A Comparative Study of Generic Structure of Applied Linguistics and Chemistry Research Articles: The Case of Discussions

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of English Language, Faculty of Humanities, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran

2 Department of English Language, Faculty of Humanities, Bu-Ali Sina university, Hamedan, Iran


This genre-based study investigated the cross-disciplinary variations in the rhetorical structure of the Discussion sections of 104 applied linguistics and chemistry research articles (RAs), drawing upon Basturkmen’s (2009, 2012) framework and taking into account the new insights proposed by Bhatia (2004), Shehzad (2008), and Lim (2012). To this end, in addition to collecting quantitative data and conducting frequency and chi-square analyses, a number of semistructured interviews were also conducted with some distinguished chemistry scholars and applied linguistics experts to triangulate the data and get a fuller understanding of the quantitative results. Results of the chi-square analyses revealed significant variations in the way the authors in the 2 disciplines employed moves, steps, and substeps to realize the purpose of the Discussion sections. Findings might prove fruitful for postgraduate students and novice researchers in chemistry and applied linguistics to help them write more effective Discussion section in their research articles.


Basturkmen, H. (2009). Commenting on results in published research articles and masters dissertations in language Teaching. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 8, 241-251.
Basturkmen, H. (2012). A genre-based investigation of discussion sections of research articles in Dentistry and disciplinary variation. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 11, 134-144.
Bhatia, V. K. (2004). Worlds of written discourse: A genre-based view. Cornwall, UK: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
Curry, M. J., & Lillis, T. (2004). Multilingual scholars and the imperative to publish in English: Negotiating interests, demands, and rewards. TESOL Quarterly, 38, 663-688.
Dudley-Evans, T. (1994). Genre analysis: A key to a theory of ESP? Ibérica, 4, 3-19.
Fallahi, M. M., & Erzi, M. (2003). Genre analysis in language teaching: An investigation of the structure of the discussion section of language-teaching-journal articles. Iranian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 6(1), 69-81.
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, 321-337.
Hopkins, A., & Dudley-Evans, T. (1988). A genre-based investigation of the Discussion section in articles and dissertations. English for Specific Purposes, 7, 113-121.
Huang, J. C. (2010). Publishing and learning writing for publication in English: Perspectives of NNES Ph.D. students in science. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 9, 33-44.
Hyland, K. (2006). English for academic purposes: An advanced resource book. London: Rutledge.
Kanoksilapatham, B. (2012). In search of the generic identity of the discussion section: Three engineering subdisciplines. Taiwan International ESP Journal, 4(2), 1-26.
Li, Y. Y. (2002). Writing for international publication: the perception of Chinese doctoral researchers. Asian Journal of English Language Teaching, 12, 179-193.
Li, Y. Y. (2007). Apprentice scholarly writing in a community of practice: An interview of an NNES graduate student writing a research article. TESOL Quarterly, 41(1), 55-79.
Lim, J. M. (2010). Commenting on research results in applied linguistics and education: A comparative genre-based investigation. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 9, 280-294.
Lim, J. M. (2012). How do writers establish research niches? A genre-based investigation into management researchers' rhetorical steps and linguistic mechanisms. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 11, 229-245.
Martín, P., Rey-Rocha, J., Burgess, S., & Moreno, A. I. (2014). Publishing research in English-language journals: Attitudes, strategies, and difficulties of multilingual scholars of medicine. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 16, 57-67.
Shehzad, W. (2008). Move two: Establishing a niche. IBÉRICA, 15, 25-50.
Stoller, F. L., & Robinson, M. S. (2013). Chemistry journal articles: An interdisciplinary approach to move analysis with pedagogical aims. English for Specific Purposes, 32, 45-57.
Swales, J. M. (1981). Aspects of article introductions. Birmingham, UK: The University of Aston, Language Studies Unit.
Swales, J. M. (1990). Genre analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Swales, J. M. (2004). Research genres: Explorations and applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Uzuner, S. (2008). Multilingual scholars’ participation in core/global academic communities: A literature review. English for Academic Purposes, 7, 250-263.
Yang, R. & Allison, D. (2003). Research articles in applied linguistics: Moving from results to conclusions. English for Specific Purposes, 22, 365-385.