The development of academic argumentative writing: discourse markers

María Constanza Errázuriz Cruz, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
María Constanza Errázuriz Cruz, 2014: "El desarrollo de la escritura argumentativa académica: los marcadores discursivos", Onomázein 30, 217-236
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.30.13

The difficulties that college students and initial teacher training programs have to produce academic texts have been highlighted by INICIA test (assessment of graduates of education) and several studies in the area of academic literacy (Carlino, 2005; Castelló, 2009; Foster & Russell, 2002; Parodi, 2010; Swales & Feak, 2004). It is for this reason that this study addressed problems of writing that students have nowadays, through the analysis of the use of discourse markers in argumentative texts (Ducrot, 2001; Martín Zorraquino & Portolés, 1999; Montolío, 2001; Portolés, 1998 & 2010). The corpus consisted of 40 essays written by students of Elementary Education and 40 essays of the previous group after an academic literacy plan. With regard to the methodology, it is a descriptive and quantitative study of texts and discourse markers, as they evaluated the effectiveness of essays using a rubric and analyzed its structure and functioning of their discourse markers. The correspondence between the appropriateness of these links and the logical progression of essays in which they operate was observed, and thus it was found that discourse markers have a prominent role in inference processing and producing coherent texts. Finally, it was also found that the development of academic writing through a plan aimed to their teachers had a positive impact on the students' texts.