Exploring Source Use, Discourse Features and Their Relation to Proficiency in Source-based Writing Assessment in a Turkish EAP Context
Keywords:reading-to-writing assessment , source based learning, proficiency, discourse features, fluency, appropriateness, lexical sophistication, textual borrowing
Source-based writing, using content from reading texts into writing, constitutes a prominent aspect of academic writing. Both research and classroom practice have demonstrated that effective use of sources poses challenges for undergraduate students in second language (L2) writing instruction. In acknowledgement of these challenges in writing from sources, this study aims to explore discourse features of writing in an integrated writing exam conducted in a Turkish university context to fulfil a university examination requirement for EFL learners. Having taken a credit bearing English for Academic Purposes (EAP) writing course, students completed the source-based assessment task, which requires them to compose an argumentative essay by integrating relevant information from the given texts. Twenty essays were graded and categorized into 3 levels of proficiency. The essays were analysed in terms of discourse features including lexical sophistication, fluency, source use (amount and type of source borrowing) and meaning construction (appropriateness). The Kruscall-Wallis test was conducted to determine the relation between proficiency levels and discourse features of students’ writing. A significant difference was found regarding the relation between proficiency and appropriacy of source-use across levels. The study has implications for pedagogy to enhance academic literacy and citation practices and source use of L2 university students as well as for integrated writing assessment.
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