Publication details

Engaging with the reader in research articles in English: Variation across disciplines and linguacultural backgrounds



Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source English for Specific Purposes
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Education

Keywords disciplinary variation; engagement; intercultural rhetoric; metadiscourse; persuasion; research articles
Description This article studies engagement in English-medium research articles across two disciplines, linguistics and economics, and two linguacultural backgrounds, Anglophone and Czech, in order to explore how disciplinary and linguacultural considerations affect the choice, frequency and distribution of engagement markers in the construal of persuasive academic discourse. The contrastive analysis applying Hyland & Jiang’s (2016) modified model of engagement is carried on a corpus of 60 refereed research articles published in international and local academic journals within these disciplines and linguacultural backgrounds. The findings indicate the existence of cross-disciplinary variation as linguistics research articles employ significantly more engagement features than economics research articles. Moreover, linguistics research articles show a preference for proximity engagement markers aiming at enhancing disciplinary solidarity, while economics research articles tend to prioritize positioning engagement features directing readers towards intended understandings and anticipating alternative interpretations. Intercultural variation, which is less significant and affects the frequency of use and choice of specific engagement markers, reflects divergences in linguacultural conventions, target audiences and contexts of publication. These results indicate the potential of this doubly contrastive approach to contribute towards an understanding of rhetorical choices in academic discourse. The study can have important pedagogic applications in the training of academic writers.
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