Exploring Metadiscourse in Master’s Dissertation Abstracts: Cultural and Linguistic Variations across Postgraduate Writers

Erdem Akbas

Abstract


This study investigates metadiscourse in the dissertation abstracts written by Native Speakers of Turkish (NST), Turkish Speakers of English (TSE) and Native Speakers of English (NSE) in the Social Sciences to determine how they make use of metadiscourse devices. It attempts to determine whether student writers from a shared cultural background (Turkish) tend to use similar rhetorical features to those of their mother tongue or harmonise themselves with the language (English) in which they are writing. Metadiscourse as a rhetorical device for the effective use of language facilitates writers in guiding their readers, conveying their ideas, establishing and determining the social distance of the reader-writer relationship, and creating an involved style of writer persona or a more remote stance. In that sense, interactive resources employed by writers help readers to find the information needed and interactional resources convey to readers the personality of the writers and their assertions. In addition, using ‘more personal’ resources is a way of keeping readers more intentionally within the text to interpret what is proposed by the writers personally and to judge them. The overall aim of the study is to compare and contrast 90 abstracts of dissertations produced by native Turkish speakers (30), native English speakers (30) and Turkish speakers of English (30) in the Social Sciences and to consider how writing in English (L2) deviates from writing in Turkish (L1) and becomes closer to the target language in terms of the metadiscourse elements, that is, interactive resources (transitions, frame markers, endophoric markers, evidentials and code glosses) and interactional resources (hedges, boosters, attitude markers, engagement markers and self-mentions).1


Keywords


metadiscourse, written academic discourse, postgraduate student writing, contrastive rhetoric, learner corpus

Full Text:

PDF

References


Akbas, E. (2011a). Are they discussing in the same way?: interactional metadiscourse in Turkish writers’ texts.

Paper presented at the 2nd International PRISEAL Conference, Sosnowiec/Katowice, Poland.

Akbas, E. (2011b). A Cross-cultural Study: Metadiscourse in MA Dissertation Introduction and Conclusions.

Paper presented at the 8th METU International Postgraduate Conference on Linguistics and Teaching, Ankara, Turkey.

Beauvais, P. J. (1989). A Speech Act Theory of Metadiscourse. Written Communication, 6(1), 11-30.

Biber, D., Conrad, S., & Reppen, R. (1998). Corpus Linguistics: Investigating Language Structure and Use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Blagojevic, S. (2004). Metadiscourse in Academic Prose: a Contrastive Study of Academic Articles

Written in English by English and Norwegian Native Speakers. Studies About Languages (Kalbų Studijos), 5, 60-67

Connor, U. (1996). Contrastive rhetoric: Cross-cultural aspects of second language writing.

Cambridge: CUP

Day, R. A. (1988). How to write and publish a scientific paper. Cambridge: CUP

Field, A. P. (2009). Discovering Statistics Using SPSS: (and Sex and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll): Sage.

Gillaerts, P., & Velde, F. V. d. (2010). Interactional metadiscourse in research article abstracts. Journal of

English for Academic Purposes, 9, 128-139. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2010.02.004

Hinds, J. (1987). Reader versus writer responsibility: A new typology. In U. Connor & R. Kaplan

(Eds.), Writing across languages: Analysis of L2 text (pp. 141–152). Reading: Addison-Wesley.

Hinkel, E. (2002). Second Language Writers' Text: Linguistic and Rhetorical Features. Mahwah, NJ.: Lawrence

Erlbaum Associates.

Hyland, K. (2000). Disciplinary Discourses: Social Interactions in Academic Writing. London: Longman.

Hyland, K. (2001). Humble servants of the discipline? Self-mention in research articles. English for Specific

Purposes, 20(3), 207–226. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(00)00012-0

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

Hyland, K. & Tse, P. (2004). Metadiscourse in Academic Writing: A Reappraisal. Applied Linguistics, 25(2), 156-177. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/applin/25.2.156

Mauranen, A. (1993). Contrastive ESP Rhetoric: Metatext in Finnish-English Economics Texts. English for Specific Purposes, 12, 3-22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0889-4906(93)90024-I

Martin, P. M. (2003). A genre analysis of English and Spanish research paper abstracts in experimental social

sciences. English for Specific Purposes, 22(1), 25-43. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(01)00033-3

Salager-Myer, F. (1992). A text type and move analysis study of verb tense and modality distribution in medical

English abstracts. English for Specific Purposes, 11(2), 93–113. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(05)80002-X

Schmider, E., Ziegler, M., Danay, E., Beyer, L., & Bühner, M. (2010). Is it really robust? Reinvestigating the

robustness of ANOVA against violations of the normal distribution assumption. Methodology European Journal of Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, 6(4), 147-151. doi: 10.1027/1614-2241/a000016

Thompson, G. (2001). Interaction in academic writing: learning to argue with the reader. Applied Linguistics,

(1), 58-78. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/applin/22.1.58

Vassileva, I. (2001). Commitment and detachment in English and Bulgarian academic writing. English for Specific Purposes, 20(1), 83-102. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(99)00029-0




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/ijalel.v.1n.1p.12

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.