Promotional rhetorical strategies in topic generalizations of increasing specificity

Aigul A. Baibatyrova, Sholpan K. Zharkynbekova


This study explores the rhetorical strategies employed in topic generalizations of increasing specificity in the introductions from the leading peer-reviewed journals. Specifically, we identified the substeps in Move1-Step1, which show how the writers promote the significance of the research area. The qualitative approach enabled us to distinguish eight substeps provisionally outlining the common patterning of the discourse and to analyze the linguistic choices enhancing the persuasiveness of claims. Citation, attitude markers, boosters and hedges have been found the most effective devices for preserving balance between assertion and concession. The quantitative analysis of the texts defined the frequency rate of the substeps discerned including their total sum of occurrences and percentages per introduction. The substep level analysis has contributed to scrutinizing the subtle communicative functions of the rhetorical strategies in the textual structure.


rhetoric; move; step; strategy; discourse; metadiscourse

Full Text:



Afros, E. & Schryer, C.F. (2009). "Promotional (meta)discourse in research articles in language and literary studies", English for Specific Purposes, 28/1, 58-68.

Bakhtin, M. (1981). The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. M. Holquist (Eds.), trans. C. Emerson and M. Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Basturkmen, H. (2009.) "Commenting on results in published research articles and masters' dissertations in Language Teaching", Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 8, 241-251.

Basturkmen, H. (2012). "A genre-based investigation of discussion sections of research articles in Dentistry and disciplinary variation", Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 11, 134-144.

Berkenkotter, C. & Huckin. T.N. (1995). Genre knowledge in disciplinary communication: Cognition/culture/power.

Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Brett, P. (1994). "A genre analysis of the results section of sociology articles", English for Specific Purposes, 13, 47-59.

Chang, P. & Schleppegrell, M. (2011). "Taking an effective stance in academic writing: Making the linguistic resources explicit for L2 writers in the social sciences", Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 10, 140- 151.

Cotos, E., Huffman S. & Link, S. (2015). "Furthering and applying move/step constructs: Technology-driven marshalling of Swalesian genre theory for EAP pedagogy", Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 19, 52-72.

Cotos, E., Huffman S. & Link, S. (2017). "A move/step model for methods sections: Demonstrating Rigour and Credibility", English for Specific Purposes, 46, 90-106.

Crismore A., Markkanen, R. & Steffensen, M.S. (1993). "Metadiscourse in persuasive writing: a study of texts written by American and Finnish university students", Written Communication, 10, 39-71.

Dahl, T. (2008). "Contributing to the academic conversation: a study of new knowledge claims in economics and linguistics", Journal of Pragmatics, 40/7, 1184-1201.

Dahl, T. (2009). "The linguistic representation of rhetorical function: a study of how economists present their knowledge claims", Written Communication, 26/4, 370-391.

Haggan, M. (2004). "Research paper titles in literature, linguistics and science: dimensions of attraction", Journal of Pragmatics, 36/2, 293-317.

Harwood, N. (2005). "'Nowhere has anyone attempted… in this article I aim to do just that': a corpus-based study of self-promotional I and we in academic writing across four disciplines", Journal of Pragmatics, 37/8, 1207-1231.

Holmes, R. (1997). "Genre analysis, and the social sciences: An investigation of the structure of research article discussion sections in three disciplines", English for Specific Purposes, 16/4, 321-337.

Hood, S. (2010). Appraising research: Evaluation in academic writing. Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hunston, S. (1989). Evaluation in experimental research articles. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis. Department of English, University of Birmingham.

Hunston, S. & Thompson G. (2000). Evaluation in text: Authorial stance and the construction of discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hyland, K. (1998). "Boosting, hedging and the negotiation of academic knowledge", Text, 18/3, 349-382.

Hyland, K. (1999). "Disciplinary discourses: Writer stance in research articles", in C.N. Candlin, & K. Hyland (eds.), Writing: Texts, Processes And Practices. London: Longman, 99-121.

Hyland, K. (2000). Disciplinary discourses: Social interactions in academic writing. London: Pearson.

Hyland, K. (2005a). Metadiscourse: Exploring interaction in writing. London: Continuum.

Hyland, K. (2005b). "Stance and engagement: A model of interaction in academic discourse", Discourse Studies 7/2, 173-192.

Hyland, K. (2010). "Metadiscourse: Mapping interaction in academic writing", Nordic Journal of English Studies 9/2, 125-145.

Kwan, B.S.C. (2017). "A cross-paradigm macro-structure analysis of research articles in Information System", English for Specific Purposes, 45, 14-30.

Kwan, B.S.C. & Chan H. (2014). "An investigation of source use in the results and the closing sections of empirical articles in Information Systems: In search of a functional-semantic citation typology for pedagogical purposes", Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 14, 29-47.

Lindeberg, A.-Ch. (2004). Promotion and Politeness: Conflicting scholarly rhetoric in three disciplines. Albo, Finland: Abo Akademi University Press.

Lin, L. & Evans, S. (2012). "Structural patterns in empirical research articles: A cross-disciplinary study", English for Specific Purposes, 31, 150-160.

Lim, J.M.-H. (2006). "Method sections of management research articles: a pedagogically motivated qualitative study", English for Specific Purposes, 25/3, 282-309.

Lim, J.M.-H. (2010). "Commenting on research results in applied linguistics and education: A comparative genrebased investigation", Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 94/4, 280-294.

Lim, J.M.-H. (2011). "Paving the way for research findings': Writers' rhetorical choices in education and applied linguistics", Discourse Studies, 13/6, 725-749.

Lim, J.M.-H. (2012). "How do writers establish research niches? A genre-based investigation into management researchers' rhetorical steps and linguistic mechanisms", Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 11, 229-245.

Lim, J.M.-H. (2019). "Explicit and implicit justifications of experimental procedures in language education: Pedagogical implications of studying expert writers' communicative resources", Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 37, 34-51.

Loi, Ch.K. (2010). "Research article introductions in Chinese and English: A comparative genre-based study", Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 9/4, 267-279.

Martin, P. & León Pérez, I.K. (2014). "Convincing peers of the value of one's research: a genre analysis of rhetorical promotion in academic texts", English for Specific Purposes, 34, 1-13.

Martin, J.R. & White P.R.R. (2005). The language of evaluation: Appraisal in English. NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Moreno, A.I. & Swales J.M. (2018). "Strengthening move analysis methodology towards bridging the function-form gap", English for Specific Purposes, 50, 40-63.

Oztürk, I. (2007). "The textual organization of research article introductions in applied linguistics: Variability within a single discipline", English for Specific Purposes, 26/1, 25-38.

Peacock, M. (2002). "Communicative moves in the discussion section of research articles", System, 30/4, 479-497.

Samraj, B. (2002). "Introductions in research articles: variations across disciplines", English for Specific Purposes, 21/1, 1-17.

Samraj, B. (2008). "A discourse analysis of master's theses across disciplines with a focus on introductions", Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 7/1, 55-67.

Shaw, Ph. (2003). "Evaluation and promotion across languages", Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 2/4, 343-357.

Shehzad, W. (2008). "Move two: establishing a niche", Ibérica, 15, 25-50.

Sheldon, E. (2011). "Rhetorical differences in RA introductions written by English L1 and L2 and Castilian Spanish L1 writers", English for Academic Purposes, 10, 238-251.

Swales, J.M. (1990). Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Swales, J.M. (2004). Research genres. Exploration and applications. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Swales, J.M. & Feak C. (1994). Academic writing for graduate students: A course for nonnative speakers of English. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

Wang, W. & Yang, Ch. (2015). "Claiming centrality as promotion in applied linguistics research article introductions", Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 20, 162-175.

Yang, R. & Allison D. (2003). "Research articles in applied linguistics: Moving from results to conclusions", English for Specific Purposes, 22, 365-385.

Abstract Views

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

This journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Universitat Politècnica de València

e-ISSN: 1886-6298