Rhetorical Organization and Linguistic Realizations of Moves in English Research Article Abstracts
Keywords:conventional, discourse communities, rhetoric organization, writing style
Research article abstracts are the most effective means of introducing the scope of the complete article. Taking abstracts as the analytical framework, the study identifies the move structures and their linguistic realizations, including verb tenses, stance markers and lexical richness. The contrastive analysis is based on a corpus of 80 abstracts published in North-American and Ecuadorian journals in the disciplines of education, sociology, electronics and agronomy. The corpora were subjected to move analysis performed manually by the human analyst and to software-driven analysis with the complete lexical tutor (Cobb, 2006). The results show that English-written texts do not follow a hierarchical five-move structure (Hyland 2000) but a three-move conventional schema, whose functions are to present the purpose (M2), describe the methodology (M3) and discuss the research findings (M4). Present and hedges were the most frequent categories across disciplines. It was also found complex lexical variation and high lexical density. It is hoped that these results raise linguistic and pedagogic implications for novice writers, particularly non-native English speakers benefit from writing instructions to construct publishable English abstracts in terms of content and rhetorical structure.
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