Appraising Research: Evaluation in Academic Writing by Susan Hood (auth.)

By Susan Hood (auth.)

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With little empirical knowledge about Internet-based education outcomes, the need for research in this area is not only timely, but also imperative. The primary purpose of this exploratory empirical study was to compare an online course with an equivalent course taught in a traditional face-to-face format. Comparisons included student ratings of instructor and course quality; assessment of course interaction, structure, and support; and learning outcomes such as course projects, grades, and student self-assessment of their ability to perform various ISD tasks.

Validity markers and attitude markers construct epistemological stance for Barton (1993: 746). In her study of comparisons in the use of evidentials in expert and student texts, she focuses on four specific rhetorical strategies used in academic argument: problematisation, persona, citation, and argument. She assigns a particular kind of evidential to each and articulates the most frequent constructions for realising that strategy. The strategy of ‘problematization’, for example, is realised in evidentials of contrast the most frequent being sentenceinitial conjunction.

It is the discourse that calls attention either to the relationship between the author and the claims in the text or to the relationship between the author or the text’s readers’ (Geisler 1994: 11). Crismore (1989) identifies instances of metadiscourse fulfilling interpersonal functions that are to do with assessing certainty, expressing attitude towards a proposition, or directly addressing the audience. In this sense then metadiscourse includes the notion of rhetorical process and is perhaps something more.

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