Analysis of Generic Structure Developments and Resources of Intersubjective Stance in Discussion Essays Written by Thai EFL Students: Systemic Functional Linguistics and Appraisal Perspective

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Udomkrit Srinon
Jirayu Tuppoom


This study aimed to analyse the generic structures of the student writers’ discussion essays, how the student writers construct their positions in the discussion essays and  student writers’ the positions (disclaim, proclaim, entertain and attribute) in the discussion essays which were drawn from the second part of the genre based writing course of Integrated Advanced Reading and Writing Skills at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science, Kasetsart University, Thailand in the 2018 academic year. The study focused on the academic writing developments of the students emphasizing the argumentative discussion genre. During the course, the students wrote discussion essays of at least 1,200 words from the given topic. The analysis focused on 2 sample texts from 20 groups of the students from 6 classes and employed the engagement framework in the appraisal theory which was developed by Martin and White (2005) as the main framework to analyse all sample texts of the final written assignment. The findings of the analysis showed that most students can follow the generic structures of the discussion genre as identified in the Sydney genre based school effectively and they can also indicate their authorial positions and voices at the end of the texts by employing the proclaim feature of heteroglossia. In addition, in the introduction and body parts of the texts, they mostly used the attribute to invite others to endorse their attitudes and feelings. The study provides further understanding on how students construe their position, value and belief from attitudinal resources in their discussion essays. The study also suggests that future study should focus more on the issue of heteroglossia and monoglossia as identified in the appraisal theory which would help strengthen and develop students’ argumentative writing skills.

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