Our article takes up Joy Reid's (1996) proposal that second sentences deserve a second look in academic writing research and pedagogy. Reid's data and commentaries indicate that second sentences, the sentences following topic sentences, make important but generally underrated contributions to the (in)coherence of students' written paragraphs. Her study, in a U.S. university, found that English as a second language (ESL) student writers often developed paragraphs that did not meet the expectations of experienced native English speaker (NES) readers. We offer a contextualized critique and partial replication of Reid's exploratory study. Our research, in Singapore, investigates second sentence writing by English-knowing bilingual (EKB) students, and the expectations of experienced EKB academic readers. A comparison of our findings with Reid's yielded differences on the same three prompts as in the original study. These results lead us to conclude that our student writer sample is interestingly distinguishable from Reid's NES and ESL groupings. Special attention will be paid to responses, both by students and by academic readers, which did not conform to Reid's expectations for paragraph development in second sentences. Our discussion pursues questions about local and global coherence in academic writing, including expectations about topic development, and suggests implications for an investigative writing pedagogy.
Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources
Journal of Second Language Writing
VARGHESE, Susheela Abraham; ALLISON, Desmond; and WU, Siew Mei.
Local coherence and its limits: A second look at second sentences. (1999). Journal of Second Language Writing. 8, (1), 77-97. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/2156
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.