Writing from Sources in two Cultural Contexts
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This research investigates writing from sources in two educational contexts as it specifically relates to the academic task of constructing a high school research paper. In order to look closer into this issue, the following research questions were asked: (a) What are the synthesizing styles of writers composing from sources in two different cultural contexts and to what extent do they differ cross-culturally? (b) How do the similarities and differences between the two samples reflect the “nature” and “context” of the task? To answer these questions the research papers of thirty English-speaking senior high school students in the U.S. and the research papers of forty Hebrew-speaking senior high school students in Israel were analyzed using a Taxonomy for Research Paper Evaluation, especially developed for this study. To analyze the data, t-tests, size of effect (d) and the sum of absolute differences statistics were conducted. The results show that the composing styles of both samples were low on synthesizing, showing preference for alternative styles of composing from sources. The results also suggest that while the research paper is a universal norm-based product defined by the international academy, the products of the two cultural groups were situated at different points along the approximative systems of research paper writing. In light of this interpretation of the findings, theoretical and pedagogical implications are drawn for mainstream literacy acquisition.
KeywordsWriting from multiple sources intercultural rhetorical differences synthesizing styles discourse synthesis context cultural context taxonomy writing assessment research paper norm-based products research paper evaluation high-school writing tasks approximative systems literacy acquisition
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