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Title: A genre analysis of Japanese and English Ph.D. theses in the field of literature : macrostructure and introductory chapters
Author: Ono, Masumi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 6698
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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This study investigates the macrostructure and generic features of introductory chapters in Japanese and English Ph.D. theses in the field of literature through cross-cultural and intra-cultural comparisons. It also explores expectations of Japanese and British academics regarding literature Ph.D. theses in order to find out whether the actual thesis-writing conventions match academics' expectations. The corpus consisted of 51 Japanese and 48 English Ph.D. theses written by native speakers of Japanese or English collected from three Japanese and three British universities. The 99 theses were examined in terms of type of macrostructure, number of chapters, and pre-introduction components such as acknowledgements, abstracts, and tables of contents. Introductory chapters of the theses were analysed using Swales' (1990, 2004) revised CARS (Creative A Research Space) model. The results of textual analysis showed that all the literature theses employed a topic-based macrostructure and two types of dominant patterns were found within the topic-based category: the chapter-based pattern and the two-level pattern. The Japanese and English introductory chapters displayed cross-cultural and intra-cultural similarities and differences in the use of moves and steps. Among the 18 steps, five steps were considered as move-independent, occurring in more than one move, whereas the other 13 steps were seen as move-specific, belonging to one particular move. The move-independent steps had a stronger cyclical nature than the move-specific steps. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven Japanese and ten British academics. While most of them perceived the topic-based macrostructure as a fundamental structure of literature Ph.D. theses, a wide variation in macrostructure was emphasised. Cross-cultural differences were found concerning their views about thesis abstracts and acknowledgements, and their expectations of introductory chapters varied considerably. In light of the textual and interview analysis, a revised model called Open-CARS model for literature thesis introductory chapters is proposed that reflects the disciplinary norms, conventions and nature of literature research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available