Attribution and Authorial (Dis) Endorsement in High- and Low-rated Undergraduate ESL Students’ English Academic Persuasive Essays

Mark Brooke


This study draws on APPRAISAL theory (Martin and White, 2005), a linguistic system for interpersonal meaning, to
investigate undergraduate students’ engagement resources, with particular focus on attribution and authorial (dis)
endorsement. An examination of the use of attribution and authorial (dis) endorsement between high and low-rated
undergraduate EFL students’ English argumentative essays was conducted. Both quantitative and qualitative data are
presented. The research findings reveal that the high-rated essay writers used these evaluative resources much more
successfully creating clear lines of contrastive positions. As these essays attained much higher scores, this indicates
that academic readers value these resources highly. On the basis of the analysis, a discussion of some pedagogical
implications ensues which highlights the need for academic English language instructors to devote more time on
interpersonal meaning in the classroom.

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English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)

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