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Exploring academic argumentation in course-related blogs through ENGAGEMENT

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Abstract

This study uses a functional linguistic framework, the system of ENGAGEMENT (Martin and White 2005), to explore academic argumentation in course-related blogs from the standpoint of the ways in which blog writers make space for new knowledge against the background of other knowers’ ideas and ways they support their claims with evidence. The results reveal a significant presence of strategies typical of academic reasoning and suggest that it is a pattern of alternation between expanding and contracting options that lies behind more successful arguments. These findings tentatively confirm the conduciveness of the blog medium for practicing academic argumentation and point out the significance of the ENGAGEMENT framework as an analytical approach to academic argumentation and its usefulness for scaffolding learner argumentative writing.

References

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