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Volume 9 Number 1, Spring 2012, Pages 1-197   


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The Rhetorical Organisation of English Argumentative Essays by Malay ESL Students : The Placement of Thesis Statement

    Misyana Susanti Husin and Kamisah Ariffin


In the field of contrastive rhetoric, many studies have been done on rhetorical organisation of native English speakers with patterns of other languages. Although there are numerous published contrastive rhetoric studies comparing native English speakers to speakers of other languages, research on the rhetorical pattern of native Malay-speaking students, or Malay ESL students, writing in English has received limited attention from investigators. Thus, it is the aim of this paper to investigate the discourse organisation employed by native Malay ESL students in their English argumentative essays. The essays were analysed based on the location of the thesis statement. Results indicate that the most frequently employed pattern was inductive followed by the deductive. A number of participants were also interviewed to gain insight on the motivations for the rhetorical decisions. Some pedagogical implications which arise from the findings are also discussed.

Keywords: rhetorical organisation, Malay ESL students, inductive, deductive