An exploratory study of English as a Second Language students’ “citation” patterns in multimodal writing
This study explores how English as a Second Language (ESL) students make reference to outside sources and incorporate textual repetition using multimodal resources in a video project. ESL students’ source use and citation practices have been studied extensively in the context of traditional text-based writing. However, little attention is paid to the issue of making citations in multimodal writing, despite the fact that multimodal writing has been a popular topic in recent decades. The current study bridges this gap by analyzing the cases of multimodal citation in 14 videos created by ESL students in a first-year composition course, accompanied by insights from two students. The analysis yields three patterns of incorporating sources—concurrently afforded, verbally afforded, and visually afforded citations—that employ different combinations of visual and audio resources. Direct quotations are incorporated as part of the narration as well as the visual representation. These multimodal citations and quotations fulfill three broad rhetorical functions: attribution, exemplification, and establishing links between sources. There is also evidence of knowledge transfer across genre and cultural boundaries. This study provides insights into how modal affordances could be leveraged to acknowledge propositional content in creative and rhetorically effective ways. It provides pedagogical ideas for designing multimodal assignments to engage students in the critical discussion of audience, intertextuality, and discourse community.