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By McNamara D.S., Graesser A.C., McCarthy P.M., Cai Z.

ISBN-10: 0521192927

ISBN-13: 9780521192927

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Extra info for Automated Evaluation of Text and Discourse with Coh-Metrix

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Several subsequent studies by McNamara and colleagues sought to isolate the locus of this reverse cohesion effect. McNamara (2001) conducted an experiment to examine the inference generation explanation of the reverse cohesion effect. The inference generation explanation is based on the Kintsch (1998) Construction-Integration (CI) theory of text comprehension. Accordingly, when readers generate inferences that link the text with prior knowledge, the reader’s situation model level of understanding is enhanced.

The addition of “but, for example,” and “resulting in” are examples of added connectives to specify the relationships between ideas in the text. 8 0 Argument overlap fi g u r e 2 . 2 . Argument overlap and Flesch-Kincaid grade level as a function of cohesion. McNamara et al. (1996) presented participants with four versions of a text on cell mitosis, varying local cohesion and global cohesion. Although the argument overlap decreased across the four text versions as intended, readability measures such as the Flesch-Kincaid indicate that the text is easier when the cohesion is lower.

Likewise the Coh-Metrix analysis confirmed the higher incidence of causal and logical connectives in the high-cohesion text. The results of the Ozuru et al. (2010) study showed that participants who read the high-cohesion text produced higher-quality self-explanations; however, these higher-quality explanations did not affect comprehension. By contrast, and as predicted, comprehension was enhanced by self-explanation in the low-cohesion condition. The low-cohesion text required additional inferences that were facilitated by the self-explanation process.

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