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Title: A comparative study of reflexive metadiscourse in research articles : an EAP perspective, with implications for teaching writing to EAP learners at tertiary level in Tunisia
Author: Toumi, Naouel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 9907
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2012
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Nowadays, most scholars looking for promotion and other academic rewards must publish in impacted journals that use English. However, writing in this language is difficult for Non Native English (NNE) academics, who use other languages in their national disciplinary context. In such contexts, NNE researchers may benefit from comparative studies of the local and the native English (NE) writing conventions. Results from these studies can help NNE academics write more felicitous research texts in English. The present study comparatively analyses reflexive metadiscourse use in research articles (RAs) written in English by NE and Tunisian researchers. The analysis investigates reflexive metadiscourse in a corpus of 100 RAs from hard and soft sciences, with 50 RAs from each cultural group. The focus of this work is on Economics, Business and Management RAs as samples of the soft sciences and Earth and Planetary Sciences RAs as samples of the hard sciences. This work uses an analytical model which draws its main components from Mauranen (1993b) and Adel (2006). A number of adjustments are made in order to render the model more applicable to the research article genre. Employing corpus linguistics methods, this thesis has shown that the NE writers use more markers of total reflexive metadiscourse in the soft than in the hard sciences, while Tunisian authors use equal amounts in the two sciences. It was also found that reflexive metadiscourse is denser in the argumentative RA sections followed by the opening and closing sections, while it is much less frequent in the expository sections. This work also proved that there are more reflexive metadiscourse markers in theoretical than in empirical RAs. As such, the present work contributes to EAP by providing more accurate guidance to Tunisian EAP course designers and/or instructors about the use of reflexive metadiscourse in English RAs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available