Rhetoric Construction of Chinese Expository Essays: Implications for EFL Composition Instruction

Donghong Liu, Jing Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Recent scholarship on Chinese students’ English expository essays tends to blur or mitigate the differences between English and Chinese writings. This alleged convergence of English and Chinese rhetorical norms gives rise to a view that rhetorical aspects in second language writing instruction and research in China should be de-emphasized. Drawing on data from full-score Chinese compositions of College Entrance Examination, this study examines how Chinese expository paragraphs are developed. Results show great disparities between English and Chinese expository writing at paragraph level such as non-English rhetorical mode, reliance on authorities, rhetorical paragraph, and figurative language in topic sentence. We argue that Chinese rhetorical strategies are likely to be transferred to English writing if English rhetoric is not taught and reinforced in college.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalSAGE Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese exposition
  • paragraph writing
  • rhetoric construction
  • rhetoric instruction


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