A Contrastive Comparison of Structural and Rhetorical Patterns of Persian and English Argumentative Essays

| February 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

Volume 7-1 February 2011.

PDF E-book version 

Title

A Contrastive Comparison of Structural and Rhetorical Patterns of Persian and English Argumentative Essays    

Authors

Sepideh Ahmad Khan Beigi

University for Teachers’ Education, Tehran, Iran

Hamed Ahmadi

Guilan University, Rasht, Iran

 

Bio Data

Sepideh Ahmad Khanbeigi received her M.A. degree in TEFL from Tarbiat Moallem University in 2011. She has been teaching English in different local institutes and ILI (Iran Language Institute) since 2008. Her areas of research interests are second language reading and writing.

Hamed Ahmadi received his M.A. degree in TEFL from University of Guilan in 2011. He has been teaching English in many local language institutes and ILI (Iran Language Institute) since 2006. His areas of interests are second language speaking and writing.         

Abstract

As Subrahmanian (1975) argues, it is necessary for language teachers at every level to be fully aware of the exisiting cultural differences between L1 and L2  and to raise their students’ awareness of those differences; otherwise, it would result in emotional imbalance and consequent frustration for both teachers and learners through the process of language teaching and learning. The present study on contrastive rhetoric reports on rhetorical patterns of social essays in Persian and English based on five contrastive features. To this end, a corpus of eighty argumentative essays written by English and Persian native writers was selected randomly with the purpose of identifying and analyzing different aspects of structural and rhetorical patterns. Essays in the Persian corpus were written by native Persian writers and essays in the English corpus were written by native English writers who were M.A. and Ph.D students of social sciences with an age range of 25 to 30. In order to find out the potential differences between Persian and English argumentative essays, the intended contrastive features namely linearity vs. circularity, explicitness vs. implicitness, inductivity vs. deductivity, metaphorical vs. straightforward nature, and introduction-body-conclusion vs. start-sustain-turn-sum pattern were investigated. After a detailed analysis of the essays, a series of Chi-Square tests were carried out to identify the probable similarities and differences. The results of the study suggest that there are significant differences between English and Persian argumentative essays in terms of their rhetorical and structural patterns. This study promises pedagogical implications for both teaching English reading and writing.

Keywords: Contrastive Rhetoric, Genre, Argumentative texts, Rhetorical pattern

Category: 2011