Source work in the first-year L2 writing classroom: Undergraduate L2 writers' use of reporting verbs

Monica Heejung Kwon, Shelley Staples, R. Scott Partridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The present study investigated the reporting verb practices of second language (L2) writers in a first-year writing program in a North American context. We used a literature review assignment from Corpus and Repository of Writing (Crow) to explore first-year L2 writers’ use of reporting verbs in an academic genre that incorporates a variety of sources to explain a topic of their choice. We report not only the frequency of use across verb forms but also the ways in which writers use verbs from particular established semantic categories (e.g., Argue, Think, Find, Show) and rhetorical functions (Reporting from text (R), Self-referential (S), Uncited Generalization (U)). The results show that the first-year L2 writers in this study use many of the same patterns chosen by upper-level undergraduate writers to attribute writing to outside sources. However, pedagogical attention can be given on the instruction to help first-year L2 writers 1) use more varied and academic vocabulary for reporting sources, 2) understand different rhetorical functions of reporting verbs and the relative impact of using these functions in evidence-based arguments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-96
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of English for Academic Purposes
StatePublished - Jul 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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