A Corpus-based analysis of genre-specific discourse of research in the phd theses and research articles in international relations

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2016
Küçükoğlu, Ece Selva
This study aims to investigate the genre-specific features of the introduction parts of the PhD theses (PhDTs) and research articles (RAs) in International Relations (IR). The study examines the followings: the use of lexicogrammatical features, the move step structure to find out the fitness of the CARS Model (Swales, 2004), and the rhetorical features of the two corpora. In this regard, a mixed methods research was designed to answer the research questions. Two corpora were utilized: the introduction parts of the RAs published in IR and the introduction parts of the PhDTs written at METU at the Department of IR. The results indicated that regarding the lexico-grammatical features, the language of the introduction sections of the RAs was more academic, lexically more dense, and thus, more difficult to read compared to the introduction sections of the PhDTs in IR. Concerning the fitness of the CARS Model, it was concluded that the model accounted for the overall pattern of the RA introductions better than the PhDT introductions in IR. However, the two corpora were quite similar in their use of all the three moves proposed by Swales’ CARS Model in the sense that they included all the three moves. However, the two corpora differed in their use of obligatory and optional steps. Regarding the rhetorical features, the RA and PhDT authors differed greatly. The results would be useful for novice authors who are writing or planning to write the introduction sections of their PhDTs and/or RAs in IR.