© 2016

Analysing Structure in Academic Writing


Part of the Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse book series (PSDS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Tomoko Sawaki
    Pages 1-30
  3. Tomoko Sawaki
    Pages 31-67
  4. Tomoko Sawaki
    Pages 69-98
  5. Tomoko Sawaki
    Pages 99-137
  6. Tomoko Sawaki
    Pages 179-199
  7. Tomoko Sawaki
    Pages 201-219
  8. Tomoko Sawaki
    Pages 249-260
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 261-275

About this book


This book breaks through formalistic traditions to propose a new generic structure analytical framework for academic writing. The integrated approach, taking lessons from cognitive linguistics and structuralism, offers a foundation for establishing research and pedagogy that can promote diversity and inclusion in academia. The simplicity of the flexible structure analytical model proposed by Sawaki enables the user to analyse diverse instances of genre. Further innovation is made in the analysis of generic structure components by integrating George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s metaphor analysis method, so that the model can account for cultural and ideological patterns that structure our abstract thinking. Using these integrations, the author has established a structure analytical model that can take into account linguistic, cognitive, and pragmatic aspects of genre. Researchers in the fields of linguistics, discourse studies, cultural studies, education, and English for Academic Purposes will be able to use this model to identify whether an atypical instance in academic texts is a result of the writer’s individual failure or a failure to understand diversity in academic writing.


English for Academic Purposes Genre Analysis Semiotics Structuralism Diversity World Englishes Globalisation

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of the Arts and MediaUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

About the authors

Tomoko Sawaki is an independent researcher and holds a Ph.D. from the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her research interests include English for Academic Purposes, genre analysis, semiotics, cognitive linguistics, and corpus linguistics. Her research has been published in such journals as Journal of English for Academic Purposes and English Text Construction.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Analysing Structure in Academic Writing
  • Authors Tomoko Sawaki
  • Series Title Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse
  • Series Abbreviated Title Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-54238-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-71284-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-54239-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIX, 275
  • Number of Illustrations 13 b/w illustrations, 4 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Discourse Analysis
    Cultural Studies
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“One of the greatest challenges for genre studies is to explain how it is that texts which are each unique and individual can somehow be explained as being of the same underlying type. Models which rely on formal features alone are inevitably limited by the individual variation which is necessarily found in real texts. In this original and scholarly re-imagining of genre theory, Tomoko Sawaki combines multiple theoretical frameworks which normally operate in isolation from each other. The key insight of Greimas’ “semiotic square” is used as the basis of a new model, one which can demonstrate the underlying unity of potentially infinitely diverse instances. Applied to the domain of academic writing, Sawaki’s analytical methods reveal the hegemonising practices of institutionalized discourses, and create methods for ESP/EAP researchers to allow for marginalized perspectives to be accommodated.” (Louise Ravelli, Associate Professor, University of New South Wales, Australia)