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Fresher perspectives: the transition to student life examined using LIWC and a keywords analysis

Franklin, Emma (2015)
M.Res. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This study analyses the blogs of thirty new students as they leave home and begin their university lives. Inspired by the work of social psychologist James Pennebaker, who uses his software \(LIWC\) (\(Linguistic\) \(Inquiry\) \(and\) \(Word\) \(Count\)) to track changes in word use and map them onto psychological correlates, this thesis seeks partly to understand the social and psychological impact of the student transition, and partly to investigate the methodological implications of a word-count program such as LIWC. A closed-class keywords analysis is used to bolster and complement the LIWC findings, and the results are examined qualitatively with a concordancer. It is found that the students display a number of linguistic changes following the move to university, and even some beforehand; overall, they appear to become more self-aware, more socially involved and more tentative in their writing.

Type of Work:M.Res. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Groom, Nicholas and Millar, Neil
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics
Subjects:LB2300 Higher Education
P Philology. Linguistics
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:5649
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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