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Language Supports for Journal Abstract Writing across Disciplines

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Journal of Computer Assisted Learning Volume 28, Number 4, ISSN 1365-2729 Publisher: Wiley


Various writing assistance tools have been developed through efforts in the areas of natural language processing with different degrees of success of curriculum integration depending on their functional rigor and pedagogical designs. In this paper, we developed a system, WriteAhead, that provides six types of suggestions when non-native graduate students of English from different disciplines are composing journal abstracts, and assessed its effectiveness. The method involved automatically building domain-specific corpora of abstracts from the Web via domain names and related keywords as query expansions, and automatically extracting vocabulary and n-grams from the corpora in order to offer writing suggestions. At runtime, learners' input in the writing area of the system actively triggered a set of corresponding writing suggestions. This abstract writing assistant system facilitates interactions between learners and the system for writing abstracts in an effective and contextualized way, by providing suggestions such as collocations or transitional words. For assessment of WriteAhead, we compared the writing performance of two groups of students with or without using the system, and adopted student perception data. Findings show that the experiment group wrote better, and most students were satisfied with the system concerning most suggestion types, as they can effectively compose quality abstracts through provided language supports from WriteAhead.


Liou, H.C., Yang, P.C. & Chang, J.S. (2012). Language Supports for Journal Abstract Writing across Disciplines. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 28(4), 322-335. Wiley. Retrieved April 19, 2021 from .

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