Data commentary in science writing

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Data commentary, the verbal comment on visual material, is a complex area inscience writing; yet, few studies in academic writing focus on it. This chapterpresents an approach to the teaching and learning of data commentary in ESPwriting within the science disciplines involving direct application of a small,specialized corpus of data commentaries drawn from published research articlesand master’s theses, all annotated for rhetorical moves. We exemplify how formativeself-assessment practices of data commentaries can be developed fromcorpus-informed computer-assisted learning activities combining top-downdiscourse analysis with bottom-up corpus analysis, and outline a methodologyfor self-assessment practices. Our approach illustrates how a specialized corpusand purposefully crafted learning activities can assist students in continuousself-assessment practices. Such facilitation is of crucial value today as pedagogicaland curricular developments in science education increasingly emphasizestudents’ awareness of communicative practices.


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