Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Department of English
Considering the constant increase in the number of international students studying in the US universities, it is important to address the issue of self-representation in writing as there are classrooms where students are still assumed to be native English speakers by default (Matsuda, 2006). Therefore, academic writing practices of multilingual writers can easily be seen as divergences from the ‘standard’ rather than conscious acts. However, since languages are at the core of who we are (Anzaldúa, 2001), how we use our linguistic repertoires in writing should be seen as representation of our multilingual and diverse identities. This thesis, then, presents the results of a series of interviews with three multilingual graduate students and the textual analyses of their academic writing samples by focusing on how their experiences in writing in other languages, in different contexts and genres shape their linguistic choices in how they represent their multilingual and multifaceted identities. The results of the study reveal that these multicompetent writers (1) negotiate their disciplinary voices through predominantly their linguistic and thematic choices in their academic writing practices, (2) use multiple ways of argumentation in the academic texts they produce which are heavily influenced by their linguistic and cultural backgrounds as well as in and out-of-school context interactions, (3) integrate personal experiences and/or narrative style in their argumentation in their academic texts as a way to exert their in-between identities as scholars and international graduate students. The findings have implications for both institutional spaces and instructional support for multilingual writers across disciplines as they help us better understand the decision-making processes of these resourceful writers in terms of lexical, syntactic, and rhetorical choices as they have unique ways of saying ‘I’m here’
Yigitbilek, Demet, "The Use of Discursive Features as a Representation of Voice and Identity in L2 Writing: a Case Study of Multilingual Graduate Students" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 1084.