Self-mention Markers and their Rhetorical Functions in Dentistry Research Articles: A Corpus-based Study of Intradisciplinary Variations within Seven Dentistry Subdisciplines

Hesham Suleiman Alyousef, Najd Emad Q. Alotaibi


Research on intradisciplinary variations in self-mention marker use in research articles (RAs) in dentistry subdisciplines is lacking. The present study investigates self-mention markers used in each of the seven dentistry subdisciplines (oral sciences, periodontics, endodontics, pediatrics, prosthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and orthodontics), sections of RAs that employ more self-mention devices in each of the seven dentistry subdisciplines, and common rhetorical realizations of first-person pronouns in the seven dentistry subdisciplines. The analytical framework was primarily based on Hyland’s (2003) four rhetorical functions of self-mentions in RAs. The findings showed the lack of qualitative and quantitative intradisciplinary variations across six of the seven dentistry subdisciplines. The first-person plural pronouns “we” and “our” were the most frequently employed self-mention devices in the Discussion section of RAs. Authors in the periodontics subdiscipline preferred to retain an objective stance through the use of passive constructions, abiding by the conventional norms of academic writing that restrict them. The findings also revealed that explaining a procedure and stating findings/claims were the most frequent realizations associated with the use of self-mention devices, with the exception of periodontics RAs that employed passive constructions instead. The findings contribute to the fields of discourse and genre studies as well as ESP/EAP courses. They may have implications for dentistry RA writing and teaching. An awareness of more frequently used self-mentions in dentistry RAs and their rhetorical functions can help English dentistry scholars successfully produce RAs in line with the academic writing norms of each subdiscipline.


Self-mention Markers, Rhetorical Move, Dentistry Research Articles, Academic Writing, Intradisciplinary Qualitative/ Quantitative Variations, Dentistry Subdisciplines

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