Publication details

Cross-cultural analysis of conference abstracts



Year of publication 2016
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Discourse and Interaction
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Education

Field Linguistics
Keywords conference abstracts; cross-cultural variation; native and non-native speakers of English; rhetorical structure; rhetorical moves; textual organization
Description Writing an abstract in English, including an abstract for a conference presentation, has become an essential skill for all scholars who intend to present their research to an international academic audience. Now that English has become the dominant language of all academic and research communication, scholars from different language and cultural backgrounds have to master the writing of this research-progress genre (Swales 1990) since otherwise they may risk being refused participation at conferences and publication of their research findings in conference proceedings. The paper analyses the rhetorical structure of 80 conference abstracts with the aim of ascertaining whether there is any cross-cultural variation between abstracts written by Anglophone writers and non-native speakers of English. The latter are represented by researchers from the Czech Republic and some other countries where Slavonic languages are spoken, namely Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine. In addition, the rhetorical organization of the conference abstracts analysed is compared to that usually associated with research article (RA) abstracts. The findings of this corpus-based genre analysis reveal cross-cultural differences in the rhetorical organization of conference abstracts (CAs) and provide evidence that CAs and RA abstracts differ with regard to both number and types of moves. The study also provides recommendations for future conference calls and novice writers who intend to publish in English as an additional language.

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