ENGAGEMENT RESOURCES IN ESP RESEARCH ARTICLE ABSTRACTS
Keywords:academic discourse, Appraisal theory, engagement resources, dialogic space, English for Specific Purposes
This paper investigates engagement resources employed in research article abstracts in the field of English for Specific Purposes. Engagement resources comprise rhetorical strategies by which authors allow for or dismiss alternative viewpoints. Excluding the dialogic space for alternative opinions is termed dialogic contraction, while opening up the possibility for dialogic alternatives is dialogic expansion. These strategies are described within Appraisal theory of Systemic Functional Linguistics. We conducted a corpus-based qualitative analysis on 50 ESP abstracts using Martin and White’s analytical method (Martin and White 2005), in order to investigate the dialogic space occupied by the writer and reader in the sample. All abstracts were written in English and published by Taylor & Francis Group in the period from 2015 to 2020. Engagement resources were identified and explicated in each move structure of abstracts we analysed. The results of the study will show what kind of lexicogrammatical structures are employed in order to achieve the rhetorical eﬀects of dialogic expansion and contraction in ESP research article abstracts. The awareness of the evaluative strategies can help novice ESP academic authors in modeling their own abstracts and academic texts in general.
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English for Specific Purposes Abstract Corpus (ESPAC)
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