Heteroglossic Engagement Resources in Discussion Sections of Good and Excellent Master of Arts Theses Written by Iranian EFL Students in Applied Linguistics

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of English Language Teaching, Farhangian University, Tehran, Iran

2 English Language and Literature Department, Faculty of Letters and Humanities, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran



This study compares the use of heteroglossic engagement resources in the discussions of MA theses rated as good versus excellent written by Iranian EFL students majoring in TEFL. Engagement, a subsystem of the Appraisal model within Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), deals with writers’ authorial voice and how they position their voice with regard to, and engage with, alternative voices and positions in a communicative context. The final corpus of the study consisted of 24 MA theses in TEFL from four universities in Iran divided into two groups of theses rated as good and excellent based on the scores awarded to them and the raters’ reassessment. In addition to a qualitative analysis, descriptive and inferential statistics were applied to analyze the data. The results showed that heteroglossic resources were not equally employed by the authors. Although there was a correlation between the use of heteroglossic resources in the theses and their assigned rates, authors of excellent theses utilized more expand values compared to good theses. The qualitative analysis revealed that writers of excellent theses were more successful in expressing their authorial stance through dialogically contractive and expansive resources. Moreover, the results provide evidence that heteroglossic engagement resources are helpful in writing academically acceptable texts.


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