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TRAMES. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 1736-7514 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-0922 (Print)
Impact Factor (2020): 0.5


Full article in PDF format | DOI: 10.3176/tr.2010.1.04

Jaan Mikk, Hasso Kukemelk

Two studies were conducted to explore the connection between science texts features and students' ratings of the interest level of the texts. In both studies, students from the 8th–10th grade completed a knowledge test prior to reading, studied the texts, and rated the texts in terms of interest. In the first study, 124 students each worked with 48 popular scientific texts in biology. In the second study, 400 students worked with 40 texts from physics textbooks. The students indicated higher interest in texts with fewer abstract words and scientific terms, shorter sentences and words and a lower repeating rate for nouns. Frequent words in spoken language were related to lower interest in textbooks, but higher interest in popular scientific texts. This difference in the results may be attributed to the higher prior knowledge of textbooks (26%) compared to their knowledge of popular scientific texts (6%). Implications of the findings are discussed.

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