Rhetorical Structure of Applied Linguistics Research Article Discussions: A Comparative Cross-Cultural Analysis
Background. Recent years have seen tremendous research efforts in the development of English for academic and research publication purposes, utilising an established approach to comparative genre analysis. This growing interest is primarily driven by the global dominance of Anglophone writing conventions, which necessitates raising awareness among researchers, particularly in non-Anglophone contexts.
Purpose. This study explored and analysed the communicative intents of the discussion sections in research articles in two different contexts to investigate the effect of nativeness on the structural organisation in this genre. The focus of the study was on the rhetorical structure and employment of Moves in the applied linguistics research article Discussions, written in English by Iranian and native English-speaking researchers.
Methods. A mixed-methods research study was conducted on two corpora, comprising 40 Discussions written by Iranian scholars and 40 Discussions written by native English-speaking scholars, selected from research articles published in international peer-reviewed journals.
Results. The comparison of the two corpora revealed similarities and differences in the frequency, type, structure, sequence, and cyclicity of Moves. While there were significant differences in the frequency and sequence of Moves and Steps, both corpora employed the same types. They featured cyclical structures with no evidence of linear patterns across the Discussions. Both groups of researchers found it essential to provide background information and report and comment on the results in the research article Discussions, however, with notable differences in commenting strategies, i.e., Steps. The results indicated that socio-cultural conventions might have influenced the scholars' under- and over-employment of certain Moves and Steps in the research article Discussions.
Implications. The findings of this study provide research-based evidence to practically and pedagogically assist in the context of English for academic and specific purposes, particularly in teaching English for research publication purposes to non-native English-speaking scholars.
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