A Multi-Dimensional analysis of essay writing: What linguistic features tell us about situational parameters and the effects of language functions on judgments of quality

Scott A. Crossley, Laura K. Allen, Danielle S. McNamara

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study applied the Multi-Dimensional analysis used by Biber (1988) to examine the functional parameters of essays. Co-occurrence patterns were identified within an essay corpus (n = 1529) using linguistic indices provided by Coh-Metrix. These patterns were used to identify essay groups that shared features based upon situational parameters. Results revealed that the linguistic features reliably co-occurred according to the parameters. Namely, four dimensions were interpreted and associated with essay quality, prompt, and grade level. Confirmatory analyses revealed that the dimensions reliably distinguished among the parameters. Results provide insight into the situational parameters that affect writing, and the extent to which essays vary among and between themselves. The results have important implications for composition pedagogy, writing assessment, and writing theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMulti-Dimensional Analysis, 25 years on. A tribute to Douglas Biber
EditorsTony Berber Sardinha, Marcia Veirano Pinto
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Pages197-237
Number of pages41
ISBN (Electronic)9789027270153
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameStudies in Corpus Linguistics
Volume60
ISSN (Print)1388-0373

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Education
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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