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Korean Journal of General Education 2012;6(3):569-589.
Published online September 30, 2012.
A Study on Aspects of College Students’ Sentence Structures in Academic Essay
Jae-seong Lee
학술적 에세이에 나타난 대학생의 문장 구성 양상 연구
This study aimed to find patterns of sentence structures in college students’ academic essays. In order to find patterns of sentence structures, this study examined 1) kinds of sentences, 2) types of clauses which consist of sentences, 3) arrangement styles of words and clauses, and 4) usage of a grammatical category. The following are the key research findings from this study. First, embedded sentences were most frequently used among college students, followed by adverbial clauses, relative clauses, and noun clauses. The frequency of adverbial clauses and relative clauses was approximately equal to each other. The noun clauses which include the noun phrase ‘-는 것’ were most frequently used by students. Many of these noun clauses particularly had the sentence structure ‘-인 것이다.’Second, as for modifiers, college students used adverbial phrases (or adverbial clauses) more than adnominal phrases (or adnominal clauses) in their sentences. In addition, students used more adverbial phrases than adverbial clauses, whereas they used more adnominal clauses than adnominal phrases. A typical example of adnominal phrases was “noun-의 noun(Chinese character).” A typical example of arrange style in sentences was “adnominal phrase (or clause)-adnominal phrase(or clause)-object/subject.”Third, college students rarely used causative sentences. Similarly, they used few passive sentences. Agent respect and retrospect were not found, and audience respect was found only when the “-hara” form was used in sentences. As for tense, past-tense was more frequently used than non-past tense. As for aspect, perfect aspect was more frequently used than non-perfect aspect. These features are regarded as genre characteristics of academic essay.
Key Words: academic writing, academic essay, sentence, clause, word, grammatical category


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