Rhetorical Variation across Research Article Abstracts in Environmental Science and Applied Linguistics

Supachai Saeeaw, Supong Tangkiengsirisin


Abstract is of a pivotal genre in scientific communication, assisting not only highly selective readers with judgment of the pertinent articles but also researchers in disseminating new knowledge and intellectual discoveries. Difficult yet challenging, however, is the task of writing effective abstracts particularly among non-English speaking scholars. This study reports on the identification of moves and co-existing linguistic features commonly used in environmental science and applied linguistics research article abstracts. 200 research article abstracts published during the years of 2010-2013 were analyzed with reference to Hyland’s analytical framework. The two-tier analysis reveals a typical rhetorical structure including a cluster of linguistic features associated with certain pieces of information presented in each particular move, elucidating how research article abstracts in both fields are conventionally constructed. With the presence of all five moves, the structures of I-P-M-Pr-C and P-M-Pr-C were most prevalent among the corpus of environmental science and applied linguistics, respectively. All of the moves, except for Introduction move, were conventional across the two disciplines. Pedagogical implications of the findings are useful particularly for academic reading and writing instruction, enabling language teachers to empower their learners with strategies that contribute to the enhancement of success for publishing in scholarly leading publication.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/elt.v7n8p81

English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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