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A Cross-sectional Study of Pragmatic Usage in making Academic E-mail Requests

Shawn Ford

SLS 680E: Pragmatic Development in a Second Language

Fall 2003 – Prof. Gabriele Kasper

Course Paper

 


 

Introduction

In this paper, I discuss a cross-sectional study designed to help investigate the pragmatic features used by English native speakers (NS) and non-native speakers (NNS)[1], at different academic levels and with varying degrees of university education experience in an English setting, when making academic e-mail requests. This study is a continuation of my research interests in written electronic communication (e-communication[2]). In this current research, I am interested to see if there are differences in pragmatic usage between the different subject groups in my study. If there are differences, I would like to determine what those differences are. In doing so, it may be possible to propose developmental patterns for e-communication pragmatics.

Pragmatics of Written E-communication

With the development of the Internet, increased attention has been given to the use of pragmatics in written e-communication. Since Shea (1994) first presented her principles of business "netiquette" (a blend of the words network and etiquette), which are basic rules and guidelines for behaving and interacting via written e-communication, several others (Hambridge, 1995; Rinaldi, 1998) have further developed and applied netiquette principles to the full range of possible written e-communication purposes, from formal (e.g., business e-mail, academic discussion boards) to informal (e.g., personal e-mail, Internet “fan-club” chat rooms). At this point in time, netiquette guidelines have become conventionalized and are publicized wherever e-communication may take place, from office settings to Internet cafés; they have even found their way into ESL textbooks (e.g., Swales and Feak, 1994; Hacker, 2003) and onto university writing Web sites (e.g., Hughes, 2002; Essid, 2003).

Characteristics of Written E-communication

An interesting offshoot of research into written e-communication concerns the study of linguistic differences between standard written communication and written e-communication. Gaines (1999) studied a large corpus of business and academic e-mails and concluded that the academic data contained evidence of new written genres with unique textual features, most notably “a pseudo-conversational form of communication, conducted in extended time and with an absent interlocutor” (p. 81). Likewise, Lan (2000) examined and compared e-mail messages from two universities, one in Hong Kong and one in England, and found that formal, semi-formal, and friendly e-mail messages from both NSs and NNSs of English all contain varying degrees of conversational style. This line of research into linguistic variation in written e-communication has possible implications for pragmatics research if it can be shown that different pragmatic strategies are required to successfully communicate in different electronic environments for different purposes.

Cross-cultural Differences in Written E-Communication

Due to the expanded use of e-communication through globalization, researchers have also begun to examine cross-cultural differences involving written e-communication in different electronic environments. Numerous studies of business e-communication have investigated cross-cultural miscommunications that arise in office environments because of culturally different perceptions of appropriateness in e-mail communication and Internet usage. For example, Inglis (1998) suggests that there are different cultural tolerances for “flaming” (criticizing or attacking someone on a discussion board, in a chat room, or by e-mail) and varying cultural understandings about what constitutes acceptable Internet browsing. He concludes that companies should make e-communication and computer use rules explicit to employees, and that they also should attempt to understand differing cultural expectations that some employees may have about e-communication and computer usage.

In the academic arena, however, relatively few studies have analyzed cross-cultural differences in e-communication. Chen (2001) analyzed and compared e-mail requests sent by Taiwanese and U.S. graduate students to their professors. She concluded that the Taiwanese students used different request strategies than the U.S. students due to culturally different perceptions of power relations, familiarity, and imposition. Although limited in scope, this study helps shed some light on written e-communication strategies used by students from different cultural backgrounds.

E-mail pedagogy

E-communication has also been examined from a pedagogical perspective when used to generate discourse in the classroom. St. John and Cash (1995) utilized e-mail in the instruction of an intermediate-level learner of German as a second language, and Lapp (2000) employed e-mail dialog to facilitate the English language development of graduate-level ESL students at an American university. These language instructors found that electronic discourse contributed to overall language development primarily due to the conversational nature of e-mail. Other researchers (Sun, 1998; Li, 2000) have looked into the language use strategies of ESL students by examining specific characteristics of student writing through e-mail assignments. Results in this area indicate that student language use strategies through e-mail communication vary considerably according to perceived formality of the e-mail task and depending on whether or not the task involves an actual audience with an exchange of dialog.

Two additional survey-based studies, a dissertation by Rinehart (2001) and a research article by Bloch (2002), focused primarily on the reasons why ESL graduate students use e-mail to communicate with their instructors. These researchers found that their subjects use e-mail primarily to carry on phatic conversations with their instructors and secondarily to ask for instructional help.

E-mail requests

The line of research most directly relevant to the current study are the handful of reports that investigate the pragmatics of e-mail requests in the ESL setting. Kankaanranta (2001) reported that Finnish and Swedish colleagues of one European company showed significant differences across L1 groups in their use of politeness strategies in English e-mail messages. She also found that her subjects prefer imperative and interrogative request forms, which can negatively affect politeness and increase the threat to the hearer’s face.

Of particular interest to my study is the report by Hartford and Bardovi-Harlig (1996), who analyzed for perlocutionary affect e-mail requests sent by NS and NNS graduate students to professors. They concluded that, in general, NNS e-mails did not adequately address imposition, which negatively affected perlocution. In addition, NNS messages contained fewer downgraders and other mitigating supportive moves such as grounders and apologies, which negatively affected the impact of the requests. Additionally, the study discussed previously by Chen (2001) illuminates the possibility of divergent culture-specific pragmatic strategies employed by even advanced-level ESL students when making e-mail requests in the academic setting. These e-mail request studies were highly influential to the research design and analysis portions of my study.

Summary

At this point in time, the use of e-mail pragmatics in the ESL setting remains largely under-researched. While important groundwork has been done to investigate the nature of e-mail pragmatics and cross-cultural differences evident in e-mail pragmatics, cross-sectional research such as the current study has not yet been conducted in this area. All of the studies reviewed previously, either corpus-based, survey-based, or pedagogy-based, were single-moment studies by design. As discussed by Kasper and Rose (2002), these types of studies are useful for comparing NS and NNS performance data at a single moment in time, but “[t]his sort of research cannot shed light on development” (p. 79). Through a carefully designed cross-sectional study, my current research project will shine a bright light on the possible existence of developmental patterns in e-communication pragmatics.

Research Questions

Based on the preceding literature review and the ongoing research I have been conducting in the area of e-communication, I developed the following research questions to guide my study:

1.     What are the pragmatic features used by NS and NNS with different years of university education experience when they make academic e-mail requests?

2.    Are there differences in the usage of e-mail pragmatic features between the different groups in my study? If so, what are the differences? and

3.    Is there any evidence of developmental patterns?

Possible answers to these questions are addressed in the Analysis and Discussion section that follows in this paper.

Methodology

This cross-sectional study was conducted over the Spring and Fall semesters of 2003 and drew primarily from students enrolled in degree-culminating academic programs. Utilizing a prompt designed to elicit an e-mail request to a hypothetical UHM faculty member, data was collected from subjects to help answer the study’s research questions. Data was analyzed based on a unique coding scheme developed specifically for e-mail data.

Subjects and Location

The initial participants of this study were 82 subjects enrolled in different academic programs in two Hawai‘i universities: the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (UHM) and TransPacific Hawai‘i College (TPHC). The subjects were categorized into 12 different groups based on NS or NNS status and highest level of academic experience attained in an English-language setting. Table 1 provides information about each subject

Table 1 Research Subjects

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group organized by education level: the associated grouping code, the number of subjects in the group (N-size), the location that the group was drawn from, and the type of contact that the group had with the researcher. The lowest-level subject group, Pre-college NNS (PreNNS), was composed of 13 students from an intact college preparatory class at TPHC taught by a research colleague. The next higher subject group, Freshman NNS (FNNS), included 15 students from two different intact sections of ELI100, the required academic writing course for all undergraduate ESL students at UHM enrolled in degree programs. These sections were taught by two different instructors: one by a research colleague and one by myself.

All other subject groups were composed of volunteers. The undergraduate NS (UGNS) and NNS (UGNNS) groups were formed from student volunteers solicited in UHM Department of Second Language Studies (DSLS) undergraduate courses. The remaining groups were comprised of subjects solicited via the DSLS e-mail list, which consists of e-mail addresses for DSLS students, faculty, staff, alumni, and colleagues. The graduate NS (Gr1NS and Gr2NS) and NNS (Gr1NNS and Gr2NNS) groups were made up of first and second-year students enrolled in the DSLS M.A. in ESL program. Additionally, the PhDNS and PhDNNS groups consisted of students enrolled in the DSLS PhD in SLA program. Lastly, the Post-college NS (PCNS) and NNS (PCNNS) groups contained DSLS alumni working in ESL or EFL programs in Hawai‘i and abroad.

The proportionally higher number of Gr2NS and Gr2NNS subjects, as compared to the other subject groups, is due to the fact that these students were part of the same DSLS M.A. in ESL cohort as myself; therefore, I knew this group more personally than the other groups, which put me in a better position to obtain data from these subjects. Conversely, the relatively low number of undergraduate and first-year graduate subjects is the result of my unfamiliarity with these students. Additionally, for this particular research project, I had no means to gather data from freshman or pre-college NS subjects, thus, these groups are not represented in this study.

Data Collection

As indicated previously, subjects for this study were solicited via the DSLS e-mail list, DSLS undergraduate classes, and intact classrooms. Utilizing the DSLS e-mail list, I sent out a request for volunteers three times at monthly intervals over each of the 2003 academic semesters. The request made an appeal for research subjects, described the study briefly, offered compensation for participation, and asked those interested to e-mail me with their willingness to volunteer. To reach the UGNS and UGNNS subjects, I made the same appeal one time in three different DSLS undergraduate classrooms during the Fall 2003 semester. Once subjects responded to my appeal, I e-mailed them the survey instrument (see Appendix A) and electronic consent form. I had no further contact with the volunteers about completing the survey instrument unless they returned to me their data, at which time I sent them an e-mail thanking them for their participation and offering compensation. I made no attempts to collect data from those volunteers who did not return their data; however, of the 65 subjects who were sent the survey instrument, 57 returned data, representing an 88% return rate. Three of the e-mail data were later excluded from the study because the prompt portion was not completed, leaving a total of 54 data pieces collected through the e-mail solicitation phase of this research project.

In the intact ESL classrooms, students were provided the survey instrument (see Appendix A) by the regular course instructor. ELI100 students were told to complete the e-mail activity as a homework assignment due the following scheduled class meeting time. Data from one ELI100 section, taught by myself, was gathered during the Spring 2003 semester, and data from the other ELI100 section was collected by a colleague during the Fall 2003 semester. The students in the TPHC college preparatory program were administered the survey instrument as a classroom activity held in the school’s computer lab. Other than this difference in survey administration, the teachers were asked to provide no relevant instruction or information before the activity or assistance during the activity, in order to try to make the classroom conditions as similar as possible. From these three intact classes, a total of 28 data samples were collected.

In addition to the differing conditions under which subject data was collected, there was also a slight difference in the two versions of the survey instrument, designed to consider subjects’ educational levels and experiences. Whereas the e-mailed survey version, told subjects to request an extension to turn in a five page critique, the classroom version told subjects to request an extension to turn in a three page book report. Other than this difference, the survey instrument versions were identical.

Data Coding

Once e-mail data was received from a subject, it was reviewed for completion, grouped according to the subject’s education level, assigned a data-coding number, and filed in a computer folder for later transcription, coding, and analysis. The transcription process was rather straightforward since the data was already in written electronic form; transcription involved cutting and pasting text from an e-mail program to a word processing program and then reformatting the text to facilitate coding. An example of a reformatted e-mail message ready for coding is show in Table 2:

Table 2 Sample Transcribed E-mail Message

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As can be seen in Table 2, the message is formatted sentence by sentence in the upper left quadrant, and space is provided on the right-hand side to code pragmatic features of each sentence. Directly below on the right is a section to record mechanics features of the message, and on the lower left the entire e-mail message is recorded for easy reference. This transcription format facilitated the data coding process and organized the coding for subsequent analysis.

However, data coding for this study presented several practical and logistical challenges that had to be overcome. First of all, unfortunately, neither of the two studies of academic e-mail requests previously mentioned (Hartford and Bardovi-Harlig, 1996; Chen, 2001) addressed specifics of data coding or were appended with coding materials. Furthermore, information and materials found in other similar studies seem inadequate for the purpose of coding detailed and lengthy streams of e-mail discourse. For example, the CCSARP Coding Manual provided by Blum-Kulka, House, and Kasper (1989), while providing a basis for analyzing discourse data, was designed primarily for analyzing specific types of discourse completion test (DCT) data. Although the CCSARP Coding Manual provides categories and descriptions of features typically associated with requests, it is inadequate as-is as a manual for coding and analyzing the range of possible discourse features that constitute an entire e-mail message. Therefore, with the CCSARP manual as a base, combined with netiquette guidelines (Shea, 1994) and techniques drawn from text analysis research, I approached the coding process from a qualitative perspective, analyzing each sentence and feature and its relation to the connected pieces of discourse. Furthermore, this process was concerned more with actual subject use of features instead of appropriateness or accuracy; therefore, appropriacy judgments were not made, and possible accuracy features such as grammar and lexical choice were not considered. After an initial round of coding, I developed the guide in Table 3 based on features evident in the data:

Table 3 Data Coding Guide

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A brief description of each code on the guide is provided in Appendix B.

Analysis and Discussion

With the data coding guide as an analytic tool, I reanalyzed all of the transcribed and coded data to check my preliminary feature classifications. This step also served to test the usefulness of the guide. Using the guide as a checklist of possible features evident in the data, I recoded each e-mail transcription following the format outlined in Table 2 discussed previously. Afterwards, I entered all of the data in a spreadsheet for analysis, organized by the 12 subject groups and the first 47 message features (“Miscellaneous” codings excluded), and averaged the use of features by group.

At this stage, I analyzed the averages to compare trends across groups and found that several groups were similar in their usage of message features (see Appendix C; note that the similar groups are color-coded to facilitate comparison). Based on this finding, I decided to collapse the following groups, creating the new grouping codes provided: FNNS and Gr1NNS (F/Gr1NNS); UGNNS and Gr2NNS (UG/Gr2NNS); Gr1NS, Gr2NS, and PCNS (Gr/PCNS); and PhDNNS and PhDNS (PhDS). After collapsing and re-averaging these groups, I noticed that the groups with the fewest subjects (two each), PCNNS and UGNNS, were not similar to any other group and were not representative samples (see Appendix D, also color-coded for reference); therefore, these two groups were excluded from any further analysis.

Table 3 shows the final groupings and averages after collapsing and excluding groups, and was used as the basis for the remaining qualitative and quantitative analyses. Note that the remaining five groups were arranged by level of education experience and that the N-sizes of the groups increased due to collapsing, allowing for the possibility of more generalized findings from the data.

Table 3 Averages of E-mail Features Per Collapsed Grouping

 

 

 

Obligatory E-mail Formal Features

 

 

Group

N-size

SUBJ

GREET

TITLE

NAME

S NAME

AFFIL

CLOS

SIG

 

 

PreNNS

13

0.46

0.23

0.54

0.54

1

0.92

0.62

0.23

 

 

F/Gr1NNS

19

1

0.89

0.95

1

0.79

0.95

0.84

0.95

 

 

UG/Gr2NNS

10

1

0.8

1

1

0.8

0.8

1

1

 

 

Gr/PCNS

28

0.96

0.79

1

1

0.54

0.64

0.75

0.89

 

 

PhDS

  8

1

0.75

1

1

0.63

0.63

0.75

0.88

 

 

 

Optional E-mail Formal Features

Requests

 

 

Group

INFO Pre

INFO Post

INT GREET

QUESTION

R1

R2

R3

R4

COND R

 

 

PreNNS

0

0

1

0.15

1

0.62

0.08

0

0

 

 

F/Gr1NNS

0.16

0.37

0.42

0

1

0.84

0.37

0.26

0.47

 

 

UG/Gr2NNS

0

0.2

0.4

0

1

0.8

0.2

0

1

 

 

Gr/PCNS

0.04

0.18

0.14

0.04

1

0.68

0.18

0.07

0.82

 

 

PhDS

0

0.13

0.13

0

1

0.88

0.25

0

0.5

 

 

 

Modals

Polite

 

Group

Can

Could

May

Might

Will

Would

Total

PM

DNGRD S

DNTN

 

PreNNS

0.08

0.23

0.08

0

0

0.38

0.77

0.69

0

0

 

F/Gr1NNS

0.42

0.47

0.05

0

0

0.58

1.53

0.42

0.11

0.05

 

UG/Gr2NNS

0.1

1

0.1

0

0

0.1

1.3

0.2

0.1

0

 

Gr/PCNS

0

0.29

0.14

0.07

0.04

0.79

1.32

0.5

0.07

0.71

 

PhDS

0.13

0.5

0

0

0

0.5

1.13

0.38

0

0.5

 

 

Mitigating Supportive Moves

Group

PREP

GRNDR Pre

GRNDR Post

COND S

DISRM

APOL

PROP

PROM

GRAT

COMP

THNK

PreNNS

1.08

1.08

0.46

0.23

0

0.31

0

0.23

0

0.15

0.38

F/Gr1NNS

1.16

1.05

0.95

0.42

0.37

0.37

0.21

0.37

0.47

0.05

0.63

UG/Gr2NNS

0.6

1.3

0.6

0.3

0.5

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.4

0.2

0.3

Gr/PCNS

0.54

0.79

0.89

0.14

0.43

0.21

0.54

0.11

0.25

0.04

0.46

PhDS

0.75

0.38

1.13

0.25

1

0.63

0.88

0.5

0.38

0.25

0.38

 

Upgraders

Length

Mechanics

 

Group

POL INT

UPGRD S

Ortho.UPGRD

WPM

SPM

RPM

SP

CAP

PUNC

CONTR

 

PreNNS

0.31

0.23

0.46

  75.1

6.5

1.7

0.02

0.1

0.15

0.32

 

F/Gr1NNS

0.42

0.26

0.32

134.1

8.1

2.5

0.01

0.04

0.16

0.17

 

UG/Gr2NNS

0.3

0.2

0.1

106.4

6.7

2.0

0.01

0.02

0.07

0.17

 

Gr/PCNS

0.07

0.25

0.11

102.9

5.9

1.9

0

0.01

0.1

0.29

 

PhDS

0.25

0.25

0

125.1

6.9

2.1

0

0.01

0.11

0.16

 

 

Obligatory E-mail Formal Features

Figure 1: Obligatory Formal Features used in E-mail per Group

 

 

(1)

From: Student’s Name

To: Instructor’s Name

Sent: 9/8/2003 5:11 PM

Hello, I am Student’s Name. Do you know me? I think this is the firse time to send email to you. I am a student in your class…

 

(2)

From: Student’s Name < Student’s e-mail address >

Sent: Monday, March 3, 2003 10:40 am

To: Instructor’s Name < Instructor’s e-mail address>

Subject: Research Project

Dr. Peterson,

My name is Eric Student’s Name. I am a student in your History 345 class that meets on Wednesday evening.

 

(3)

From: Student’s Name < Student’s Name >

Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2003 11:48 am

To: Instructor’s e-mail address

Subject: my project

Dear Dr. Peterson:

I am writing to request an extension for my critique assignment for ETEC680. I understand that the first writing assignment is due next week, but would need more time to work on my critique…

 

Optional E-mail Formal Features

 

(4) Phatic greeting questions

(a) …The first writing assignment’s due in your class is next week, isn’t it?…

(b) hello, Dr.Peterson. how do yo do?…

(c) Hello, I am Student’s Name. Do you know me?…

(d) Hi, how are you doing?…

 

(5)

…You can contact me at:

Home Number: Student’s phone

Cell Phone No number: Student’s phone

E-mail address: Student’s e-mail address

If you would like to check my student status,  you can refer to the following information:

Course: History 200

CRN: 12345

Time: MWF 9:30-10:20

Student ID #: ###-##-####

Thank you again.

Student’s Name

 

(6) Pre-message information

September 2nd 2003

History 200

Dr. Peterson,…

 

(7) Post-message information

(a) Thank you I advance.

Sincerely,

Student’s Name

SLS department

Student’s e-mail address

(b)Sincerely yours

Student’s Name

MA candidate in Second Language Studies

UHM

            (c)Thank you,

    Student’s Name

    email: Student’s e-mail address

 

Request Use

Figure 2: Requests used per Message

 

 

Modal Types Used in Requests

Figure 3: Modals Used in Requests Per Group

 

Mitigating Supportive Moves

Figure 4: Mitigating Supportive Moves Used in Message Per Group

 

Downgraders and Upgraders

Figure 5: Downgraders and Upgraders Used in Message Per Group

 

 

Additional Textual Features

 

Figure 6: Average of Requests used per Group

 

Figure 7: Words Per Message Per Group

 

 

 

 

Figure 8: Sentences Per Message Per Group

 

Figure 9: Words Per Sentence Per Group

 

 

Message Mechanics

Figure 10: Mechanics of Message Per Group

 

Implications

Through coding and analysis of the data, it was possible to construct prototypical e-mail request message patterns for each subject group, shown in Table 4.

Table 4 Prototypical E-mail Structure per Group

Group

PreNNS

F/Gr1NNS

UG/Gr2NNS

Gr/PCNS

PhDS

 

TITLE

SUBJ

SUBJ

SUBJ

SUBJ

 

NAME

GREET

GREET

GREET

GREET

 

INT GREET

TITLE

TITLE

TITLE

TITLE

 

S NAME

NAME

NAME

NAME

NAME

 

AFFIL

S NAME

S NAME

S NAME

S NAME

 

PREP

AFFIL

AFFIL

AFFIL

AFFIL

 

GRNDR Pre

PREP

PREP

PREP

PREP

Structure of

R1

GRNDR Pre

GRNDR Pre

GRNDR Pre

R1

E-mail and

R2

R1

R1

R1

GRNDR Post

Request

PM

GRNDR Post

GRNDR Post

GRNDR Post

R2

Features in

CLOS

R2

R2

R2

COND R

Prototypical

 

Would

COND R

COND R

Could

Message

 

THNK

Could

Would

Would

 

 

CLOS

DISRM

DNTN

DNTN

 

 

SIG

CLOS

PM

DISRM

 

 

 

SIG

PROP

APOL

 

 

 

 

CLOS

PROP

 

 

 

 

SIG

PROM

 

 

 

 

 

CLOS

 

 

 

 

 

SIG

WPM

75

134

106

103

125

SPM

  6.5

    8

    6.5

    6

    7

WPS

11.5

  16.5

  16

  17.5

  18

RPM

  1.5

    2.5

    2

    2

    2

SP

  2%

    1%

    1%

    0%

    0%

CAP

10%

    4%

    2%

    1%

    1%

PUNC

15%

  16%

    7%

    1%

  11%

CONTR

32%

  17%

  17%

  29%

  16%

 

To construct the prototypes, I decided to include all features used by a group 50% or more of the time(see Appendix F for “E-mail Prototype Analysis Chart”). This decision was not based on any pre-existing criteria or reference to my knowledge, but was simply based on my intuition that if a majority of a group used a particular feature, then that feature could be considered normative for the group. After constructing the prototypes, I matched them with real examples from the data (see Appendix G for example messages). Although the real examples do not exactly match the prototypes developed, they do contain most of the features in corresponding order. These prototypes and examples may be used pedagogically for genre analysis, text analysis, and production activities.

Additionally, based on the previous data analysis and discussion, several implications may be provided concerning pragmatic development in e-communication. Most notably, this data shows that there are patterns in the development of e-communication pragmatics, strategies, and usage, corresponding to academic level and university education experience in an English setting, although it does not show that the more advanced subjects produced messages that necessarily were more acceptable, which is an issue outside the scope of this particular study. However, the data does show tendencies of the subject groups, which may imply general knowledge of the use of certain pragmatic features to attain locutionary intents, and which in turn may inform pedagogy about possible focuses of instruction in the area of e-communication.

Conclusion

This study was designed to examine the pragmatic features of academic e-mail requests made by NS and NNS subjects with different levels of English language proficiency and university education experience. Through data coding and analysis, the study’s research questions were answered:

1.    What are the pragmatic features used by NS and NNS with different years of university education experience when they make academic e-mail requests?

 

Although too numerous to describe in detail here, features used included obligatory formal features (e.g., subject heading, greeting, closing), optional formal features (e.g., phatic questions), specific request types (e.g., conditionals), modals, politeness features (e.g., downtoners), mitigating supportive moves (e.g., preparators, grounders, thanks), and upgraders.

2.    Are there differences in the usage of e-mail pragmatic features between the different groups in my study? If so, what are the differences?

 

Yes, there are differences between groups, but too numerous to describe in detail here. However, the most notable difference between groups included

Š      obligatory formal features- used in opposite proportions across groups,

Š      conditional requests- used frequently by higher groups and never by lowest group,

Š      modals- use of can and would in opposite proportions across groups,

Š      politeness markers- used more frequently by lower than higher groups,

Š      pre- and post-request grounders- used in opposite proportions across groups,

Š      preparators- used more frequently by lower than higher groups,

Š      disarmers and proposals- used frequently by highest group, proportionately less for each lower group, and never by lowest group,

Š      orthographic upgraders- used more frequently by lower than higher groups,

Š      words per message- inconsistently different averages across all groups, and

Š      mechanics- greater frequency of errors by lower than higher groups.

3.    Is there any evidence of developmental patterns?

 

Yes, according to the data coding and analysis, there appear to be developmental patterns that correspond to the assigned groupings based on different academic levels and varying degrees of university education experience in an English setting.

Future research in this area should focus on acceptability judgments and ratings of the data to corroborate findings from this cross-sectional study. Afterwards, more comprehensive pedagogical implications may be made. It is hoped that this study and contributes to research in the area of developmental pragmatics and e-communication in a second language, and informs pedagogy about possible areas for instruction.


References

Bloch, J. (2002). Student/teacher interaction via email: The social context of Internet discourse. Journal of Second Language Writing, 11 (2), 117-134.

 

Blum-Kulka, S., House, J., & Kasper, G., (Eds.). (1989). Cross-cultural pragmatics: requests and apologies. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing.

 

Chen, C.F.E. (2001). Making e-mail requests to professors: Taiwanese vs. American students. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (St. Louis, MO, February 24-27, 2001).

 

Essid, J. (17 Dec. 2003). Basics of electronic writing. Writer’s Web. http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/ewriting.html (17 Dec. 2003).

 

Gains, J. (1999). Electronic mail- a new style of communication or just a new medium?: An investigation into the text features of e-mail. English for Specific Purposes, 18 (1), 81-101.

 

Hacker, D. (2003). A Writer's Reference (5th ed.). NY: St. Martin's.

 

Hambridge, S. (1995). Netiquette guidelines. RFC 1855 http://www.stanton.dtcc.edu/stanton/cs/rfc1855.html (17 Dec. 2003).

 

Hartford, B.S., & Bardovi-Harlig, K. (1996). "At your earliest convenience:" A study of written student requests to faculty. In L.F. Bouton (Ed.), Pragmatics and Language Learning Monograph Series, 7 (pp. 55-69). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 

Hughes, S.W. (2002). Email etiquette. OWL Online Writing Lab. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/pw/p_emailett.html (17 Dec. 2003).

 

Inglis, N.L. (1998). Worlds apart: Cross-cultural undercurrents in the use of email and the Internet. Language International, 10 (2), 16-17.

 

Kankaanranta, A. (2001). Check the figures: Variation in English email requests by Finnish and Swedish. AFinLAn, 59, 304-337.

 

Kasange, L.A. (1998). Requests in English by second-language users. ITL, Review of Applied Linguistics, 123-153.

 

Kasper, G., & Rose, K.R. (2002). Pragmatic development in a second language. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

 

Lan, Li. (2000). Email: A challenge to standard English? English Today, 16 (4), 23-29.

 

Lapp, S.I. (2000). Using email dialog to generate communication in an English as a second language classroom. The Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 23 (1), 50-62.

 

Li, Y. (2000). Linguistic characteristics of ESL writing in task-based e-mail activities. System, 28 (2), 229-245.

 

Rinaldi, A.H. (1998). The Net: User guidelines and netiquette. Netiquette home page. http://www.fau.edu/netiquette/net/netiquette.html (17 Dec. 2003).

 

Rinehart, P.S. (2001). International students' use of electronic mail to communicate with faculty at a four-year public research institution. University of Arkansas. Dissertation for degree of Doctor of Education.

 

St. John, E., & Cash, D. (1995). German language learning via email: A case study. ReCALL, 7 (2), 47-51.

 

Shea, V. (1994). Netiquette table of contents. Netiquette. http://www.albion.com/netiquette/book/index.html (17 Dec. 2003).

 

Sun, Y.C. (1998). The effects of teaching approaches on student's writing strategies in the e-mail settings. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (32nd, Seattle, WA, March 17-21, 1998).

 

Swales, J.M., & Feak, C.B. (1994). Academic Writing for Graduate Students. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

 

Wishnoff, J. (2000). Hedging your bets: L2 learners’ acquisition of pragmatic devices in academic writing and computer-mediated discourse. Second Language Studies: Working Papers of the Department of Second Language Studies, University of Hawai‘i, 19, 119-157.

 


Language Use in an Electronic Environment: Email Message Prompt for Volunteers

 

Thank you for agreeing to participate in my study looking into language use in an electronic environment. The following task is in two parts. The first part is an email message prompt, and the second part is a language use questionnaire. If possible, PLEASE try not to read or complete the second part of the task until after you have completed the first part. Thanks for your patience!

 

OK, for the first part of the task, here’s what I need you to do…

I’d like you to write a hypothetical email message to a professor. Here’s the situation:

Information about the setting and the Professor-

Š      You’re taking a course from a professor in a department other than your major field. You don’t know this professor at all.

Š      His name is Dr. Peterson, he is in his mid-40s, he is an average-sized Caucasian man, and he has taught in his department at UH for many years.

Š      Other than this information, you don’t know anything else about Dr. Peterson.

Information about your email message-

Š      It’s within the first two weeks of the beginning of the semester.

Š      Your first writing assignment is due next week, which is a 5-page article critique.

Š      Everyone in the class had to read the same article and do the same assignment.

Š      You need more time to finish your critique, so you must send Dr. Peterson an email message to request an extension.

Š      This is the first time that you have ever sent Dr. Peterson an email message.

Š      Write your message to Dr. Peterson requesting an extension to turn in your critique.

Sending your message-

Š      After you’ve composed your email message, please cut and paste the “Electronic Consent” section of the Agreement to Participate in Research form into your email message.

Š      When finished writing your email message, cutting and pasting your electronic consent, and attaching your language use questionnaire, send the message directly to me by email <sford@hawaii.edu>.

 

Email Request Homework Assignment 1

 

For this short homework assignment, I want you to write a hypothetical email message to a professor. Here’s the situation:

Information about the setting and the Professor-

Š      You’re taking a 200-level History course from a professor who you don’t know at all.

Š      His name is Dr. Peterson, he is in his mid-40s, he is an average-sized Caucasian man, and he has taught in the History Department at UH for many years.

Š      Other than this information, you don’t know anything else about Dr. Peterson.

Information about your email message-

Š      It’s within the first two weeks of the beginning of the semester.

Š      Your first major writing assignment is due next week, which is a 3-page book report.

Š      Everyone in the class had to read the same book and do the same assignment.

Š      You need more time to finish your book report, so you must send Dr. Peterson an email message to request an extension.

Š      This is the first time that you have ever sent Dr. Peterson an email message.

Write your email message to Dr. Peterson requesting an extension to turn in your book report. When finished writing it, send it directly to me by email <sford@hawaii.edu>.

This homework assignment is due by the end of the day, __ insert due date here___.

 

 


The data coding check-list in Table 3 contains the following netiquette elements, listed under the heading “Formal Features”: subject line (SUBJ), greeting (GREET), title of recipient (TITLE), name of recipient (NAME), student’s name (S NAME), student’s affiliation (AFFIL), closing (CLOS), signature (SIG), pre-message information (INFO Pre), post-message information (INFO Post), internal greeting (INT GREET), and the additional feature question (QUESTION).

The column “Request Features” has codes for the individual requests found in each e-mail in addition to request features drawn from the CCSARP Coding Manual: requests R1, R2, R3, and R4; an option for conditional requests (COND R); the modals can, could, may, might, will, and would; politeness markers (PM); downgrading features (DNGRD); and downtoners (DNTN).

The “Optional Strategies” column consists of features borrowed from CCSARP and supplemented with features that emerged from the data: preparator (PREP), pre-request grounder (GRNDR Pre), post-request grounder (GRNDR Post), conditional statement (COND S), disarmer (DISRM), apology (APOL), proposal (PROP), promise (PROM), gratitude (GRAT), compliment (COMP), thanks (THNK), politeness intensifier (POLINT), upgrading statement (UPGRDS), and orthographic upgrader (Orth UPGRD).

The last column, “Mechanics”, provides for coding of the text analysis features words per message (WPM), sentences per message (SPM), requests per message (RPM), spelling errors (SP), capitalization errors (CAP), punctuation errors (PUNC), and contractions used (CONTR). In addition, this column contains options for coding specific request types and unique combinations and sequences of features found in the message.

 


 

E-mail Formal Features

 

Obligatory

Optional

Group

SUBJ

GREET

TITLE

NAME

S NAME

AFFIL

CLOS

SIG

INFO Pre

INFO Post

INT GREET

QUESTION

PreNNS

0.46

0.23

0.54

0.54

1

0.92

0.62

0.23

0

0

1

0.15

FNNS

1

0.87

0.93

1

0.87

1

0.87

0.93

0.13

0.27

0.47

0

UGNNS

1

1

0.75

1

1

1

1

1

0

0.25

0.75

0

Gr1NNS

1

1

1

1

0.5

0.75

0.75

1

0.25

0.75

0.25

0

Gr2NNS

1

0.67

1

1

0.67

0.67

1

1

0

0.17

0.17

0

PhDNNS

1

0.8

1

1

0.4

0.6

0.8

0.8

0

0.2

0.2

0

PCNNS

1

0.5

1

1

1

1

1

1

0.5

0

0.5

0

UGNS

0.5

1

1

1

0.5

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

Gr1NS

1

0.8

1

1

0.8

0.8

0.6

1

0

0

0.2

0

Gr2NS

0.94

0.69

1

1

0.5

0.63

0.88

0.94

0

0.19

0

0

PhDNS

1

0.67

1

1

1

0.67

0.67

1

0

0

0

0

PCNS

1

1

1

1

0.43

0.57

0.57

0.71

0.14

0.29

0.43

0.14

 

 

Requests

Modals

Group

R1

R2

R3

R4

COND R

Can

Could

May

Might

Will

Would

Total

PreNNS

1

0.62

0.08

0

0

0.08

0.23

0.08

0

0

0.38

0.77

FNNS

1

0.8

0.33

0.27

0.27

0.53

0.27

0.07

0

0

0.4

1.27

UGNNS

1

0.75

0

0

0.75

0.25

0.5

0.25

0

0

0.25

1.25

Gr1NNS

1

1

0.5

0.25

1.25

0

1.25

0

0

0

1.25

2.5

Gr2NNS

1

0.83

0.33

0

1.17

0

1.33

0

0

0

0

1.33

PhDNNS

1

0.8

0.4

0

0.6

0.2

0.8

0

0

0

0.4

1.4

PCNNS

1

1

0

0

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

0

0

0.5

2

UGNS

1

0.5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1.5

1.5

Gr1NS

1

0.6

0.2

0.2

0.8

0

0.4

0

0

0

0.6

1

Gr2NS

1

0.69

0.19

0.06

0.81

0

0.25

0.19

0.06

0.06

0.75

1.31

PhDNS

1

1

0

0

0.33

0

0

0

0

0

0.67

0.67

PCNS

1

0.71

0.14

0

0.86

0

0.29

0.14

0.14

0

1

1.57

 

 

Mitigating Supportive Moves

Group

PREP

GRNDR Pre

GRNDR Post

COND S

DISRM

APOL

PROP

PROM

GRAT

COMP

THNK

PreNNS

1.08

1.08

0.46

0.23

0

0.31

0

0.23

0

0.15

0.38

FNNS

1.33

0.87

0.93

0.27

0.4

0.33

0.27

0.40

0.33

0.07

0.67

UGNNS

0.5

1.5

0.25

0.5

0

0

0.25

0.25

0.5

0.25

0.5

Gr1NNS

0.5

1.75

1

1

0.25

0.5

0

0.25

1

0

0.5

Gr2NNS

0.67

1.17

0.83

0.17

0.83

0.33

0.17

0

0.33

0.17

0.17

PhDNNS

0.8

0.4

1

0.2

1.2

0.4

1

0.4

0.6

0.4

0.6

PCNNS

2

2

0.5

1

0

0.5

1

0

0

0

1

UGNS

0

0.5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.5

Gr1NS

0.6

0.8

0.4

0.6

0.6

0.2

0.8

0

0.4

0

0.6

Gr2NS

0.5

0.88

1.06

0

0.25

0.25

0.5

0.13

0.25

0

0.38

PhDNS

0.67

0.33

1.33

0.33

0.67

1

0.67

0.67

0

0

0

PCNS

0.57

0.57

0.86

0.14

0.71

0.14

0.43

0.14

0.14

0.14

0.57

 

 

Polite

Upgraders

Length

Mechanics

Group

PM

DNGRD

DNTN

P I

UPGRD

Orth UP

WPM

SPM

RPM

SP

CAP

PUNC

CONTR

PreNNS

0.69

0

0

0.31

0.23

0.46

  75.08

  6.46

1.69

0.02

0.1

0.15

0.32

FNNS

0.53

0.13

0

0.5

0.2

0.4

134.8

  7.87

2.47

0.01

0.04

0.16

0.2

UGNNS

0.5

0.25

0

0

0.5

0

  95

  7.5

1.75

0.02

0.03

0.07

0.06

Gr1NNS

0

0

0.25

0

0.5

0

131.5

  9

2.75

0.01

0

0.17

0.04

Gr2NNS

0

0

0

0.5

0

0.17

114

  6.17

2.17

0

0.02

0.07

0.24

PhDNNS

0.2

0

0.4

0.4

0.4

0

125.4

  6.6

2.2

0

0.01

0.08

0.13

PCNNS

0

0

0.5

1

0.5

0

162

10

2

0

0

0.04

0.31

UGNS

0

0

1

0.5

0

0

  44

  3.5

1.5

0

0

0.14

0

Gr1NS

0.6

0

0.8

0.2

0.2

0.2

  95.4

  5.6

2

0

0.02

0.07

0.3

Gr2NS

0.5

0.06

0.69

0.06

0.25

0

  98

  5.5

1.94

0

0.01

0.09

0.28

PhDNS

0.67

0

0.67

0

0

0

124.7

  7.33

2

0

0

0.15

0.2

PCNS

0.43

0.14

0.71

0

0.29

0.29

119.6

  6.9

1.9

0

0

0.17

0.3


 

 

Obligatory E-mail Formal Features

 

 

N-size

Group

SUBJ

GREET

TITLE

NAME

S NAME

AFFIL

CLOS

SIG

 

 

13

PreNNS

0.46

0.23

0.54

0.54

1

0.92

0.62

0.23

 

 

19

F/Gr1NNS

1

0.89

0.95

1

0.79

0.95

0.84

0.95

 

 

10

UG/Gr2NNS

1

0.8

1

1

0.8

0.8

1

1

 

 

  2

PCNNS

1

0.5

1

1

1

1

1

1

 

 

  2

UGNS

0.5

1

1

1

0.5

1

1

1

 

 

28

Gr/PCNS

0.96

0.79

1

1

0.54

0.64

0.75

0.89

 

 

  8

PhDS

1

0.75

1

1

0.63

0.63

0.75

0.88

 

 

 

Optional E-mail Formal Features

Requests

 

 

Group

INFO Pre

INFO Post

INT GREET

QUESTION

R1

R2

R3

R4

COND R

 

 

PreNNS

0

0

1

0.15

1

0.62

0.08

0

0

 

 

F/Gr1NNS

0.16

0.37

0.42

0

1

0.84

0.37

0.26

0.47

 

 

UG/Gr2NNS

0

0.2

0.4

0

1

0.8

0.2

0

1

 

 

PCNNS

0.5

0

0.5

0

1

1

0

0

0.5

 

 

UGNS

0

0

0

0

1

0.5

0

0

0

 

 

Gr/PCNS

0.04

0.18

0.14

0.04

1

0.68

0.18

0.07

0.82

 

 

PhDS

0

0.13

0.13

0

1

0.88

0.25

0

0.5

 

 

 

Modals

Polite

 

Group

Can

Could

May

Might

Will

Would

Total

PM

DNGRD S

DNTN

 

PreNNS

0.08

0.23

0.08

0

0

0.38

0.77

0.69

0

0

 

F/Gr1NNS

0.42

0.47

0.05

0

0

0.58

1.53

0.42

0.11

0.05

 

UG/Gr2NNS

0.1

1

0.1

0

0

0.1

1.3

0.2

0.1

0

 

PCNNS

0.5

0.5

0.5

0

0

0.5

2

0

0

0.5

 

UGNS

0

0

0

0

0

1.5

1.5

0

0

1

 

Gr/PCNS

0

0.29

0.14

0.07

0.04

0.79

1.32

0.5

0.07

0.71

 

PhDS

0.13

0.5

0

0

0

0.5

1.13

0.38

0

0.5

 

 

Mitigating Supportive Moves

Group

PREP

GRNDR Pre

GRNDR Post

COND S

DISRM

APOL

PROP

PROM

GRAT

COMP

THNK

PreNNS

1.08

1.08

0.46

0.23

0

0.31

0

0.23

0

0.15

0.38

F/Gr1NNS

1.16

1.05

0.95

0.42

0.37

0.37

0.21

0.37

0.47

0.05

0.63

UG/Gr2NNS

0.6

1.3

0.6

0.3

0.5

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.4

0.2

0.3

PCNNS

2

2

0.5

1

0

0.5

1

0

0

0

1

UGNS

0

0.5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.5

Gr/PCNS

0.54

0.79

0.89

0.14

0.43

0.21

0.54

0.11

0.25

0.04

0.46

PhDS

0.75

0.38

1.13

0.25

1

0.63

0.88

0.5

0.38

0.25

0.38

 

Upgraders

Length

Mechanics

 

Group

POL INT

UPGRD S

Ortho.UPGRD

WPM

SPM

RPM

SP

CAP

PUNC

CONTR

 

PreNNS

0.31

0.23

0.46

  75.08

  6.46

1.69

0.02

0.1

0.15

0.32

 

F/Gr1NNS

0.42

0.26

0.32

134.11

  8.11

2.53

0.01

0.04

0.16

0.17

 

UG/Gr2NNS

0.3

0.2

0.1

106.4

  6.7

2

0.01

0.02

0.07

0.17

 

PCNNS

1

0.5

0

162

10

2

0

0

0.04

0.31

 

UGNS

0.5

0

0

  44

  3.5

1.5

0

0

0.14

0

 

Gr/PCNS

0.07

0.25

0.11

102.93

  5.86

1.93

0

0.01

0.1

0.29

 

PhDS

0.25

0.25

0

125.13

  6.88

2.13

0

0.01

0.11

0.16

 




 

E-mail Proto-features Table- Features used per Group

 

Obligatory E-mail Formal Features

 

 

 

Group

SUBJ

GREET

TITLE

NAME

S NAME

AFFIL

CLOS

SIG

 

 

 

PreNNS

~

0

X

X

X

X

X

0

 

 

 

F/Gr1NNS

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

UG/Gr2NNS

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

Gr/PCNS

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

PhDS

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

Optional E-mail Formal Features

Requests

 

 

Group

INFO Pre

INFO Post

INT GREET

QUESTION

R1

R2

R3

R4

COND R

 

 

PreNNS

0

0

X

0

X

X

0

0

0

 

 

F/Gr1NNS

0

~

~

0

X

X

~

~

~

 

 

UG/Gr2NNS

0

0

~

0

X

X

0

0

X

 

 

Gr/PCNS

0

0

0

0

X

X

0

0

X

 

 

PhDS

0

0

0

0

X

X

~

0

X

 

 

 

Modals

Polite

 

 

Group

Can

Could

May

Might

Will

Would

PM

DNGRD S

DNTN

 

 

PreNNS

~

0

0

0

~

~

X

0

0

 

 

F/Gr1NNS

~

0

0

0

X

~

~

0

0

 

 

UG/Gr2NNS

X

0

0

0

0

X

0

0

0

 

 

Gr/PCNS

~

0

0

0

X

~

X

0

X

 

 

PhDS

X

0

0

0

X

X

~

0

X

 

 

 

Mitigating Supportive Moves

Group

PREP

GRNDR Pre

GRNDR Post

COND S

DISRM

APOL

PROP

PROM

GRAT

COMP

THNK

PreNNS

X

X

~

0

0

~

0

0

0

0

~

F/Gr1NNS

X

X

X

~

~

~

0

~

~

0

X

UG/Gr2NNS

X

X

X

~

X

0

0

0

~

0

~

Gr/PCNS

X

X

X

0

~

0

X

0

~

0

~

PhDS

X

~

X

~

X

X

X

X

~

~

~

 

Upgraders

Length

Mechanics

 

Group

POL INT

UPGRD S

Ortho.UPGRD

WPM

SPM

RPM

SP

CAP

PUNC

CONTR

 

PreNNS

~

0

~

  75.1

6.5

   1.7

0

0

0

~

 

F/Gr1NNS

~

~

~

134.1

8.1

   2.5

0

0

0

0

 

UG/Gr2NNS

~

0

0

106.4

6.7

   2

0

0

0

0

 

Gr/PCNS

0

~

0

102.9

5.9

   1.9

0

0

0

~

 

PhDS

~

~

0

125.1

6.9

2.1

0

0

0

0

 

0 < 25%           average occurrence

~ = 25 – 49%   average occurrence

X > 50%           average occurrence

 

Prototypical PreNNS E-mail Request

 

 

# 1

1

About book report in your 200-level History class.

SUBJ

2

Hello, Dr. Peterson.

GREET, TITLE, NAME

3

This is Subject’s Name, UH student in your 200-level History class.

S NAME, AFFIL

4

Today I'd like to get your acceptance to extense turning in my book report.

PREP

5

I'd like to spend more time to finish it.

GRNDR Pre

6

May I turn in it by the end of the next week?

R1: INT, MAY

7

I'm sorry about it.

APOL

8

Please reply to e-mail.

PM, R2: IMP

9

Thank you.

CLOS

 

 

 

From: Subject’s Name

To: Researcher’s Name

Sent: 9/8/2003 5:28 PM

Subject: About book report in your 200-level History class.

 

Hello, Dr. Peterson. This is Tomoko Subject’s Name, UH student in your 200-level History class. Today I'd like to get your acceptance to extense turning in my book report. I'd like to spend more time to finish it. May I turn in it by the end of the next week? I'm sorry about it. Please reply to e-mail. Thank you.

 

 

WPM

  63

SPM

    6

WPS

  10.5

RPM

    2

SP

    2%

CAP

    0%

PUNC

    8%

CONTR

100%

 

 

 

Prototypical F/Gr1NNS E-mail Request

 

 

#19

1

homework assignment

SUBJ

2

Dear Dr. Peterson,

GREET, TITLE, NAME

3

I am Subject’s Name, one of your student in History 200.

S NAME, AFFIL

4

I sent you an email because I have a problem doing it.

PREP

5

You know I am an immigrant student who came here two years ago and I have a little difficulty in understanding the book.

PREP

6

I already finish reading the book and starting to do the book report, which is due next week.

PREP

7

However, I am still on the introduction and I am struggling to continue it.

GRNDR

8

I don't think that I can finish it and turn it in by the due date.

GRNDR

9

I need more time to do the book report.

WANT S

10

So if you could

please give me an extension to finish my book report.

COND S, COULD

PM, R1: IMP

11

I hope you understand.

R2: WANT

12

Thank You for your kind consideration.

THNK

13

Sincerely,

CLOS

14

Subject’s Name

SIG

 

 

 

 

From: Subject’s Name <Subject’s E-mail Address>

Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2003 12:47:59 -1000

To: Researcher’s E-Mail Address

Subject: homework assignment

 

Dear Dr. Peterson,

 

I am Subject’s Name, one of your student in History 200. I sent you an email because I have a problem doing it. You know I am an immigrant student who came here two years ago and I have a little difficulty in understanding the book. I already finish reading the book and starting to do the book report, which is due next week. However, I am still on the introduction and I am struggling to continue it. I don't think that I can finish it and turn it in by the due date. I need more time to do the book report. So if you could please give me an extension to finish my book report.

 

I hope you understand. Thank You for your kind consideration.

 

Sincerely,

Subject’s Name

 

 

 

WPM

134

SPM

  10

WPS

  13.5

RPM

    2

SP

    0%

CAP

    4%

PUNC

  17%

CONTR

  14%

 

 

 

Prototypical UG/Gr2NNS E-mail Request

 

 

#38

1

Research: NNS of English

SUBJ

2

Dear Dr. Peterson,

GREET, TITLE, NAME

3

This is Subject’s Name, your student in the XXX course.

S NAME, AFFIL

4

I am running late with some of my assignments due to personal reasons and I was wondering if I could have a one-week extension to the deadline of the Critique, which is due next week.

GRNDR

R1: COND, COULD

5

As an instructor myself, I fully understand the importance of being on time with the requirements of a course, but the present situation has gone a bit out of my control.

DISRM

GRNDR

6

I'll be looking forward to your response.

R2: IND

7

yours sincerely,

CLOS

8

Subject’s Name

SIG

 

 

 

 

From Subject’s Name <Subject’s E-mail Address>

Sent Friday, September 26, 2003 12:07 pm

To Researcher’s Name <Researcher’s E-Mail Address>

Subject Research: NNS of English

 

Dear Dr. Peterson,

 

This is Subject’s Name, your student in the XXX course. I am running late with some of my assignments due to personal reasons and I was wondering if I could have a one-week extension to the deadline of the Critique, which is due next week.  As an instructor myself, I fully understand the importance of being on time with the requirements of a course, but the present situation has gone a bit out of my control. I'll be looking forward to your response.

 

yours sincerely,

 

Subject’s Name

 

 

 

WPM

92

SPM

  4

WPS

23

RPM

  2

SP

  0

CAP

  7%

PUNC

  8%

CONTR

50%

 

 

 

Prototypical GR/PCNS E-mail Request

 

 

#60

1

Subject HIS 614 Article critique

SUBJ

2

Dr. Peterson --

TITLE, NAME

3

My name is Subject’s Name and I'm in your HIS 614 class.

S NAME, AFFIL

4

Although I know the article critique is due next week,

I'm wondering if I could have a few extra days to finish the paper.

PREP

R1: COND

5

I've become extremely interested in the topic and have been doing additional research to better understand the writer's position.

GRNDR

6

While it's been rewarding, I've found it consumed more time than I anticipated.

GRNDR

7

Please let me know if an extension is possible.

PM, R2: IMP, DNTN

8

Thank you.

CLOS

9

Subject’s Name

SIG

 

 

 

 

From Subject’s Name <Subject’s E-mail Address>

Sent Thursday, March 13, 2003 3:32 pm

To Researcher’s Name <Researcher’s E-Mail Address>

Subject HIS 614 Article critique

 

Dr. Peterson --

My name is Subject’s Name and I'm in your HIS 614 class. Although I know the article critique is due next week, I'm wondering if I could have a few extra days to finish the paper. I've become extremely interested in the topic and have been doing additional research to better understand the writer's position. While it's been rewarding, I've found it consumed more time than I anticipated. Please let me know if an extension is possible.

Thank you.

Subject’s Name

 

 

 

WPM

  88

SPM

    5

WPS

  17.5

RPM

    2

SP

    0

CAP

    0

PUNC

  27%

CONTR

100%

 

 

 

Prototypical PhDS E-mail Request

 

 

#73

1

Research Project

SUBJ

2

Dear Dr. Peterson,

GREET, TITLE, NAME

3

My name is Subject’s Name and I am a student in your CUL 611 this semester.

S NAME, AFFIL

4

I am writing you to request an extension on the article critique that is due next week.

R1: DRCT

5

A crisis of sorts has arisen at the hemp factory where I work and it looks like it will require a significant amount of my time the next few days.

GRNDR

6

Would it be possible to extend the deadline two or three days?

R2: INT, PROP, WOULD

7

I could have the paper to you by Friday, Feb 21st at the very latest.

PROM

8

My apologies if this is an inconvenience.

APOL

9

Subject’s Name

SIG

 

 

 

 

From: Subject’s Name <Subject’s E-mail Address>

Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 8:55 pm

To: Researcher’s Name <Researcher’s E-Mail Address>

Subject: Research Project

 

Dear Dr. Peterson,

My name is Subject’s Name and I am a student in your CUL 611 this semester.

 

I am writing you to request an extension on the article critique that is due next week.  A crisis of sorts has arisen at the hemp factory where I work and it looks like it will require a significant amount of my time the next few days.

 

Would it be possible to extend the deadline two or three days?  I could have the paper to you by Friday, Feb 21st at the very latest.

 

My apologies if this is an inconvenience.

 

Subject’s Name

 

 

 

WPM

101

SPM

    6

WPS

  16.8

RPM

    2

SP

    0%

CAP

    0%

PUNC

  25%

CONTR

    0%

 

 



[1] NS and NNS used henceforth for “English native speaker” and “English non-native speaker” respectively.

 

[2] Following established convention, “electronic communication” is abbreviated as “e-communication” throughout this paper. For further discussion, see The Internet Dictionary at <http://www.netlingo.com/inframes.cfm>; click on the term “e-anything”.


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