Scholarly article on topic 'A Literature Review Analysis of the Turkish Scholars’ Research Articles in ELT and Applied Linguistics'

A Literature Review Analysis of the Turkish Scholars’ Research Articles in ELT and Applied Linguistics Academic research paper on "Educational sciences"

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{paraphrasing / analysis / scholars / ELT / article / Turkish}

Abstract of research paper on Educational sciences, author of scientific article — Oktay Yağiz, Rabia Ötügen, Fatma Kaya, Burcu Aydin

Abstract This study seeks to explore the rhetorical organization and potential problems of the literature review sections of the research articles published by Turkish scholars in the field of English language teaching (ELT) and applied linguistics. Employing content analysis, the study analyzed 100 research articles published. To analyze the articles, a rubric was prepared on the basis of relevant literature. The findings of the study showed that appropriate paraphrasing lacks and critical evaluation is not adequately placed in citation preferences of the investigated articles.

Academic research paper on topic "A Literature Review Analysis of the Turkish Scholars’ Research Articles in ELT and Applied Linguistics"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 158 (2014) 389 - 393

14th International Language, Literature and Stylistics Symposium

A literature review analysis of the Turkish scholars' research articles in ELT and applied linguistics

Oktay YAGIZa Rabia OTUGENb Fatma KAYAc Burcu AYDINd

abc dAtaturk University, Erzurum, TURKEY

Abstract

This study seeks to explore the rhetorical organization and potential problems of the literature review sections of the research articles published by Turkish scholars in the field of English language teaching (ELT) and applied linguistics. Employing content analysis, the study analyzed 100 research articles published. To analyze the articles, a rubric was prepared on the basis of relevant literature. The findings of the study showed that appropriate paraphrasing lacks and critical evaluation is not adequately placed in citation preferences of the investigated articles.

© 2014 The Authors.PublishedbyElsevier Ltd.This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Dokuz Eylul University, Faculty of Education. Keywords: paraphrasing; analysis; scholars; ELT; article; Turkish

1. Introduction

Academic writers are sought to integrate ideas of others into their texts within formally determined conventions and norms. Thus, citation is a significant component of academic writing. It enables writers to effectively develop their arguments and thus establish their voice and credibility within the text. Citation can be viewed as 'attribution of propositional content to another source' (Hyland 2002, p. 115) and 'central to social context of persuasion' (Hyland 1999, p. 342).

In accordance with the importance of citation use in academic texts, research has shown that accurate and appropriate employment of others' sources displays considerable difficulties and challenges for academic writers both native and non-native English speakers. Most of the research into L2 students' writing from sources has focused on problems such as plagiarism, over-citing, and inadequate paraphrasing (e.g., Abasi, Akbari, & Graves, 2006; Angelil-Carter, 2000; Borg, 2000; Campbell, 1990; Pecorari, 2003, 2006; Shi, 2004, 2010).

In their comparative study, Mansourizadeh and Ahmad (2011) found that novice and expert writers used citations for various purposes. While novice writers used citations to attribute content to the source, the expert writers used

1877-0428 © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Dokuz Eylul University, Faculty of Education. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.12.105

them to provide support and justification for their arguments. Another comparative study was Barton's (1993) which based on discourse analysis of the writings of experienced and inexperienced writers. According to Barton, inexperienced writers' texts were essays rather than professional papers.

Understanding the ideas of other authors that they read and being able to command language ,while writing in a way that sounds academic appears to be inadequate and they often choose to copy the words of other authors that have just read (Correa, 2008). There are a number of factors for inappropriate use of source text and citation violations, they are cultural differences in use of sources (Pennycook, 1996; Chandrasoma, Thompson, & Pennycook, 2004), language proficiency ( Johns &Mayes, 1990; Currie, 1998; Shi, 2004), and the context and purpose of the writing task ( Campbell, 1990; Currie, 1998; Barks& Watts, 2001; Chandrasoma et al., 2004; Shi, 2004).

While investigating citation practices in academic writing, corpus-based research is also common (Ramoroka, 2014; Hyland, 2002; Thomas and Hawes, 1994; Hewings, Lillis &Vladimirou, 2010). Ramoroka (2014) conducted a research based on a corpus of 80.000 words from essays of university students. The findings of the study showed that informing verbs were used more frequently than argumentative ones.

Some studies on citation practices have focused on several typologies (White, 2004; Petric, 2007; Azlan, 2013). These typological studies have led the notion of effective citation strategies for especially graduate students. In his elaborate review on the concept of citation, for instance, Lee (2013) proposes a 'citation basics class' for the systematic instruction of the art of citation. Samraj (2013) has investigated form and function of citations in discussion sections of master's theses and research articles. She conducted genre analysis and specialist informant interviews in order to explore the forms of citations and their rhetorical functions.

Research underlines that practice of citation and the appropriate and acceptable employment of this notion in writing should receive extra attention ( Bloch, & Chi, 1995; Dong, 1996; White, 2004; Petric', 2007). Citation practices of student writing appear to be a scarce area of research to be paid extra attention. It is impossible to claim that lack of knowledge and analytic ability can be replaced by effective use of citation but it can assist to meet these needs in academic writer's academic achievement.

It is obvious that citation tendencies of scholars have been and will be of great interest for comparative research as well as corpus-based studies and proposed citation training models. All these attempts are expected to broaden and deepen the understanding of citation as part of scientific research papers.

2. Material and Method

Content analysis was used to explore the citation employment in 100 published research articles written by Turkish authors. These articles were randomly selected from national and international journals. A rubric was prepared by the research team on the light of relevant literature. Rubric investigated the following sections:

• Types of content (method, objective, result, argument, definition)

• Location of source ( abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, discussion, conclusion implication)

• Type of transformation (direct quotation, patch-writing, paraphrasing critical evaluation)

To provide inter-evaluator reliability, two researchers in the team simultaneously analyzed the citations. The main criterion was to be able to reach the source of the cited expression or sentence. In order to answer the above sections' questions, each cited source was found and evaluated. In case, any source of the cited expression was not accessible, then this citation excluded from the analysis. When two options were thought to be used for one option, then by means of discussing the most appropriate option, research team filled in options.

3. Results

Table 1. Distributions of Citations in the Analyzed Articles by Three Main Characteristics

Type of Content f % Location of Source f % Type of Transformation f %

Method 56 4.1 Abstract 4 0.2 Direct quotation 308 22.9

Objective 88 6.5 Introduction 719 53.5 Patch writing 439 32.6

Result 332 24.7 Literature Review 310 23 Paraphrase 443 32.9

Argu. / Disc. 739 55 Methodology 60 4.4 Critical evaluation 153 11.3

Definition 128 9.5 Discussion 88 13.9

Conc. / Impl. 62 4.6

Total 1343 1343 1343

Table 1 shows the frequencies and percentages of the given characteristics - content, location, and transformation - in the analyzed articles. As can be seen, citations are made mostly for Argument/Discussion (% 55). They are also used frequently for commenting on the results of the study (% 24.7) and as providing definitions (% 9.5). These citations, however, are located in the introductory parts most (%53.5) and in the abstracts of the studies least (% 0.2). Also, according to the table, the types of transformation most frequently employed are paraphrase (% 32.9) and patch writing (% 32.6). Critical evaluation, on the other hand, is the least (% 11.3) preferred type to transform the citations in the analyzed articles.

Table 2.Types of Content according to the Location of Source

Method Objective Result Argu./ Disc. Definition TOTAL

Abstract 0 0 2 1 1 4

Introduction 19 66 150 414 70 719

Literature Review 3 16 93 154 44 310

Methodology 28 0 7 21 4 60

Discussion 6 4 62 110 6 188

Conc. / Impl. 0 2 18 39 3 62

TOTAL 56 88 332 739 128 1.343

Table 2 shows the types of content employed in different sections of the articles. As can be seen, except for the sections of abstract and methodology, two types of content - Argument/Discussion and Results- are the most common types in each section. In the abstracts, where the citations are least employed, the types are varied and in the methodology section, Method is the main content of citations although "Argument/Discussion" is also common.

Table 3.Type of Transformation according to the Type of Content and Location of Source

Type of Content Location of source

Type of Transformation Method Objective Result Argu. / Disc. Definition TOTAL Abstract Introduction Literature Review Methodology Discussion Conc. / Impl. TOTAL

Direct Quotation 12 5 30 182 79 308 1 161 73 14 51 8 308

Patch Writing 16 54 131 214 24 439 1 256 102 16 46 18 439

Paraphrase 27 25 125 245 21 443 1 252 87 25 61 17 443

Critical Evaluation 1 4 45 100 3 153 1 56 43 6 29 18 153

TOTAL 56 88 332 739 128 1343 4 719 310 60 188 62 1343

Table 3 shows how the type of transformation varies according to the types of content and location of source. As can be seen, Paraphrase and Patch writing are the most common types of transformation in the analyzed articles and they are employed mostly for Argument/ Discussion. The other type, Direct Quotation, is also very common for Argument/ Discussion. However, this type of transformation is the most preferred type for Definition. As the location of source, Introduction is the most common section among others and it is followed by Literature Review section. This order is also valid for Critical Evaluation which is the least employed type among the four types of transformation.

4. Discussion and Conclusion

Academic writing norms and conventions require writers to employ certain usages such as citing other sources and to cite them appropriately. Relevant corpus studies both contribute to understanding the current writing tendencies and guiding authors seeking to write better. In terms of content of citations employed by the Turkish writers , the prominent purpose attracts attention in favor of argument and discussion. In fact, this content is not often confronted particularly novice writers' texts, in contrast many authors appear to basically cite referring to previous research and findings. Location of the citations is brought around introductions in Turkish authors' articles. Subsequent to literature review sections discussions often include citations. This citing tendency seems to be parallel with the writing conventions in ELT. The heart of the current study centers around types of citations which is in fact the most problematic aspect of citing all over academic world. While attempting to paraphrase other sources, many writers fall into the stake of patch writing. As the research team reached the original sources they analyzed if the paraphrasing was achieved. Basically changing some words or substituting them encompasses nearly half of the citations. Even though Turkish authors mostly employed citations to discuss and center around arguments, they partly fail appropriately transform knowledge of others. This is not unique to Turkish authors but is a gradually increasing problem for whole academia. Only 32 percent of the cited sources appear to be appropriately paraphrased according to writing conventions and norms. Another significant finding highlights the lack of critical evaluation. Academic writing sources often underline importance of critical evaluation while using other sources rather than merely transferring knowledge. The core of the literature review sections are recommended to create on the basis of knowledge transforming. However, the least type of citation in published articles includes critical evaluation (% 11.3) . This is most likely due to lack academic literacy awareness, in that writers are not equipped with academic writing conventions and norms including plagiarism without taking explicit instructions and institutional writing assistance. As English uninterruptedly expands as the leading language for dissemination of knowledge, the question of writing effectively and in expected ways causes considerable challenges to writers, particularly novice writers and graduate students who are required to learn and to master to succeed in the academia. Therefore, how to use others' sources in formal texts writers should be provided by means of explicit instructions and concrete practices to the writers.

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