Secondary school students’ source reporting and evaluation in project writing


  • Yongyan Li Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China
  • Meng Ge n/a
  • Qianshan Chen n/a
  • Xiao Hu Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong
  • Samuel Kai Wah Chu Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong



project-based learning in schools, group project reports, school students writing from sources, reporting verbs and expressions


In Hong Kong schools, source-based writing has risen in prominence in recent years with the incorporation of inquiry project-based learning (PjBL) into the curricula. Understanding how school students write from sources in this context will constitute a crucial step toward identifying potential problems and targeting educational strategies. In this paper we report an exploratory study of how junior secondary school (Forms 1–3) students reported sources in their research-based group project reports in the Liberal Studies subject in the environment of a Wiki online platform. Our analyses of a sample of 30 project reports focused on discovering how the students used reporting verbs and expressions to report information from sources, and how they expressed positive and critical evaluation of their sources. Our study addressed a gap in the literature by examining school students’ source-use practices in their first language, with valuable pedagogical insights generated and avenues of future research suggested.

Author Biographies

Yongyan Li, Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China

Division of English Language Education Associate Professor

Meng Ge, n/a

PhD student

Qianshan Chen, n/a

PhD student

Xiao Hu, Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong

Division of Information Technology Studies Assistant Professor

Samuel Kai Wah Chu, Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong

Division of Information Technology Studies Associate Professor


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How to Cite

Li, Y., Ge, M., Chen, Q., Hu, X., & Chu, S. K. W. (2017). Secondary school students’ source reporting and evaluation in project writing. Writing and Pedagogy, 9(2), 301–330.



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