Metadiscourse

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A Review of “ The Use of Metadiscourse in Good and Poor ESL Essays” Metadiscourse is the language we use, when writing about some subject, to refer to the act and to the context of writing about it. It is an important element of writing a good paper. The article “ The Use of Metadiscourse in Good and Poor ESL Essays” by Puangpen Intaraprawat and Margaret S. Steffensen appears in Journal of Second Language Writing, 4 (3), 253-272 (1995). This article indicates that the density of metadiscourse use has quantitative differences between good essays and poor essays. The authors support the main idea by using many data and tables showing that use of metadiscourse in better essays has a larger range of forms than in poor essays. Metadiscourse consists of many categories. However, not all of the ESL students could use all types of metadiscourse correctly. In this article, Intaraprawat and Steffensen collect twelve essays, six good essays and six poor essays, and use Vande Kopple’s system to analysis of the metadiscourse features in the twelve essays. By give the examples; the authors explain how to use metadiscourse more appropriately and how to avoid errors of using metadiscourse. The results show that “The density of metadiscourse features and the range of types in the good and poor essays showed clear quantitative differences.”(268) Generally the good essays have more words than poor essays and the poor essays contained fewer types of metadiscourse than the good essays. The purpose of this article is to encourage writers use more metadiscourse in their papers, especially ESL college students, to make their writings easier to understand and more efficient for the readers. This article sums up an issue related to how metadiscourse will affect students’ writing. It gives a clear concept of metadiscourse. For example, the authors indicate seven classification of metadiscourse features, it makes readers clearly see which part of metadiscourse they...
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