Exploring into Graduate Research Term Papers: a Quest for Generic Disciplinary Tendencies


  • Parviz Ahmadi Darani University of Sheikhbahaee
  • Mohamad Hassan Tahririan University of Sheikhbahaee
  • Akbar Afghary University of Sheikhbahaee




academic literacies, generic tendencies, research term paper


The purpose of this exploratory analysis was to capture students’ generic tendencies in the organization of original research term papers written by graduate within the same linguistic, cultural, and disciplinary territory. A model proposed by Sheldon (2011) was benchmarked against a corpus of 60 English research term paper introductions to identify the saliency of move schemes along with step and sub-step realizations. At step-level analysis, the proportion of the various steps within Move 2 (indicating a gap, adding to what is known, and presenting positive justification) exhibited a pervasive lack of rhetorical tendency that contradicted the previous genre-based findings. Such an exploration, offers implications for English for research publication purposes instruction and academic literacies based on academic conventions and norms.


Ahmad, Ummul. 1997. Research Articles in Malay: Rhetoric in an Emerging Research Community. In Anna Duszak (ed.), Culture and Styles of Academic Discourse, 275–303. Austin: De Gruyter.

Arvay, Anett and Gyula Tanko. 2004. Contrastive Analysis of English and Hungarian Theoretical Research Article Introductions. IRAL 42. 71–100.

Atai, Mohammadreza and Pyman Habibie. 2009. Exploring Subdisciplinary Variations and Generic Structure of Applied Linguistics Research Article Introductions Using CARS Model. The Journal of Applied Linguistics 2(2). 26–51.

Bartlett, James, Kotrlik, Joe, and Chadwick Higgins. 2001. Determining Appropriate Sample Size in Survey Research. Information Technology, Learning, and Performance Journal 19 (1). 43– 50.

Basturkmen, Helen. 2012. Genre-Based Investigation of Discussion Sections of Research Articles in Dentistry and Disciplinary Variation. English for Academic Purposes 11(2). 134–144.

Brent, Douglass. 2013. The Research Paper: Why We Should Still Care! Journal of the Council of WPA: Writing Program Administration 37(1).1–24.

Bunton, David. 2002. Generic Moves in Ph.D. Thesis Introductions. In John Flowerdew (ed.), Academic Discourse, 57–75. London: Pearson Education.

Burgess, Sally. 2002. Packed Houses and Intimate Gatherings: Audience and Rhetorical Structure. In John Flowerdew (ed.), Academic Discourse, 196–215. London: Longman.

Cohen, Louis, Manion, Lawrence and Keith Morrison. 2011. Research Methods in Education. London: Routledge.

Cooper, Amy and Dawn Bikowski. 2007. Writing at the Graduate Level: What Tasks do Professors Actually Require? Journal of English for Academic Purposes 6(3). 206–221.

Cotos, Elena, Huffman, Sarah and Stephanie Link. 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.

Fallahi, Mohammad and Ali Mobasher. 2007. Genre Analysis of Introduction Section of English and Persian Articles in Mechanics. Journal of Teaching English Language and Literature 1(2). 59–74.

Fakhri, Ahmed. 2004. Rhetorical Properties of Arabic Research Article Introductions. Journal of Pragmatics 36. 1119–1138.

Fredrickson, Kirstin and John Swales. 1994. Competition and Discourse Community: Introductions from Nysvenska Studies. In Britt-Louise Gunnarsson, Per Linell and Bengt Nordberg. (eds.), Text and Talk in Professional Context, 9–22. Uppsala: ASLA.

Hirano, Eliana. 2009. Research Article Introductions in English for Specific Purposes: A Comparison between Brazilian, Portuguese and English. English for Specific Purposes 28. 240–250.

Hyland, Ken. 2009. Teaching and Researching Writing. UK: Pearson Education Limited.

Jalilifar, Alireza. 2010. Research Article Introductions: Subdisciplinary Variations in Applied Linguistics. Journal of Teaching Language Skills 2(2). 29–55.

Jalilifar, Alireza and Nader Soleimani. 2011. Communicative Move in Research Article Introductions: Variations in Applied Linguistics. In Alireza Jalilifar and Esmaeel. Abdollahzadeh (eds.), Academic Research Genres in Asian Context, 447– 477. Ahvaz: Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz.

Jogthong, Chalermsri. 2001. Research Article Introduction in Thai: Genre Analysis of Academic Writing. University of West Virginia, Ph. D Dissertation.

Johns, Ann. 2011. The Future of Genre in L2 Writing: Fundamental, but Contested, Instructional Decisions. Journal of Second Language Writing 20(1). 56–68.

Kanoksilapatham, Budsaba. 2005. Rhetorical Structure of Biochemistry Research Articles. English for Specific Purposes 24(3). 269–292.

Keshavarz, Mohammad Hossein, Atai, Mohmmadreza and Vahid Barzegar. 2007. A Contrastive Study of Generic Organization of Research Article Introductions, Written by Iranian and Non-Iranian Writers in Applied Linguistics. Teaching English Language and Literature 1(2). 13–34.

Khany, Reza and Reza Abol-Nejadian. 2010. Iranian Post-Graduate Students’ Problems in Writing Academic Research Articles. TELL 4(2). 1–26.

Kwan, Becky. 2006. The Schematic Structure of Literature Reviews in Doctoral Theses of Applied Linguistics. English for Specific Purposes 25. 30–55.

Larson, Richard. 1982. The Research Paper in the Writing Course: A Non-Form of Writing. College English 44. 811–816.

Lim, Jason Miin Hwa. 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(3). 229–245.

Loi, Chek Kim. 2010. Research Article Introductions in Chinese and English: A Comparative Genre-Based Study. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 9(4). 267–279.

Lyda, Andrzej and Krystyna Warchal. 2014. Occupying Niches: Interculturality, Cross-Culturality and Culturality in Academic Research. Switzerland: Springer.

Mahzari, Avishan and Parviz Maftoon. 2007. A Contrastive Study of the Introduction Section of English and Persian Medical Research Articles. Iranian Journal of Language Studies 3. 201–214.

Moore, Tim and Janne Morton. 1999. Authenticity in the IELTS Academic Module Writing Text. In Rod Tulloch (ed.) IELTS Research Reports Canberra, Vol. 2. Australia.

Moreno, Ana. 2010. Researching into English for Research Publication Purposes from an Applied Intercultural Perspective. In Miguel Ruiz-Garrido, Silveira Palmer and Ina Fortanet-Gómez (eds.), English for Professional and Academic Purposes, 59–73. Amsterdam: Editions Rodopi.

Ozturk, Ismet. 2007. The Textual Organization of Research Article Introductions in Applied Linguistics: Variability within a Single Discipline. English for Specific Purposes 26(1). 25–38.

Pillai, Anitha Devi. 2012. Discourse Analysis of Research Papers and the Acculturation Experiences of Novice Writers in a University Foundation Program. University of Singapore, Ph. D Dissertation.

Samraj, Betty and John Swales. 2000. Writing in Conservation Biology: Searching for an Interdisciplinary Rhetoric? Language and Learning Across the Disciplines 3. 36–56.

Samraj, Betty. 2002a. Texts and Contextual Layers: Academic Writing in Content Courses. In Ann John (ed.), Genre in the Classroom: Multiple Perspectives, 163–176. Mawah: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Samraj, Betty. 2002b. Introductions in Research Articles: Variations across Disciplines. English for Specific Purposes 21(1). 1–17.

Samraj, Betty. 2004. Discourse Features of the Student-Produced Academic Research Paper: Variations across Disciplinary Courses. English for Specific Purposes 3. 5–22.

Samraj, Betty. 2005. An Explanation of Genre Set: Research Article Abstracts and Introductions in two Disciplines. English for Specific Purposes 24. 141–156.

Samraj, Betty. 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.

Shehzad, Wasima. 2007a. How to End an Introduction in a Computer Science Article? A Corpus-Based Approach. In Eileen Fitzpatrick (ed.), Corpus Linguistics beyond the Word: Research from Phrase to Discourse, 243–255. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Shehzad, Wasima. 2008. Move Two: Establishing a Niche. Iberica 15. 25–50.

Sheldon, Elena. 2011. Rhetorical Differences in RA Introductions Written by English L1 and L2 and Castilian Spanish L1 Writers. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 10. 238–251.

Sinclair, John. 2005. Corpus and Text: Basic Principles. In Martin Wynne (ed.), Developing Linguistic Corpora: A Guide to Good Practice, 1–16. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Skelton, John. 1994. Analysis of the Structure of Original Research Papers: An Aid to Writing Original Papers for Publication. British Journal of General Practice 44. 455–459.

Swales, John and Hazem Najjar. 1987. The Writing of Research Article Introductions. Written Communication 4. 175–192.

Swales, John. 1990. Genre Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Swales, John and Christine Feak. 2004. Academic Writing for Graduate Students. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Swales, John. 2004. Research Genres: Explorations and Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Taylor, Gordon and Tingguang Chen. 1991. Linguistic, Cultural, and Subcultural Issues in Contrastive Discourse Analysis: Anglo-American and Chinese Scientific Texts. Applied Linguistics 12(3). 319–336.

Walvoord, Barbara and Lucille McCarthy. 1990. Thinking and Writing in College: A Naturalistic Study of Students in four Disciplines. Urbana: National Council of Teachers.




How to Cite

Darani, P. A., Tahririan, M. H., & Afghary, A. (2018). Exploring into Graduate Research Term Papers: a Quest for Generic Disciplinary Tendencies . Research in Language, 16(1), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.2478/rela-2018-0007