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Voice and Documentation: Korean University Students’ Use of Writing Prompts in an English Essay Exam

  • Modern English Education
  • Abbr : MEESO
  • 2017, 18(4), pp.91-107
  • DOI : 10.18095/meeso.2017.18.4.05
  • Publisher : The Modern English Education Society
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Language Teaching
  • Published : November 30, 2017

Sookyung Cho 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examines how Korean learners of English incorporate writing prompts in their essay exams. Studies on the impact of writing prompts on essay exams have examined their topics, formats, and language uses, but to date no research has analyzed how test-takers use writing prompts in their essay. To this end, I administered an essay exam based on a writing prompt to 200 college undergraduates. Their essays were scored (from 1 to 20) and analyzed in terms of voice—direct quotation, adoption, style, parody, and hidden polemic—and documentation type—quotation, exact copy, near copy, paraphrase, and summary. The results reveal that Korean test-takers use adoption and stylization most frequently by means of paraphrasing and summarizing the writing prompt. Although no statistically significant correlation coefficient was found between the usage of the writing prompt and the essay scores, the high group used more parody and summary than the low group. These findings imply that the incorporation and documentation of a writing prompt may serve as an indicator of a test-taker’s awareness of the importance of outside sources as well as his/her knowledge of academic writing.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.