The study examines whether writers from shared cultural backgrounds display common writing patterns in their texts and whether these patterns differ while writing in L1 versus L2. The study explored the presence and bidirectional transfer of rhetorical patterns in eighteen Turkish participants' writing in relation to previous writing instructional context defined as "small culture." Participants were first given it survey about their writing instruction history. Then, each participant wrote two argumentative essays in Turkish and English. These texts were analyzed and stimulated recall interviews were given to discover the reasoning behind certain rhetorical patterns and their transfer. The results revealed some rhetorical preferences and their bidirectional transfer. However, although most rhetorical patterns could be traced to the educational context, various other influences, such as L2 level, topic, and audience were also found to account for these patterns and their transfer. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.