CONSTRUING CRITICALITY IN ESSAY GENRE IN ENGLISH LITERATURE
Clément Ndoricimpa, Dilip P. Barad, "Construing criticality in essay genre in English literature", International Journal of English Learning and Teaching Skills; Vol. 2, No. 1; ISSN : 2639-7412 (Print) ISSN : 2638-5546 (Online)
Criticality is established as one of most important characteristics of university essay genre. Students are required to demonstrate their critical thinking in their writing. However, criticality is a concept, which is less understood among students and tutors. Further, there is a little agreement among researchers on how to investigate the linguistic features associated with enacting critical stance. Therefore, this paper demonstrates how criticality is achieved in essay genre in the discipline of English literature. The argument in this paper is that the linguistic features traditionally associated with enacting criticality interact with other linguistic features to achieve critical stance in a written text. A systemic functional analysis of essays in English literature drawn from British Academic Writing English (BAWE) corpus demonstrates this interaction. Specifically, the findings show that the linguistic resources for the creation of ideational meaning interact with those for critical positioning to achieve critical thinking in university essays. These findings have implication for teaching academic writing in the discipline of English literature.
Keywords: Academic writing, criticality, essay genre, stance