Common Discourse Patterns of Cross-diciplinary Research Article Abstracts in English

Tofan Dwi Hardjanto(1*)

(1) Universitas Gadjah Mada
(*) Corresponding Author


Because of its important role in the advancement of science, attempts have been made to investigate research article abstracts in terms of both their discourse patterning and their linguistic characteristics. This research is an attempt to examine their rhetorical patterning. More specifically, it addresses the questions what common discourse patterns research article abstracts have and whether abstracts from different disciplines show different patterns. The research corpus contained 50 research article abstracts collected from five international journals published in the fields of biology, engineering, linguistics, medicine and physics. The data were analyzed using a four-move abstract structure developed by Hardjanto (1997). The results showed that Moves 1, 3 and 4 were found in most abstracts, and were, therefore, considered as obligatory moves in the abstracts. The most common pattern was found to be a pattern containing all the four moves in the order of 1-2-3-4, especially in abstracts from medicine and linguistics. Another common pattern was a 1-3-4 pattern, found especially in abstracts from biology and physics, whereas abstracts from engineering did not show any preference for a specific pattern even though 40% of them had a 1-2-3-4 pattern. These results suggest that there is a significant disciplinary variation in English research article abstract patterning.


abstract, discourse pattern, move, research article

Full Text:



Anderson, K., & Maclean, J. (1997). A genre analysis study of 80 medical abstracts. Edinburgh Working Papers in Applied Linguistics 8, 1-23.

Bayley, L. & Eldredge, J. (2003). The structured abstract: An essential tool for researchers. Hypothesis: The Journal of the Research Section of MLA 17(1), 1,11-13.

Bazerman, C. (1984). The writing of scientific non-fiction: contexts, choices, constraints. PRE/ TEXT 5, hal. 39-74.

Bhatia, V.K. (1993). Analyzing Genre: Language Use in Professional Settings. London: Longman.

Bhatia, V.K. (2002). Applied genre analysis: a multi-perspective model. Iberica 4, 3-19.

Busch-Lauer, I. (1995). Abstracts in German medical journals: A linguistic analysis. Information Processing & Management 31(5). 769-76.

Cremmins, E.T. (1982). The Art of Abstracting. Philadelphia: ISI Press.

Crookes, G. (1986). Towards a validated analysis of scientific text structure. Applied Linguistics 7/1, hal. 57-70.

Cross, C., & Oppenheim, C. (2006). A genre analysis of scientific abstracts. Journal of Documentation 62(4), 428-46.

Dörnyei, Z. (2007). Research Methods in Applied Linguistics: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methodology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dudley-Evans. T. (1986). Genre analysis: an investigation of the introduction and discussion sections of MSc. Dissertations. Dalam M. Coulthard (peny.) Talking about Text. Birmingham, U.K.: English Language Research, University of Birmingham.

Gopnik, M. (1972). Linguistic Structures in Scientific Texts. The Hague: Mouton.

Graetz, N. (1985). Teaching EFL students to extract information from abstracts. Dalam A.K. Pugh & J.M. Ulijn (peny.) Reading for professional Purposes: Studies and Practices in Native and Foreign Languages. London: Heinemann Educational Books.

Hardjanto, T.D. (1997). Struktur wacana intisari artikel penelitian dalam jurnal ilmiah berbahasa Inggris. Humaniora V, 114-24.

Hill, S, B. Soppelsa & G. West. (1982). Teaching ESL students to read and write experimental research paper. TESOL Quarterly 15/3: 333- 47.

Holmes, R. (1997). Genre analysis, and the social sciences: An investigation of the structure of research article discussion sections in three disciplines. English for Specific Purposes 16(4), 321-337.

Hyland, K. (2000). Disciplinary Discourses: Social Interactions in Academic Writing. Harlow: Pearson.

Jacks, G.V. (1964). The summary. Soils and Fertilizers 24, 409-11.

Kaplan, R. dkk. (1994). On abstract writing. Text 14(3), 401-26.

Landau, N. & R.B. Weiss. (1976). Information Flow between Primary Journals and Secondary Services in the Biological Field. British Library Research and Development Report 5239, British Library Lending Division, Wetherby, West Yorkshire.

Lorés, R. (2004). On RA abstracts: From rhetorical structure to thematic organization. English for Specific Purposes, 23(3), 280-302.

May, R. (1997). The scientific wealth of nations. Science 275, hal. 793-96.

McKinlay, K. (1984). An Analysis of Discussion Sections in Medical Journal Articles. University of Birmingham, UK: Tesis Master. Tidak diterbitkan.

Pho, P. D. (2008). Research article abstracts in applied linguistics and educational technology: A study of linguistic realizations of rhetorical structure and authorial stance. Discourse Studies, 10(2), 231-50.

Pho, P. D. (2009). An evaluation of three different approaches to the analysis of research article abstracts. Monash University Linguistics Papers, 6(2), 11-16.

Pho, P.D. (2013). Authorial stance in research articles: Examples from applied linguistics and educational technology. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Samraj, B. (2014). Move Structure. Dalam Klaus P. Schneider & Anne Barron (peny.) Pragmatics of Discourse. The Hague: de Gruyter, 385-406.

Santos, M.B.D. (1996). The textual organization of research paper abstracts in appliedlinguistic. Text 16(4), 481-99.

Swales, J. (1981). Aspects of article introductions. Aston ESP Research Report No. 1. Birmingham, U.K.: The University of Aston Language Studies Unit. (Mimeo.)

Swales, J. (1990). Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Swales, J. (2004). Research Genres: Explorations and Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Thomson Reuters. (2010). Web of Science Arts & Humanities Citation Index. http://ip-science. final.pdf. Diakses 10 November 2010.

Thomson Reuters. (2010). Web of Science Science Citation Index Expanded. http://ip-science. final.pdf. Diakses 10 November 2010.

Thomson Reuters. (2010). Web of Science Social Sciences Citation Index. http://ip-science. wos_ssci_a5022_ final.pdf. Diakses 10 November 2010.

Van Bonn, S., & Swales, J. M. (2007). English and French journal abstracts in the language sciences: Three exploratory studies. English for Academic Purpose 6(2), 93-108.

Van Dijk, T.A. (1980). Macrostructures. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Widdowson, H. (1983). Learning Purpose and Language Use. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Winter, E. (1986). Clause relations as information structure: Two basic text structures in English. In M. Coulthard (ed.) Talking about Text. Birmingham, UK: ELR, 88-108.


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 9951 | views : 3542


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Humaniora

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

free web stats Web Stats

ISSN 2302-9269 (online); ISSN 0852-0801 (print)
Copyright © 2022 Humaniora, Office of Journal & Publishing, Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada