Researching Simplicity and Sophistication in Student Writing

March 2008
International Journal of English Studies;2008, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p51
Academic Journal
The programs WordSmith and VocabProfile were used to research lexical differences between essays written in English by Spanish undergraduates and a set of essays independently judged as being of TWE grade 6 standard. The results indicated that writing by this group of students was generally characterised by low lexical variation, a preponderance of high-frequency words and under-use of academic vocabulary in comparison with the target style. Reasons for the apparent lexical simplicity of this sample of student writing are discussed.


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