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Use and Relationship of Shell Nouns as Cohesive Devices in the Quality of Second Language Writing
The current study is a comparative analysis of the use of shell nouns as a cohesive device (CD) in an English for Second Language (ESL) setting in order to identify their use and relationship in the quality of second language (L2) writing. As these nouns were established to anticipate the meaning within, across or outside the text, their use has fascinated writing researchers. The corpus of the study included published articles from reputable journals and graduate students’ papers in order to analyze the frequency of shell nouns using “highly prevalent” nouns in the academic community, to identify the different lexicogrammatical patterns where these nouns occur and to the functions connected with these patterns. The result of the study implies that published authors used more shell nouns in their paper than graduate students. However, the functions of the different lexicogrammatical patterns for the frequently occurring shell nouns are somewhat similar. These results could help students in enhancing the cohesion of their text and in comprehending it.
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[1] E. Hinkel, Teaching Academic ESL Writing: Practical Techniques in Vocabulary and Grammar, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004.
[2] I. Jabeen, J. Qasim, and S. Nawaz, “Cohesive ties and meaning comprehension,” Int. J. of Academic Research and Reflection, vol. 2, no. 4, pp 100-109, 2014.
[3] G. Yule, The Study of Language (3rd ed.), New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
[4] L. A. Mojica, “Reiterations in ESL learners’ academic papers: do they contribute to lexical cohesiveness?” The Asia-Pacific Education Research, vol. 15, no. 1, pp 105-125, 2006.
[5] A. Mousavi, and M. R. Moini, “A corpus study of shell nouns in published research articles of education,” Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 98, pp 1282 – 1289, 2014, doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.03.544.
[6] E. Hinkel, “Matters of cohesion in L2 academic texts,” Applied Lang. Learning, vol. 12, pp 111-132, 2001.
[7] J. Flowerdew, “Signalling nouns in discourse,” English for Specific Purposes, vol. 22, pp 329-346, 2003.
[8] H. Schmid, English Abstract Nouns as Conceptual Shells: From Corpus to Cognition, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2000.
[9] R. N. Aktas, and V. Cortes, “Shell nouns as cohesive devices in published and ESL student writing,” J. of English for Academic Purposes, vol. 7, pp 3-14, 2008.
[10] K. Muto, “The use of lexical cohesion in reading and writing,” J. of School of Foreign Lang., vol. 30, pp 107-129, 2006.
[11] C. D. Castro, “Cohesion and the social construction of meaning in the essays of Filipino college students writing in L2 English,” Asia Pacific Education Rev., vol. 5, no. 2, pp 215-225, 2004.
[12] I. Lee, “Teaching coherence to ESL students: A classroom inquiry,” J. of Second Lang. Writing, vol. 11, pp 135-159, 2002.
[13] M. Ghasemi, “An investigation into the use of cohesive devices in second language writings,” Theory and Practice in Lang. Studies, vol. 3, no. 9, pp 1615-1623. 2013, doi:10.4304/tpls.3.9.1615-1623.
[14] M. A. Olateju, “Cohesion in ESL classroom written texts,” Nordic J. of African Studies, vol. 15, no. 3, pp 314-331, 2006.
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