A Contrastive Genre Analysis Study of Dissertation Introductions Written by Literature Postgraduates of Bejaia University and Natives.
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By way of investigating how the small cultures of discipline, genre and discourse community (Atkinson, 2004) directly impact NNS students’ writings, the present dissertation shows that the contrastive rhetoric hypothesis, stipulating that NNS students’ linguistic and cultural backgrounds can be implicated as the etiology of the differences between English L1 and NNS students’ writings (Kaplan, 1966), is not valid in all situations and contexts. Using CARS model (Samraj, 2008), the present genre analysis study comparatively analyzes three sets of Literature Master’s dissertation introductions: four were composed by EFL students from Bejaia University, another four were written in Arabic by students from the department of Arabic of the same university and four introductions were written by English L1 students. Comparison of the generic structures of the three groups reveals that all three groups differently organize their introductions. More specifically, comparison of the English L2 and L1 introductions reveals differences in the move structure of the two groups. To check if these differences are due to students’ different backgrounds, English L2 and introductions in Arabic were compared. This comparison reveals that the two groups very significantly differ in how they rhetorically organize their texts. Using an interview to explain the differences between literature postgraduates of Bejaia University and the native ones, namely absence of step 1A of the first rhetorical move from English L2 texts and its presence in half of the native texts and predominance of move 3-step 1using inclusive we and the passive voice as hedging strategies in English L2 texts, and predominance of move 3-step 2B using I and the active voice as boosting strategies in the native introductions, the study shows that the discipline, the part-genre and the discourse community are three dynamic factors that shape students’ generic behavior. Besides offering a practical model for explicitly teaching the introduction part-genre to literature postgraduates of Bejaia University to raise their awareness of the rhetorical organization of this part-genre, the study shows the importance of the different factors that influence the EFL writing activity in the intercultural academic communication.