A Structure Analysis of English Argumentative Writings Written by Chinese and Korean EFL Learners

Cui Zheng


This study employed Kamimura and Oi (1996)’s classification of the organizational patterns of the argumentative essay structure: Thesis Statement (TS), Background Information (BI), Reservation (R), Hesitation (H), Rational Appeals (RA), Affective Appeals (AA) and Conclusion (C). 178 essays, 84 written by Chinese EFL learners, 84 written by Korean EFL learners, and 10 written by English native speakers, were coded and analyzed via NVivo. The results show that Chinese and Korean EFL learners prefer the direct deductive expressions in their English argumentative writings, which is different from Kaplan’s (1966) findings. No significant difference exists in the essay structure among Chinese and Korean EFL writers’ writing and the English native speakers’ writings. The only difference lies in the contents of the rational and affective appeals, which are still strongly influenced by the cultural and social background. The results indicate that Chinese and Korean EFL writers, especially most of the university students are able to handle the structure of English argumentative writings with plenty of writing practice and teachers’ instruction.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/elt.v6n9p67

English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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