is also a way of getting out of one sentence into another. It is likely that the writer's choice of one over the other variant is partly influenced by the Grice's maxims or cooperative principle.

The previous studies on demonstratives have been done by several researchers as follows. Oh's study (2001) as cited by Zaki (2011) revealed that the most critical factor guiding the writer's/speaker's choice of a demonstrative is the sense of calling the interlocutor's attention to something for a particular purpose.

Swales (2005) investigated 80 research articles from Hyland corpus. Based on the data analysis, it's found out that 64% of the occurrences of this were attended, while 36% others were unattended. Swales (2005) as cited by Romer and Wulff (2010) concludes that attended this tends to be preferred by writing professionals because it provides more clarity and provides recontextualization of the previous text. …

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