The analysis of children's writing : a study on the creative potential and rhetorical structure of written texts

Batırbek, Müge
This thesis investigates the relationship between creative potential and the rhetorical structure of children’s narratives. 44 middle school children (aged 12-15) were given a set of paper-pen activities including one divergent thinking test, one convergent thinking test and a story to be completed. Results of the divergent and convergent thinking tests were taken as the predictors to estimate the potential for creative thinking. Children were examined in terms of how they encode rhetorical relations in their writings. Whether a creative potential made a difference in children’s writings in terms of rhetorical relations they used, and whether children within the same creative potential group used the same rhetorical relations in common were investigated. Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) (Marcu, 2000 and Carlson and Marcu, 2001) was used in coding children’s writings. It was found that children in the study interpreted story writing as an act of attribution. This result is contrary to Marcu (1999b), who found the elaboration-additional relation as the most frequent relation in their corpora. The study also found that there was an inverse relationship between the convergent thinking scores and the number of satellites (an EDU (elementary discourse unit) playing an auxilliary role for a text in question) for the 7th graders. Finally, it was found that high quartile (highest scorers in the study, top 25%) convergent thinkers were able to construct a narrative element with few number of EDUs and few number of discourse relation types.


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Citation Formats
M. Batırbek, “ The analysis of children’s writing : a study on the creative potential and rhetorical structure of written texts,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2007.