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The contribution of music to the fluent writing skills: MAYAZ technique.

Introduction

Native language education is conducted through the coordination of language skills (Wisniewski, 1996). Maintained in an unscheduled and haphazard manner in the social environment in daily life, it is conducted in a more systemic manner once the child starts school (Baratz and Hazeria, 2012). Some problems are inevitably encountered from time to time especially in teaching such skills in the academic environment. For instance the writing skills, being one of the narrative skills, are one of those skills that are not frequently used in daily life (Bas, 2002). Instead, verbal skills are used as the main narrative tool in general (Saglam and Dogan, 2013). Social factors are more influential in developing the verbal skills than developing the writing skills. Despite such difficulty, the individual is forced to develop his/her writing skills. However, one does not feel the need to employ his/her writing skills as often as he/ she does his/her verbal skills in everyday life. The fact that the individual does not use his/ her writing skills unless he/she is forced to do so is also supported by various studies (Basar, 2013; Cockun, 2007; Ungan, 2007; Maltepe, 2007). This, in turn, causes one's writing skills to remain undeveloped and lag behind the other skills that person may have. For this reason, it is necessary to conduct activities intended for improving the writing skills. Visual observations, travel notes, discussions, writing about something that a person listens to, critiques, composing letters, writing poems, stories and essays are considered to be among such activities.

It is believed that one of the main reasons why the writing skills are not up to scratch is down to the teacher factor (Aydin et. Al 2013). The behavior displayed by the teacher in assessing the written narrative submitted by the pupils has a positive/negative effect on the pupils' attitude towards writing. According to the studies conducted, teachers pointed out almost all of the mistakes committed by the pupils when assessing their written narratives. In this respect, two points seem to have been found important when correcting the written narratives of the pupils. The first point is the content, the other one is the stylistic qualities. The assessment of teachers should be particularly concerned with the content of the narrative. However, teachers' tendency to focus on pupils' stylistic mistakes causes them to lose sight of the main objective of the writing skills. It is believed that this particular approach poses a barrier to the pupil's ability to develop creative writing skills. Therefore the attitude displayed by the teachers is quite significant (Demir, 2013; Temizkan, 2010). It is imperative that the contents of the writing be assessed in terms of inconsistency rather than evaluating it in terms of stylistic mistakes in the process of encouraging pupils to adopt writing skills (Seckin vd., 2014; Ulper, 2011; Karatay, 2010; Duran, 2013). Another factor is the failure on the part of the pupils to read enough books. Pupils with poor reading habits tend to have limited vocabulary knowledge (Odabasi vd., 2008; Yilmaz, 2012; Durualp et. al, 2013; Cifci, 2001). Such poor vocabulary knowledge, in turn, leads to written narratives that are poor and insufficient in content. In this respect, it is important to employ tools that will encourage pupils to develop their writing skills and contribute to their improvement in an efficient manner. One of such primary tools is music. A good number of studies point out the fact that music influences people's mood and inspires them. It is believed that the use of music as a universal triggering force that will inspire pupils to experience different emotions while writing and make them put such emotions down on paper will influence the pupils' tendency and interest in writing and that the pupils will be able to employ more words in composing their written narratives. Believing that music will influence the writing skills in positive manner, we have introduced the concept "Fluent writing skills" in this study. Fluent writing skills have been used as in the process whereby pupils convert the emotional intensity inspired by music into writing. This process is called the MAYAZ Technique.

Purpose

This study aims to present the difference in the number of words used when writing with and without music in the development of a person's writing skills. To this end, efforts are made into determining the contribution of music to the development of fluent writing skills.

Method

This study is an experimental one based on trial and control patterns. Experimental studies are those that are conducted in accordance with the variables determined by the researcher (Karasar, 2000).

Study Group

The study group has been formed in accordance with the grades achieved from Turkish language exams. The study group consists of 80 pupils currently studying in the 5th and 6th grades who have an average GPA of 70 to 80 (of the 5th grade pupils, 20 of them are in the experimental group and 20 in the control group, and in the same vein 20 of the 6th grade pupils are in the experimental group while the remaining 20 pupils are in the control group).

Data Collection

The pupils in the experimental and control groups were given twenty minutes to write about any subject they wished. Background music was played for the pupils in the experimental group, while no music was played for the control group when they were writing. The study aimed at determining the number of words used by the pupils when they wrote their essays in accompaniment of the background music. At the end of the twenty minutes, the papers were collected and the words used by the pupils were counted. The words were listed in accordance with the frequency of their use in the written material.

Data Analysis

Before attempting to determine whether the fluent writing skills of (number of words used by) the 5th and 6th grade pupils differ significantly in terms of musical and non musical variables, we have identified the normalcy of the data distribution in order to determine which statistical method to employ in this study. In determining the normalcy of a distribution, (a) the ratio between skewness & kurtosis values and standard errors ([Z.sub.skewness]=S/[SH.sub.skewness], [Z.sub.kurtosis]=S/[SH.sub.kurtosis], (b) display of scattering diagrams and histograms (frequency charts), (c) Kolmogorov-Smimov and Shapiro-Wilk normalcy tests are used (Field, 2009, 138). According to this, the ratio between skewness & kurtosis values of the data (a) and standard errors are outside the values of [Z.sub.skewness] 2,93; [Z.sub.kurtosis], 109,-1,96 and 1,96 respectively, (b) Q-Q Plot diagram, box and whisker plot diagram, (dentrended) Q-Q scattering diagrams visually shows that they are not distributed in a normal manner. On the other hand, since the KolmogorovSmimov (K-S) value -being used as a normalcy test for (c) 30 sample data- is shown as D(80)=,124, p<.05, it is understood that the data is not distributed in a normal manner. When the data is failed to be distributed in a normal manner, non parametric statistical analyses are carried out.

In this case, the Mann Whitney U test -being a non parametric technique- was used to identify whether there was a significant difference in the fluent writing levels of (the number of words used by) the 5th and 6th grade pupils in terms of the following variables including group, gender, reading daily newspapers, listening to music while studying and the desire to listen to music when studying. On the other hand, the Kruskal Wallis test was used to identify whether there was a significant difference in the fluent writing levels of the 5th and 6th grade students in terms of their parents' professions, the type of music preferred when studying and the favorite kind of music.

Moreover, a hierarchical regression analysis was conducted to identify as to what extent the variance in word frequency was explained by the independent variables of the study. In the hierarchical (blockwise) regression analysis, one or a group of variables contributing to the variance in the dependent variable was included as a block. And then a second group of variables was introduced that influenced the word frequency (dependent variable), and this particular pattern was applied in the same manner for other variables, if any. In the hierarchical method, the independent variables were analyzed in accordance with the order designated by the researcher and each variable was evaluated in terms of its contribution to the variance related to the dependent variable.

Problem Sentence of the Study

Does the use of background music during writing have any effect on the number of words used by the pupils?

Study Problems

1. Is there a significant difference between the fluent writing levels of the 5th and 6th grade pupils with and without music?

2. Is there a significant difference between the fluent writing levels of the 5th and 6th grade pupils in terms of gender?

3. Do the fluent writing levels of the pupils differ significantly in terms of their grade?

4. Is there a significant difference between the fluent writing levels of the pupils and their habit of reading daily newspapers?

5. Is there a significant difference between the fluent writing levels of the pupils and their habit of listening to music while studying?

6. Do the fluent writing levels of the pupils differ significantly in accordance with their desire to listen to music while studying?

7. Do the fluent writing levels of the pupils differ significantly in terms of their mothers' professional status?

8. Do the fluent writing levels of the pupils differ significantly in terms of their fathers' professional status?

9. To what extent is the variance in the frequency of the words used by the pupils accounted for by the independent variances of the study?

Findings

As seen in the Table 1, the Mann-Whitney U test results show that the fluent writing levels of the 5th and 6th grade pupils differ significantly depending on whether they are placed in setting with or without music (U=69,500, p<.05). According to the results, the number of words used by the pupils who wrote their essays while listening to music (X=58,76) was more than those who did in silence (X=22,24). On the strength of this result, one can argue that studying while listening to music greatly improves the fluent writing levels of the pupils. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to identify whether there was a significant difference in the fluent writing levels of the pupils in terms of gender. The results regarding this test are shown in the Table 2 below.

Table 2 suggests that the fluent writing levels of the pupils differ significantly in terms of gender (U=509,000, p<.05). According to the results, girls have higher levels of fluent writing skills (X=47,38) than boys (X=32,89). Regardless of whether they were in a setting with or without music, it is evident that, in general, the number of words used by the female pupils is more than those used by the male pupils. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to identify whether there was a significant difference in the fluent writing levels of the pupils in terms of their grade level. The results regarding this test are shown in the Table 3 below.

As can be seen in the Table 3, there is a significant difference between the fluent writing levels of the pupils in terms of their grade (U=512,000, p<.05). When the mean ranks of the groups within the Mann-Whitney U test are observed, it can be seen that the fluent writing levels of the 5th grade pupils (X=47,70) are higher than that of the 6th grade pupils (X=33,70). That is to suggest that, irrespective of the accompaniment of music, the number of words used by the 5th grade pupils, in general, is more than those used by their seniors (6th grade). The Mann-Whitney U test was used to identify whether there was a significant difference in the fluent writing levels of the pupils in terms of their habit of reading daily newspapers. Table 4 lists the results obtained from this test.

According to the Mann-Whitney U Test results, there is no significant difference between the fluent writing levels of the pupils in terms of reading daily newspapers (U=626,000, p>.05). On the strength of this finding, one can argue that the pupils who read daily newspapers and those who do not have more or less the same levels of fluent writing skills. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to identify whether there was a significant difference in the fluent writing levels of the pupils in terms of their habit of listening to music while studying. The mean ranks, Mann-Whitney U test values and significance values regarding this particular test are presented in the Table 5 below.

As presented in the Table 5, the fluent writing levels of the pupils differ significantly in terms of their habit of listening to music while studying (U=561,500, p<.05). When the findings of the Mann-Whitney U Test are reviewed, it is seen that the pupils who study while listening to music have higher levels of fluent writing skills (X=46,89) than those who do not listen to music. That is to say that the number of words used by the pupils who study while listening to music is more than the words used by those who do not listen to music. This suggests that listening to music while studying is a significant factor in the increase of the number of words used by the pupils. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to identify whether there was a significant difference in the fluent writing levels of the pupils in terms of pupils' desire to listen to music while studying. The mean ranks, Mann-Whitney U test values and significance values regarding this particular test are presented in the Table 6 below.

The significance values pertaining to the Mann-Whitney U Test suggest that the fluent writing levels of the pupils do not differ significantly depending on their desire to listen to music while studying (U=567,000, p<.05). The Kruskal Wallis test was conducted to establish whether there was a significant difference between the fluent writing levels of the pupils in terms of their mothers' professional status. The Table 7 below contains the mean ranks, chi square ([X.sup.2]) values and significance values regarding this particular test.

The data revealed in the Table 7 presents no significant difference between the fluent writing levels of the pupils in terms of their mothers' professional status ([X.sup.2.sub.(2)]=2,262, p>.05). Such results suggest that there is no significant difference between the fluent writing levels of the pupils or that the fluent writing levels of the pupils are more or less the same regardless of their mothers' professional status. The Kruskal Wallis test was conducted to establish whether there was a significant difference between the fluent writing levels of the pupils in terms of their fathers' professional status. The mean ranks, chi square ([X.sup.2]) values and significance values regarding this particular test are presented in the Table 8 below.

According to the Kruskal Wallis test results, the chi square ([X.sup.2]) and p significance values suggest a significant difference between the fluent writing levels of the pupils in terms of their fathers' professional status ([X.sup.2.sub.(3)]=8,363, p<.05). When the mean ranks of the aforementioned table is observed, it is seen that the pupils with the highest fluent writing levels are those whose fathers are shopkeepers, who are followed by those of workers, academicians and civil servants respectively. The results of the hierarchical regression analysis that was carried out to find out to what extent the word repetition variance is explained through the independent variables of the study are presented in the table below.

A regression analysis was conducted by using the Blockwise (Hierarchical) technique in order to predict the frequency of words used by the pupils. As a result of the analysis thus conducted, 77% of the variance in the frequency of the words used by the pupils was accounted for. In the analyses that were carried out in a total of 3 blocks, the 1st block included such variables as the pupil groups, gender, age and grade as independent variables. As a result of the analysis, it is established that the group, gender, age and grade variables make a significant contribution to the variance in the word frequency (R =.836, [R.sup.2]=,699, p<.05). The variables in question account for 70% of the variance in the word frequency. It can be argued that this particular variable group is an important predictor of the number of words used by the pupils. The 2nd block included family related variables. It is established that the family related variables do not make a significant contribution to the variance in the frequency of words used by the pupils (R=.756, [R.sup.2]=756, p>.05). The family related variables, along with the previous variables, account for 76% of the variance in the word frequency. The 3rd block included the reading and music listening related variables. At the end of the analysis, it is established that such variables do not make a significant contribution to the variance in the frequency of words used by the pupils (R=.877, [R.sup.2].756, p>.05). The reading and music listening related variables, along with the previous variables, account for 76% of the variance.

As a result of the t test conducted with respect to the significance of the regression coefficients, it is established that the group in which the pupils were placed and their respective grade level have a significant impact over the frequency of the words used, while other personal variables such as age and gender have no such impact. When the regression coefficients are observed, it is seen that the group in which the pupils that wrote essays while listening to music has the highest impact in terms of the increase in the number of words used ([beta]=.670, p<.05). It is followed by the significant impact in the frequency of the words used by the 5th grade pupils ([beta]=.486, p<.05). In the 2nd block of the regression analysis, however, only the variable 'mother is a civil servant' has been found to have had a significant impact in terms of the frequency of the words used ([beta]=.196, p<.05).

Discussion and Conclusion

Writing skills may be improved and changed depending on a wide variety of factors (Lawwill, 1999; Kaya, 2013; Sidekli, 2012; Ontario Education, 2005; Causarano, 2011; Unsal, 2008). Various factors are at play here, from domestic environment to the circle of friends, from writing policies of schools to the assessment of writing skills and from the degree of society's appreciation of writing skills to the degree of attention paid by teachers to the writing studies (Gul, 2007; Dean, 2010; Yuksel, 2012; Okur, Demirtas and Keskin, 2013). In this respect, writing essays or failure to do so is a complex issue that can not be examined from a single point of view (Okur et. al 2013). For this reason, a number of different variables have been taken into consideration when assessing the writing skills of the pupils. Music is an element that triggers different emotions in a person (Ozcan, 2007; Erdal, 2009; Gultekin, 2013; Bati, 2010). The use of music in an academic setting creates diversity (Uslu, 2012). This study has identified that there is a difference in terms of pupils' ability or inability to write essays while listening to music. It has been found out that the pupils who wrote essays while listening to music have used more words than those who did without music. Based on this finding, one can argue that music emotionally affects the pupils' association of ideas. When the writing skills are observed in terms of gender, it is seen that there is a significant difference in favor of female pupils. This finding is not associated with music. The fact that female pupils use more words than male pupils also varies depending on various other factors. Many studies suggest that girls, in general, are academically more successful than boys (Acik and Gozoglu, 2010; Polat and Kulter, 2008; Aydemir, 2007; Gur et. al 2013). Such literature evidence is also consistent with the findings of this study. Grade levels show that there is a negative relationship in terms of the number of words used by the pupils when they wrote their essays. This can be attributed to the fact that the 5th grade pupils are more curious than the 6th grade pupils. Such difference can not be explained by the direct influence of music. Another variable that is believed to have been influential in the fluent writing skills is the habit of reading newspapers. It is seen that music made no significant difference along with this particular variable. Every pupil has his/her own writing habit (Celik, 2012; Simsek, 2015; Ozdemir, 2011). While some pupils prefer to study in a quiet environment some of them choose to study while listening to music. A significant difference has been identified between listening to music and studying while listening to music during the fluent writing sessions. It is established that the pupils who engaged in fluent writing while listening to music have used more words than other pupils. According to this study, the fluent writing levels of the pupils have not differed based on their desire to listen to music while studying. This can be explained by their studying habits and way of learning. It is a known fact that the parents' profession is highly influential in a pupil's academic career (Isik et. al., 2010; Kaya, Arslantas ve Simsek, 2009). While, in this study, the mother's professional status has not been found to be significant in the fluent writing levels of the pupils, the father's professional status has been identified to have made a significant difference in terms of writing while listening to music. It is seen that the children of shopkeepers have used more words in their essays than the children of civil servants have in the accompaniment of music.

As a conclusion, based on the findings of the analyses, it is established that the 5th and 6th grade pupils who engaged in fluent writing activities while listening to music in the background have used more words in their essays than other pupils and this particular technique has been proven to have contributed to the pupils' fluent writing skills. In this respect, it can be suggested that the pupils who are uninterested in writing in general may be included in the writing process by using various musical instruments.

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Zekerya Batur

Usak University

TURKEY
Table 1. The Mann Whitney U Test Results based
on the fluent writing levels of the pupils
with or without music

                     Mean     Rank
Group           N    rank      sum       U       P

With music      40   58,76   2350,50   69,500   ,000
Without music   40   22,24   889,50

Table 2. Mann-Whitney U Test Results pertaining to the
fluent writing levels of the pupils based on gender

Group   N    Mean     Rank        U       P
             rank      sum

Boys    38   32,89   1250,00   509,000   ,005
Girls   42   47,38   1990,00

Table 3. Mann-Whitney U Test Results pertaining
to the fluent writing levels of the pupils
based on their grade level

Group       N    Mean     Rank        U       P
                 rank      sum

5th grade   40   47,70   1908,00   512,000   ,006
6th grade   40   33,30   1332,00

Table 4. Mann-Whitney U Test Results pertaining to
the fluent writing levels of the pupils based on
their habit of reading daily newspapers

             Mean     Rank
Group   N    rank      sum        U       P

Yes     27   37,19   1004,00   626,000   ,362
No      53   42,19   2236,00

Table 5. Mann-Whitney U Test Results pertaining to the
fluent writing levels of the pupils based on their
habit of listening to music while studying

             Mean     Rank
Group   N    rank      sum        U       P

Yes     31   46,89   1453,50   561,500   ,050
No      49   36,46   1786,50

Table 6. Mann-Whitney U Test Results pertaining to the
fluent writing levels of the pupils in terms of their
desire to listen to music while studying

             Mean     Rank
Group   N    rank      sum        U       P

Yes     30   46,60   1398,00   567,000   ,069
No      50   36,84   1842,00

Table 7. The Kruskal Wallis Test results regarding the
fluent writing levels of the pupils in terms of their
mothers' professional status

Mother's
Professional         Mean          [chi
Status          N    rank    Sd   square]    P

Housewife       71   39,25   2     2,262    ,323
Worker          5    54,90
Civil Servant   4    44,75

Table 8. The Kruskal Wallis Test results regarding the
fluent writing levels of the pupils in terms of their
fathers' professional status

Father's
professional         Mean          [chi
status          N    rank    Sd   square]    P

Worker          50   42,66   3     8,363    ,039
Shopkeeper      6    59,67
Academician     4    32,13
Civil Servant   20   31,03

Table 9. Hierarchical regression analysis
regarding the word frequency

                                           Standard
                              Corrected    Error in
Model      R      [R.sup.2]   [R.sup.2]   Calculation

1       ,836(a)     ,699        ,683       15,70697
2       ,869(b)     ,756        ,698       15,31273
3       ,877(c)     ,769        ,662       16,21510

                     Statistics of change

        Change in    Change
Model   [R.sup.2]     in F    sd1   sd2    P

1          ,699      43,496    4    75    ,000
2          ,057      1,356    11    64    ,216
3          ,013       ,308    10    54    ,976

(a) Independent variables: (Fixed), age, male, with music,
fifth grade

(b) Independent variables: (Fixed), age, male, with music,
fifth grade, mother is a worker, father is a high school
graduate, mother is a high school graduate, father is a
shopkeeper, mother is a civil servant, father is a civil
servant, father is a secondary school graduate, mother is a
secondary school graduate, father is an academician, monthly
income, father is a college graduate

(c) Independent variables: (Fixed), age, male, with music,
fifth grade, mother is a worker, father is a high school
graduate, mother is a high school graduate, father is a
shopkeeper, mother is a civil servant, father is a civil
servant, father is a secondary school graduate, mother is a
secondary school graduate, father is an academician, monthly
income, father is a college graduate, rap, rock, daily
newspaper, hos arabesque, pop, monthly read books, hos_pop,
hos rap, hos rock, listening to music while studying

(d) Dependent variable: Number of words used

Table 10. Standardized regression coefficients
regarding the frequency of words used

                                  Non standardized
                                    coefficients
        Model
        Independent                        Std.
        Variables                     B    Error

lst     (Fixed)                  -87,384   60,858
Block   With music               37,153    4,854
        Grade level              26,917    7,083
          (5th grade)
        Gender                   -6,112    4,470
        Age                       8,210    5,007

2nd     Monthly Income            -,002     ,003
Block   Mother is                 7,696    8,051
          a secondary
          school graduate

        Mother is a high         -3,306    4,709
          school graduate
        Father is                 4,781    9,408
          a secondary
          school graduate
        Father is a high          1,382    5,664
          school graduate
        Father is a               5,526    8,721
          college graduate
        Mother is a worker       10,643    8,885
        Mother is a              24,916    11,563
          civil servant
        Father is a              10,160    8,706
          shopkeeper
        Father is a              -3,172    11,959
          academician
        Father is a               -,954    7,030
          civil servant

3rd     Books read on a            ,003     ,007
Block     monthly basis
        Reading daily            -3,877    4,798
          newspapers
        Listening to pop         -9,101    20,944
          music while
          studying
        Listening to rock        -3,349    32,577
          music while
          studying
        Listening to             -5,795    20,712
          rap music
          while studying
        Desire to listen to       9,473    20,458
          music when
          studying
        Preferring pop music      5,703    7,707
          over others
        Preferring rock music     -,667    16,070
          over others
        Preferring arabesque     -5,167    9,408
          music over others
        Preferring rap music      -,887    8,176
          over others

                                 Standardized
                                 coefficients     t       P
        Model
        Independent
        Variables                       Beta

lst     (Fixed)                                 -1,436   ,157
Block   With music                      ,670    7,655    ,000
        Grade level                     ,486    3,800    ,000
          (5th grade)
        Gender                         -,110    -1,367   ,177
        Age                             ,214    1,640    ,107

2nd     Monthly Income                 -,089    -,830    ,410
Block   Mother is                       ,083     ,956    ,343
          a secondary
          school graduate

        Mother is a high               -,059    -,702    ,486
          school graduate
        Father is                       ,042     ,508    ,613
          a secondary
          school graduate
        Father is a high                ,025     ,244    ,808
          school graduate
        Father is a                     ,086     ,634    ,529
          college graduate
        Mother is a worker              ,093    1,198    ,236
        Mother is a                     ,196    2,155    ,036
          civil servant
        Father is a                     ,097    1,167    ,248
          shopkeeper
        Father is a                    -.025    -,265    ,792
          academician
        Father is a                    -,015    -,136    ,893
          civil servant

3rd     Books read on a                 ,033     ,356    ,723
Block     monthly basis
        Reading daily                  -,066    -,808    ,423
          newspapers
        Listening to pop               -,147    -.435    ,666
          music while
          studying
        Listening to rock              -,019    -,103    ,919
          music while
          studying
        Listening to                   -,059    -,280    ,781
          rap music
          while studying
        Desire to listen to             ,166     ,463    ,645
          music when
          studying
        Preferring pop music            ,123     ,740    ,463
          over others
        Preferring rock music          -,014    -,042    ,967
          over others
        Preferring arabesque           -,110    -,549    ,585
          music over others
        Preferring rap music           -,020    -,108    ,914
          over others

Dependent variable: Number of words used. (Coding: With
music = l, without music, 0; 5th grade = l, 6th grade = 0;
male = l, female = 0; mother is a secondary school graduate
= 1, others = 0; mother is a high school graduate = 1,
others = 0; father is a secondary school graduate = 1,
others = 0; father is a high school graduate = 1, others =
0; father is a college graduate = 1, others = 0; mother is a
worker = 1, othcrs = 0; mother is a civil servant = 1,
others = 0; father is a shopkeeper = 0, others = 0; father
is an academician = l, others = 0; father is a civil servant
= l, otheis = 0; reading daily newspapers, yes = l, no = 0;
desire to listen to music when studying, yes = l, no = 0)
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Author:Batur, Zekerya
Publication:Education
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7TURK
Date:Sep 22, 2016
Words:6102
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