A generic analysis of academic written discourses: TEFL and Astrophysics in contrast

Document Type : Original Article


1 Shiraz University

2 Foolad Institute of Technology



 Disciplinary difference brings about genre discrepancies which should be taken into consideration in language teaching. Aiming at clarifying these generic distinctive points in abstracts of the two fields of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and Astrophysics, the present study dealt with 80 research article abstracts of these two disciplines. The study integrated syntactic and pragmatic analysis with rhetorical move analysis. Abstracts were analyzed rhetorically, using IMRC model and/or Swales' (1990) CARS (Create-A-Research-Space) model; then the move and abstract length was estimated. To probe the syntactic and pragmatic aspects of the abstracts, the amount of pronoun application, aspects of tense, voice and conjunction usage were taken into consideration. Additionally, Wordsmith Tools was applied for more detailed analysis. The results indicated the pronoun and passive applications to be the main disparities of the two fields though differences in the rhetorical move structure and dominant tenses existed, too. These can have implications especially with regard to the ESP.


Volume 6, Issue 1
June 2012
Pages 161-184
  • Receive Date: 07 December 2010
  • Revise Date: 09 May 2012
  • Accept Date: 02 June 2012
  • First Publish Date: 30 June 2012