An exploration of metadiscourse usage in book review articles across three academic disciplines: a contrastive analysis of corpus-based research approach

Abstract

Metadiscourse refers to the linguistic element that is used to communicate meanings with imagined readers and to express a viewpoint as members of a particular academic community. Accordingly, this study reported the distributions of interactive and interactional metadiscourse markers in a corpus of 99 research articles representing the English language, Computer Sciences, and Education disciplines. To observe the writers’ metadiscourse devices usage in their discourse community, Hyland’s (Metadiscourse: exploring interaction in writing. Continuum, New York, 2005) metadiscourse taxonomy was employed. The data were computed through descriptive statistics, Chi square, Kruskal–Wallis test, and content analysis. Hence, the data revealed that though articles in all disciplines employed both interactive and interactional metadiscourse markers, English Language discipline articles contained highest metadiscourse devices compared with Education and Computer sciences discipline articles. It was also observed that the book review writers used much more interactive markers such as transition and evidential devices than interactional markers. However, among interactional markers, self-mention markers were extensively used. The data also indicated that there was statistically a significant difference across disciplines in using interactive and interactional metadiscourse devices. Hence, these findings implied that academic writing teachers should focus on discipline-oriented metadiscourse devices while teaching academic writing skills.

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Correspondence to Amare Tesfie Birhan.

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Birhan, A.T. An exploration of metadiscourse usage in book review articles across three academic disciplines: a contrastive analysis of corpus-based research approach. Scientometrics (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-020-03822-w

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Keywords

  • Metadiscourse markers
  • Academic writing
  • Book reviews
  • Corpus linguistic