"Olen sitä mieltä, että ..." : lukiolaisten yleisönosastotekstien rakenne ja argumentointi
Published inJyväskylä studies in humanities
This thesis examines the structure and argumentation of letters to the editor written by Finnish upper secondary school students. The research material includes 89 texts and the objective of the study is to determine the structure and argumentation of these texts. The rationale for the study of these argumentative texts is: (i) Lack of structure and argumentation skills by upper secondary school students. This fact has previously been established by several studies. (ii) General concern about the lack of teaching of argumentative skills. (iii) Social pressure that requires one to possess the ability to express an opinion, justify it (orally or in writing) and to criticise the views of others. The methodological background of this study is based on the analysis of Genre Theories, Argumentation Theory and Appraisal Theory. The analysis of the textual structures within these texts was carried out for the part of general structure and functional structure. Furthermore, argumentation was examined through the audience, preliminary agreements and argumentation techniques. Expressing attitudes was examined through engagement, judgement of human behaviour and graduation. The analysis revealed that the texts consisted of functional sequences that were referred to as ‘summary of the original text’, ‘own opinion’, ‘justification’, ‘guidance’ and ‘consent’. The most frequent sequences in the texts were own opinion, justification and summary of the original text. Sequences of guidance and consent were significantly fewer. The identified sequences formed series of actions based on which three most prototypical structures of letters were produced. Based on the material, the upper secondary school students were able to use different argumentation techniques relatively well, although certain problems with regard to persuasiveness were identified. On the basis of the functional sequences, argumentation techniques and expressions of attitudes conveyed by the writers – either consciously or unconsciously – modes of argumentation with a rhetorical effect were determined. The modes of argumentation demonstrated included ‘encouragement’, ‘denial’ (‘direct denial’, ‘attack’ and ‘consent’), ‘guidance’ and ‘indecision’. The results of this study offer an opportunity to teach the writing of argumentative texts in a more explicit way. Becoming aware of the argumentation techniques and the understanding that texts are functional tools will help students to realise that producing texts is a type of an act. ...
Alternative titleLukiolaisten yleisönosastotekstien rakenne ja argumentointi
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