'Learn more about technology' : a linguistic investigation on theme in online product descriptions and student writing

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

'Learn more about technology' : a linguistic investigation on theme in online product descriptions and student writing

 

Author: Li, Hiu Yan Chelsea
Title: 'Learn more about technology' : a linguistic investigation on theme in online product descriptions and student writing
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2016
Subject: English language -- Composition and exercises -- Study and teaching.
English language -- Rhetoric -- Study and teaching.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: v, 107 pages
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2917058
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8634
Abstract: The development of the Internet has enabled new channels for information searching and communication over the last two decades. Websites have become a popular platform for business organisations to offer product details and promote their products. To observe how meaning is realised in this evolved genre, a genre-based analysis was conducted on 10 online product descriptions of tablet PC with an aim to identify the move structure of this genre. Adopting a system functional linguistic (SFL) perspective, this study further analysed the Theme of authentic texts and student writing in order to observe how thematic choices effectively contribute to the information flow of the texts at a lexico-grammatical level. The two sets of data include 10 online product descriptions and 10 pieces of student writing respectively. The textual, interpersonal, topical and marked Themes were identified and their functions were discussed. While identifying the effective elements of the Theme, this study discusses the difference in the thematic choices of these two groups of writers and highlights the gap between the texts occurred in the field and student writing. The findings show that Theme is a useful resource for organising the text. Also, it contributes to the realisation of interpersonal meaning, which is crucial to achieving the communication purpose of promoting the product. The data reflects a correlation between thematic choices and certain move types. The findings concerning move structure and thematic choices could be used to provide pedagogical implications for English language teaching.

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