Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Japanese graduate students' perceptions of English and Japanese academic writing: A case study
by Sasagawa, Emiko, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2011, 123; 1504532
Abstract (Summary)

This study investigated graduate level Japanese students' perceptions of academic English writing in contrast with academic Japanese writing. Based on data collected from a detailed questionnaire and through in-depth one-on-one interviews with 20 Japanese graduate students who had studied in discipline-specific written discourse at CSULB, the study investigated their perceptions of differences in the rhetorical features used in the two languages' writing systems, especially pertaining to the overall essay organizational structure, the creation of coherence, awareness of the audience, and some other elements of essay writing.

The study also explored Japanese writers' awareness of characteristics of English academic writing constructed through their intensive involvement with English academic writing. The instruction provided in their English writing classes played a significant role in forming these Second Language (L2) writers' perceptions of English writing. With rigorous writing practice in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and intensive essay writing required in graduate courses, these L2 writers have formed some specific views of English writing and its rhetorical use.

The overall results showed that participants perceived writing in both languages as being distinct. Their perceptions also included a set of simplified rhetorical features and emphasized utilitarian rhetorical modes of English academic writing. Findings showed that some writers perceived English writing to be rather easy because they felt it allowed the writer to merely follow a framework; English writing required less of writers' skills or creativity. However, other students recognized that English academic writing does not follow a framework, but they felt that their previous writing instruction had not fully prepared them for academic writing at the graduate level.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Abbuhl, Rebekha
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 50/03M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Asian Studies
Publication Number: 1504532
ISBN: 978-1-124-99474-1
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