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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 August 2019

Mariëlle Leijten*
University of Antwerp
Luuk Van Waes
University of Antwerp
Iris Schrijver
University of Antwerp
Sarah Bernolet
University of Antwerp
Lieve Vangehuchten
University of Antwerp
*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Mariëlle Leijten, University of Antwerp, Prinsstraat 13, SZ 458, BE 2000 Antwerp. E-mail:


This article examines how master’s students consult and process sources in source-based writing tasks in L1 and L2. Two hundred eighty master’s students wrote a text in their L1 (Dutch) and L2 (English) at the beginning and end of the academic year. They wrote these texts based on three sources: a report, a web text, and a newspaper article. Their writing processes were registered using the Inputlog keylogging program. This allowed us to determine how much time the students spent reading the sources, when they did so, which sources they consulted most frequently, and how often they switched between the various (types of) sources. The quality of the texts was assessed holistically using pairwise comparisons (D-pac). Confirmative factor analysis showed three components to be relevant to describe source use in L1 and L2 writing: (a) initial reading time, (b) interaction with sources, and (c) the degree of variance in source use throughout the writing process. Individual text quality remained stable in L1 and L2 throughout the academic year. Structural equation modeling showed that the approach in source use, especially source interaction, is correlated with text quality, but in L1 only.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019 

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First of all, we would like to thank the master’s students in multilingual professional communication at the University of Antwerp for their contribution to the research. Next, we would like to extend warm thanks to the members of the team of teachers who evaluated the texts using D-pac (Mike Beyers, Julie Declerck, Caroline Dothee, Suzy Stals, Jimmy Ureel, Katrien Verreycken). A word of thanks to Sven De Maeyer, who patiently explained the statistical techniques in R. Finally, we owe thanks to Eric Van Horenbeeck, who programmed the source analysis of Inputlog for interval analyses.



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