University of Wollongong
Identity and textual engagement: experiences of three international students writing a doctoral thesis in EAL.
Degree: EdD, Faculty of Education, 2011, University of Wollongong
The integration of the voices of other researchers is central to displaying scholarship in a doctoral thesis. It entails complex negotiation of prior texts in the context of one's own study. While, there is an expectation that such work results in an 'objective' tone, self-representation or identity is rarely absent in theses in most disciplines. For international students, who use English as an Additional Language (EAL), being objective and yet projecting an identity and a voice can pose considerable challenges. The present study draws on findings from a qualitative inquiry that has involved interviews with three international students and analysis of excerpts from drafts of their doctoral writing to examine how identity is constructed in the act of textual engagement. The term 'textual engagement' embraces acts such as integration of quotations in texts using conventions of citations and the evaluation of the quoted text/s as evident in the drafts. In the present thesis 'identity' has been discussed using Ivanič's (1998) concept of self-representation. Ivanič‘s (1998) construct of a writer's identity in terms of the autobiographical self, possibilities of selfhood, the discoursal self and the self as author dimensions in academic writing has been applied as the overarching theoretical framework in the present study. The thesis explores issues faced by international EAL students as they negotiate other texts and simultaneously project an identity of their own. It particularly focuses on how EAL writers position themselves in relation to other texts to construct a discoursal self and how they negotiate with other texts, consciously or unconsciously, to project the self as author dimension in their doctoral writing.
The literature on the incorporation of prior studies in academic writing is rich in studies on plagiarism. However, many of these studies do not take into account the complexities that quoting from source texts involve, particularly for students writing in EAL. Other strands of the literature point out that using the voices of others‘ to negotiate space for one‘s own research or engaging with other texts to construct one‘s argument requires an understanding of the discursive practices of a discipline. Scholarship becomes the basis on which an original contribution to a discipline can be made. Displaying this scholarship can be challenging for many EAL doctoral writers who may have had limited exposure to reading in English prior to undertaking doctoral studies. Consequently, in incorporating other texts, they may struggle to present an appropriate voice in their writing. Drawing on the larger theory of intertextuality and the tools afforded by genre theory to analyse the construction of arguments, the present study seeks to understand these difficulties. The exploration of evaluation to deconstruct the self as author in the student writers‘ texts has involved the use of the APPRAISAL theory (Martin and White, 2005).
The findings of the…
Subjects/Keywords: genre theory; doctoral writing in EAL; appraisal theory; integrating and evaluating source texts
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Chatterjee-Padmanabhan, M. (2011). Identity and textual engagement: experiences of three international students writing a doctoral thesis in EAL. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Wollongong. Retrieved from ; https://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/3368
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Chatterjee-Padmanabhan, M. “Identity and textual engagement: experiences of three international students writing a doctoral thesis in EAL.” 2011. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Wollongong. Accessed October 21, 2019.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Chatterjee-Padmanabhan, M. “Identity and textual engagement: experiences of three international students writing a doctoral thesis in EAL.” 2011. Web. 21 Oct 2019.
Chatterjee-Padmanabhan M. Identity and textual engagement: experiences of three international students writing a doctoral thesis in EAL. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Wollongong; 2011. [cited 2019 Oct 21].
Available from: ; https://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/3368.
Council of Science Editors:
Chatterjee-Padmanabhan M. Identity and textual engagement: experiences of three international students writing a doctoral thesis in EAL. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Wollongong; 2011. Available from: ; https://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/3368