Exploring Reciprocity between Move Patterns and Authorial Stance in the Conclusion Section of MS/ MPhil Theses of Linguistics: A Genre Analysis

Zahir Shah, Akhtar Abbas

Abstract


In the recent years, academic discourse in the form of academic genre has become attention of focus of many researchers. In order to extend this convention of exploring academic genre, the present study was conducted to perform a genre analysis of 30 conclusions of MS/ MPhil theses of English linguistics collected through convenience sampling from three universities (Air University, International Islamic University and National University of Modern Languages) in Islamabad, Pakistan. A research design consisted of two theoretical models was utilized to conduct this study at two levels: macro and micro. At macro level, the rhetorical move sequences and occurrences were explored according to Yang and Allison's (2003) model, whereas at micro level authorial stance was explored through Biber et al. (1999). The results identified a 3-move (M1, M2 andM3) and 13-step (M1I, M1S, M1F, M1A, M2A, M2B, M2C, M2R, M3A1 M3A2 M3B1, M3B2 and M3C) pattern in the sample corpora. Thus, seven additional steps (M1I, M1F, M1A, M2R, M3A2, M3B2 and M3C) were found with respect to Yang and Allison (2003). Moreover, M1F and M3A1 were observed as the most frequent steps, whereas M3C was identified as the rarest step by Pakistani scholars at MS/ MPhil level. Furthermore, the results revealed M1F, M3A1, M1S, M3A2 and M1I as mandatory steps; M1A, M3B1, M2B, M2C, M2A and M2R as conventional steps and M3B2 and M3C as optional steps. Similarly, the findings also suggested that ESMs were the most widely employed class of adverbs across M1, M2 and M3. The findings of the study will contribute to the genre of academic discourse particularly thesis writing: move analysis and authorial stance.

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