Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

A Comparative Analysis of the Macro-Structure Features of Research Article Introductions in the Fields of Sociology and Linguistics

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

A Comparative Analysis of the Macro-Structure Features of Research Article Introductions in the Fields of Sociology and Linguistics

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Recently, there has been wide interest in academic writing. In particular, researchers have paid attention to genre analysis of the research articles (RA), so that a large body of data has been reported concerning the genre of RAs (Holmes, 1997; Hopkins & Dudley-Evans; Hyland, 2000; Salager-Meyer, 1990, 1992; Samraj, 2002; Melander, Swales & Frederickson, 1988; Martin, 2003; Ruiying, & Allison, 2003; Swales, 1981, 1990; Brett, 1994; Thompson, 1993; Williams, 1999; Yang & Allison, 2003).

In this vein, researchers have specifically focused on the introductory section of RAs, using Swales' (1990) create a research-space model CARS model (Anthony, 1999; Bunton, 2002; Fakhri, 2004; Nwogu, 1997; Ozturk, 2007; Posteguillo, 1999; and Samraj, 2002; Swales & Najjar, 1987).

According to Swales (1990), RA introductions include three essential moves: move 1 (establishing the territory), move 2 (establishing a niche); and move 3 (occupying a niche). Swales (1990) proposed that each move is identified in terms of a variety of obligatory and optional steps. Whereas Swales (1990) held that the structural organization of the research articles is realized in terms of CARS model irrespective of the disciplines, further studies using CARS model revealed disciplinary variation in the structural organization of RAs (Anthony, 1999, Crookes, 1986; Holmes, 1997; Samraj, 2002).

In a major study, Holmes (1997) suggested that -the presence of lengthy Background sections can perhaps be considered a distinctive feature of RAs in the social sciences as opposed to those in the natural sciences" (p. 328). Likewise, Samraj (2002) found that -a greater degree of embedding is needed in Swales 1999 CARS model to account for the structures found in the introductions of Wildlife Behavior and Conservation Biology" (P. 1).

Therefore, in light of the new research, Swales (2004) modified CARS model. The modification concerning the steps in move 1 was of prime importance. Swales (2004) reduced steps 1 (claiming centrality) and step 2 (making topic generalizations) in move 1 to a single step, i.e. topic generalization of increasing specificity.

Moreover, in move 2 the four steps in 1990 model were reduced to two, with a new optional step (presenting positive justification) added to the previous model. Finally, as far as move 3 is concerned, according to Swales (2004), -occupying the niche is relabeled as presenting the present work which is realized through seven steps, involving one obligatory, three optional, and three probable in some fields (PISF) steps" (p. 232).

It seemed that these modifications to 1990's CARS model could account for most of the limitations suggested by the above-mentioned researchers especially Anthony (1999) and Samraj (2002). Despite these new modifications, subsequent researchers continue to apply Swales (1990) CARS model which might be because of the fact that the 2004 model didn't make a radical departure from 1999 model except for introducing some optional moves (Arvay & Tanko', 2004; Fakhri, 2009; Hirano, 2009; Ozturk, 2007). Consequently, the present study uses Swales' 1999 model as a point of departure, while considering Swales' 2002 modifications of CARS model.

In addition, introductory sections of RAs received particular attention, since they play an important role in introducing and establishing the research for the first time. Moreover, there has been a variety of disciplinary studies investigating the introduction sections of RAs (Brett, 1994; Habibi, 2008; Milagros del Saz Rubio, 2011; Ozturk, 2007; Posteguillo, 1999; Samraj, 2002, 2005).

Although some studies have investigated either the introductions or results sections in the fields of Sociology or Linguistics, to the best of the researcher's knowledge, to date, none of them have compared the macro-structural features of the introductions of Linguistics and Sociology RAs (Brett, 1994; Ozturk, 2007; Ruiying, & Allison, 2003). …

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