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Using Coh-Metrix to investigate changes in student texts: Comparing student writing from 1999 and 2009
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study investigates Swedish students’ texts from two time periods: 1999 and 2009, in search of cohesive evidence indicating a change of quality influenced by the development of the Internet. The method used in this study is the application of a computational tool that provides measures of language and discourse called Coh-Metrix, which provides measures along several cohesion variables, including word concreteness, deep cohesion, verb cohesion and lexical diversity. The results showed that the student texts from 2009 had higher lexical diversity, suggesting a larger vocabulary, which is closely connected to text quality. The results also showed a higher use of deep cohesion in the texts from 2009, which suggest that the writers know how to use connectives. In contrast, the student texts from 1999 showed a higher use of verb cohesion, suggesting the texts being written in a more narrative style, which is often connected to younger students. By using Coh-Metrix to study evidence of cohesion, this study could contribute with relevant findings about how students’ written English has changed over a period of time. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 20 p.
Keyword [en]
Coh-Metrix, Cohesion, Student writing, Text quality, Extramural English
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126428OAI: diva2:899408
Available from: 2016-02-01 Created: 2016-02-01 Last updated: 2016-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Department of English
General Language Studies and LinguisticsSpecific Languages

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