• Katarina M. Ilić University of Niš Faculty of Philosophy




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)

ESPAC 1 Xu, Xiaoshu, Fai Man Chan and Sun Yilin (2020), “Personal learning environment: an experience with ESP teacher training”, Interactive Learning Environments, Volume 28, Issue 6, 779–794, DOI: 10.1080/10494820.2018.1552872.

ESPAC 2 Nguyen, Buu Huan, Penny Haworth and Sally Hansen (2019), “Challenging ESP teacher beliefs about active learning in a Vietnamese university”, Teacher Development, Volume 23, Issue 3, 345–365, DOI: 10.1080/13664530.2019.1598481.

ESPAC 3 Hosseini, Ali, and Nasrin Shokrpour (2019), “Exploring motivating factors among Iranian medical and nursing ESP language learners”, Cogent Arts & Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 1, 345–365, DOI: 10.1080/23311983.2019.1634324.

ESPAC 4 Flowerdew, Lynne (2020), “The Academic Literacies approach to scholarly writing: a view through the lens of the ESP/Genre approach”, Studies in Higher Education, Volume 45, Issue 3, 579–591, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2019.1576165.

ESPAC 5 Yang, Yu-Fen (2016), “Self-directed learning to develop autonomy in an online ESP community”, Interactive Learning Environments, Volume 24, Issue 7, 1629–1646, DOI: 10.1080/10494820.2015.1041402.

ESPAC 6 Baleghizadeh, Susan, and Maryam Shakouri (2017), “Investigating the relationship between teaching styles and teacher self-efficacy among some Iranian ESP university instructors”, Innovations in Education and Teaching International, Volume 54, Issue 4, 394–402, DOI: 10.1080/14703297.2015.1087329

ESPAC 7 Petraki, Eleni, and Korop Khat (2020), “Challenges and constraints in the design of an ESP course in Cambodia: implications for higher education institutions”, Asia Pacific Journal of Education, DOI: 10.1080/02188791.2020.1798738.

ESPAC 8 Mauludin, Lutf Ashar (2018), “Dynamic assessment to improve students’ summary writing skill in an ESP class”, Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Volume 36, Issue 4, 355–364, DOI: 10.2989/16073614.2018.1548296.

ESPAC 9 Llanes, Angels, and Josep M. Cots (2020), “Measuring the impact of translanguaging in TESOL: a plurilingual approach to ESP”, International Journal of Multilingualism, DOI: 10.1080/14790718.2020.1753749.

ESPAC 10 Bobkina, Jelena, and Elena Domínguez Romero (2020), “Exploring the perceived benefits of self-produced videos for developing oracy skills in digital media environments”, Computer Assisted Language Learning, DOI: 10.1080/09588221.2020.1802294.

ESPAC 11 Jiang, Anne Li, Lawrence Jun Zhang, Stephen May and Limin Tony Qin (2020), “Understanding novice teachers’ perceived challenges and needs as a prerequisite for English curriculum innovation”, Language, Culture and Curriculum, Volume 33, Issue 1, 15–31, DOI: 10.1080/07908318.2018.1518452.

ESPAC 12 Ai, Bin, Alexander Kostogriz, Daorong Wen and Lifei Wang (2020), “Student presentations as a means of teaching and learning English for Specific Purposes: an action research study”, Teaching in Higher Education, Volume 25, Issue 2, 223–237, DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2018.1557136.

ESPAC 13 Prior, Jemma (2017), “Integrating extra credit exercises into a university English-language course: how action research provided a framework to identify a practical problem”, Educational Action Research, Volume 26, Issue 5, 770–786, DOI: 10.1080/09650792.2017.1402687.

ESPAC 14 Arifuddin, Arifuddin, Arafq Arafq, Made Sujana and Kurniawan Apgriyanto (2020), “The Mastery of and Strategies for Understanding the Idiomatic Expressions Applied by the Students of Hospitality and Tourism”, Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education, Volume 32, Issue 3, 167–177, DOI: 10.1080/10963758.2019.1685392.

ESPAC 15 Dahbi, Mohamed (2015), “Reassessing the English Course Offered to Computer Engineering Students at the National School of Applied Sciences of Al-Hoceima in Morocco: an Action Research Project”, Africa Education Review, Volume 12, Issue 3, 508–524, DOI: 10.1080/18146627.2015.1110915.

ESPAC 16 Jiang, Li, Lawrence Jun Zhang and Stephen May (2019), “Implementing English-medium instruction (EMI) in China: teachers’ practices and perceptions, and students’ learning motivation and needs”, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Volume 22, Issue 2, 107–119, DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2016.1231166.

ESPAC 17 McGrath, Lisa, and Kathrin Kaufold (2016), “English for Specific Purposes and Academic Literacies: eclecticism in academic writing pedagogy”, Teaching in Higher Education, Volume 21, Issue 8, 933–947, DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2016.1198762.

ESPAC 18 Wu, Peng, Shulin Yu and Limin Zhang (2019), “The function and integration of components of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in classroom teaching: a case study of business English teachers”, Educational Studies, Volume 45, Issue 4, 440–455, DOI: 10.1080/03055698.2018.1509770.

ESPAC 19 Paradowski, Michał B. (2017), “What’s cooking in English culinary texts? Insights from genre corpora for cookbook and menu writers and translators”, The Translator, Volume 24, Issue 1, 50–69, DOI: 10.1080/13556509.2016.1271735.

ESPAC 20 Nguyen, Thi Chau Ngan, Margaret Kettle and Catherine Doherty (2019), “From form to function: Mobile language resources in the Vietnamese customs setting”, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Volume 12, Issue 4, 344–363, DOI: 10.1080/17513057.2019.1572208.

ESPAC 21 Park, Moonyoung (2020), “Investigating Target Tasks, Task Phases, and Indigenous Criteria for Military Aviation English Assessment”, Language Assessment Quarterly, Volume 17, Issue 4, 337–361, DOI: 10.1080/15434303.2020.1799221.

ESPAC 22 Kurucova, Zuzana, Janka Medová and Anna Tirpakova (2018), “The effect of different online education modes on the English language learning of media studies students”, Cogent Education, Volume 5, Issue 1, DOI: 10.1080/2331186X.2018.1523514.

ESPAC 23 Nami, Fatemeh (2020), “Edmodo in semi-technical English courses: towards a more practical strategy for language learning/practice”, Computer Assisted Language Learning, DOI: 10.1080/09588221.2020.1819340.

ESPAC 24 Lu, Yi-Ling (2017), “Learning through engaging in retrospective reflection on a change process in an English course on workplace communication”, Educational Action Research, Volume 25, Issue 3, 453–466, DOI: 10.1080/09650792.2016.1178154.

ESPAC 25 Cai, Yuyang, and Antony John Kunnan (2018), “Examining the inseparability of content knowledge from LSP reading ability: an approach combining bifactor-multidimensional item response theory and structural equation modeling”, Language Assessment Quarterly, Volume 15, Issue 2, 109–129, DOI: 10.1080/15434303.2018.1451532.

ESPAC 26 Loiacono, Rocco, and Laura Bertoli (2017), “The complexities of legal translation in the drafting of bilateral treaties between Italy and English-speaking countries”, Perspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice, Volume 26, Issue 5, 646–662, DOI: 10.1080/0907676X.2018.1425464.

ESPAC 27 Bury, James, and Tatsuya Oka (2017), “Undergraduate students’ perceptions of the importance of English in the tourism and hospitality industry”, Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism, Volume 17, Issue 3, 173–188, doi: 10.1080/15313220.2017.1331781.

ESPAC 28 Jin, Yan, and Liz Hamp-Lyons (2015), “A new test for China? Stages in the development of an assessment for professional purposes”, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, Volume 22, Issue 4, 397–426, DOI: 10.1080/0969594X.2014.1003794.

ESPAC 29 Youngblood, Alison M., Joyce W. Nutta, Duncan R. Dickson and Marco W. Nutta (2020), “Learning English as a second language in the back-of-the-House: proficiency and employment from the perspective of hotel human resource directors. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality & Tourism, Volume 20, Issue 1, 24–47, DOI: 10.1080/15332845.2020.1821426.

ESPAC 30 Xie, Qing (2017), “Investigating the target language usage in and outside business English classrooms for non-English major undergraduates at a Chinese university”, Cogent Education, Volume 4, Issue 1, DOI: 10.1080/2331186X.2017.1415629.

ESPAC 31 Peter, Christy (2017), “Importance of Standards in Testing Technical English for Engineering Students of Tamil Nadu”, International Journal of Educational Sciences, Volume 16, Issue 1–3, 36–42, DOI: 10.1080/09751122.2017.1311593.

ESPAC 32 Lockwood, Jane, and Michelle Raquel (2019), “Can subject matter experts rate the English language skills of customer services representatives (CSRs) at work in Indian contact centre?”, Language Assessment Quarterly, Volume 16, Issue 1, 87–104, DOI: 10.1080/15434303.2019.1604711.

ESPAC 33 Ali, Holi Ibrahim Holi (2020), “Lecture comprehension difficulties experienced by Omani students in an English-medium engineering programme”, Cogent Arts & Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 1, DOI: 10.1080/23311983.2020.1741986

ESPAC 34 Yasmin, Musarat, Mela Sarkar and Ayesha Sohail (2016), “Exploring English Language Needs in the Hotel Industry in Pakistan: An Evaluation of Existing Teaching Material”, Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Education, Volume 28, Issue 4, 202–213, DOI: 10.1080/10963758.2016.1226846.

ESPAC 35 Ai, Bin, Lifei Wang and Jie Zhang (2018). “Using English as Economic Capital in a Chinese–Australian Workplace: Implications for Teaching Business English in China”, Journal of Teaching in International Business, Volume 29, Issue 4, 272–288, DOI: 10.1080/08975930.2018.1557095.

ESPAC 36 Pashmforoosh, Roya, and Esmat Babaii (2015), “Whose Culture and How Far? Culture Presentation in Current Business English Textbook Series”, Journal of Teaching in International Business, Volume 26, Issue 3, 216–236, DOI: 10.1080/08975930.2015.1083514.

ESPAC 37 Gan, Zhengdong, Guangwei Hu, Wenjiao Wang, Honghan Nang and Zhujun An (2020), “Feedback behaviour and preference in university academic English courses: associations with English language self-efficacy”, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2020.1810628.

ESPAC 38 Bowker, Lynne (2020), “Machine translation literacy instruction for international business students and business English instructors”, Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, Volume 25, Issue 1–2, 25–43, DOI: 10.1080/08963568.2020.1794739.

ESPAC 39 Karimi, Somayeh, and Adel Dastgoshadeh (2018), “The effect of strategybased instruction on EAP students’ reading performance and reading autonomy”, Cogent Education, Volume 5, Issue 1, DOI: 10.1080/2331186X.2018.1527981.

ESPAC 40 Pang, Hanzhou (2017), “Intercultural and Transnational Negotiation of English Academic Written Discourse: A Few Cases in the USA, South Korea and Russia”, Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education, Volume 24, Issue 1, 34–41, DOI: 10.1080/1358684X.2016.1213624.

ESPAC 41 Ho, Ya-Yu Cloudia, and Maria R. Coady (2018), “English as a second language nurses in the United States: culture, communication, and needs for continuing education”, Studies in Continuing Education, Volume 40, Issue 2, 212–233, DOI: 10.1080/0158037X.2018.1460721.

ESPAC 42 Tratnik, Alenka, Marko Urh and Eva Jereb (2019), “Student satisfaction with an online and a face-to-face Business English course in a higher education context”, Innovations in Education and Teaching International, Volume 56, Issue 1, 36–45, DOI: 10.1080/14703297.2017.1374875.

ESPAC 43 Ebadi, Saman, and Gerannaz Zamani (2018), “Predatory publishing as a case of symbolic violence: A critical English for academic purposes approach”, Cogent Education, Volume 5, Issue 1, DOI: 10.1080/2331186X.2018.1501889.

ESPAC 44 Lopez, Alexis A. (2020), “Examining How Spanish-Speaking English Language Learners Use Their Linguistic Resources and Language Modes in a Dual Language Mathematics Assessment Task”, Journal of Latinos and Education, DOI: 10.1080/15348431.2020.1731693.

ESPAC 45 Tan, Xuejiao, Min Chen, Xiewan Chen, Rongxia Liao and Jianguo Sun (2015), “A shift of focus is required in English courses for Chinese medical postgraduates”, Medical Teacher, Volume 37, Issue 4, 403–404, DOI: 10.3109/0142159X.2014.1001338.

ESPAC 46 Murray, Neil, and Amanda Muller (2019), “Developing academic literacy through a decentralised model of English language provision”, Journal of Further and Higher Education, Volume 43, Issue 10, 1348–1362, DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2018.1483015.

ESPAC 47 Jego, Eric Hajime, and Olga Amengual (2017), “Current trends in medical English education and the Japan College of Rheumatology International School”, Modern Rheumatology, Volume 27, Issue 6, 1101–1105, DOI: 10.1080/14397595.2017.1307503.

ESPAC 48 Huang, Yi-Ping (2019), “English-medium instruction in law and the humanities in higher education: the role of teacher identity”, Higher Education Research & Development, Volume 38, Issue 6, 1183–1196, DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2019.1621269.

ESPAC 49 Fenton-Smith, Ben, and Pamela Humphreys (2017), “Language specialists’ views on the academic language and learning abilities of English as an additional language postgraduate coursework students: towards an adjunct tutorial model”, Higher Education Research & Development, Volume 36, Issue 2, 280–296, DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2016.1185397.

ESPAC 50 Crossman, Katie (2018), “Immersed in academic English: vocabulary and academic outcomes of a CLIL university preparation course”, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Volume 21, Issue 5, 564–577, DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2018.1494698.




How to Cite

M. Ilić, K. . (2022). ENGAGEMENT RESOURCES IN ESP RESEARCH ARTICLE ABSTRACTS . PHILOLOGIST – Journal of Language, Literature, and Cultural Studies, 13(25), 240–264. https://doi.org/10.21618/fil2225240i