“Indicating a Research Gap” in Computer Science Research Article Introductions by Non-Native English Writers

  •  Ina Suryani    
  •  Aizan Yacob    
  •  Noor Hashima Abd Aziz    


Writing research article to a peer reviewed publication is a complex process and involves daunting communication with the referees, co-authors and editors. Publication writing is more challenging than the usual communicative expression yet; prolific writers often pass through the processes without too much difficulty. Prolific writers draw on many writing strategies and one of the strategies is by highlighting the research gap. Most of the time, the research gaps highlighted are those related to the intended research niche and the intended study.  While the strategy has been used and taught in many research writing instances, the strategy has been reported to be unpopular amongst the non-native English research writers. Although many non-native English writers are aware of the importance of the research gap, not much is known on how this strategy is being practiced. In view of the underutilization of this strategy and limited studies on the strategy in non-native context, this paper investigates the use of this strategy in 150 research articles introductions in Computer Science disciplines written by academicians in Malaysian Universities. The finding of this study confirmed that indicating research gap” is underutilized by the Malaysians. In addition, this paper also described four various ways on how this strategy is commonly used by the non-native writers. The confirmation and authentic examples may be useful in the teaching and learning of research article writing.

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