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

Franklin, Emma (2015). Fresher perspectives: the transition to student life examined using LIWC and a keywords analysis. University of Birmingham. M.Res.

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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: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Res.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Res.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Language and Linguistics
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics


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