Vol. 4. No. 1 A-1 July 1999
Return to Table of Contents Return to Main Page

Reference in Online Discourse

Anita Pincas
Institute of Education, University of London


Effective reference to previous parts of the discourse is especially crucial in a collaborative online context, such as a distance learning course using computer-mediated communication (CMC). The paper surveys and measures the way a group of students in a recent CMC course attempted to develop referencing conventions to suit their learning purposes, relying heavily on actual quotation (citation) from previous messages. It is suggested that success in using referencing correlates with success in a CMC course and that without it CMC users find it difficult to develop an effective mental representation of the discourse.

Keywords: ESL, EFL, ELT, e-mail, discourse, CMC

Table of Contents Go to Full Article TESL-EJ Main Page