Argument in American and British Cultural Studies Dissertations, Case Study: Mouloud MAMMERI University
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This research explores the cultural variations in presenting, organizing, and reporting arguments in MA dissertations in Cultural Studies submitted and defended at the Department of English in the University of Mouloud MAMMERI of Tizi Ouzou. It builds on theoretical bearings explored by Robert Kaplan in his theory of Contrastive Rhetoric. However, this research, unlike Kaplan’s theory (which compares four cultural groups in relation to Anglophone cultures), is centered on the distinct traits of Arabic Rhetoric transferred by Algerian students of English as they compose in academic discourse. One finding highlighted at the level of this research is the “Intergenreality” found in Algerian dissertations, in which students abide to the broader conventional practice in the Anglo-American academia, while, on the narrower level, they unconsciously repudiate the same-practice rhetorical moves due to the inevitable influence of their first language/culture. The repetitive patterns found in Algerian students dissertations, from the boarder level of sections and paragraphs to the narrower one of sentences, clauses and even single words, make their argument more of a narrative and descriptive than its expected academic nature. Thus, Algerian students fail to present arguments that successfully and effectively communicate their notions and theses in the academic sphere.