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Investigating the reading-to-write processes and source use of L2 postgraduate students in real-life academic tasks: an exploratory study.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of English for Academic Purposes
Issue number2
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)136-147
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date23/01/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Existing studies of source use in academic student writing tend to i), focus more on the writing than the reading end of the reading-to-write continuum and ii), involve the use of insufficiently ‘naturalistic’ writing tasks. Thus, in order to explore the potential of an alternative approach, this paper describes an exploratory case study concerning the ways source material was used by two L2 MA students while involved in a real-life reading-to-write task. Think-aloud sessions were conducted with students at a UK university as they read to write during the dissertation component of their programme. Analysis of the resulting protocols revealed that they engaged with their source material in qualitatively different ways, in both the frequency and range of their reading-to-write behaviours. Specifically, the students differed in the ways they responded to their sources as they read, the ways they elaborated on what they read and drew inferences, and the extent to which they showed intertextual awareness. The findings suggest that, for these writers, the process of “using” source material begins early in the reading-to-write process and involves more complex interactions with sources than may be suggested by the use of ‘one-shot’ reading-to-write tasks of the type used in much reading-to-write research.