A Genre and Appraisal Analysis of Critical Review Texts in Academic Writing From a Systemic Functional Linguistic Perspective

Document Type : Research Article


1 English Education Department, Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Samudra University, Aceh, Indonesia

2 Linguistics Department, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia



A critical review is one of the text types (i.e., genres) assigned for academic writing in Australian universities; yet, the study of this genre remains underexamined in academic discourse. This qualitative study was designed to analyse the schematic structures and lexical choices in evaluative meanings within critical review texts to provide a description of the critical analysis genre that could help to familiarise students with the characteristics of the genre. Texts used for the analysis were a tutor’s model text, provided to the students in the Introductory Academic Program (IAP) at the University of Adelaide, and the critical review writing of 2 Indonesian students in the IAP class. Using both genre analysis (Martin & Rose, 2003) and the appreciation framework (Martin & White, 2005) from systemic functional linguistics (SFL), the study applied “a genre-analytic approach” (Nodoushan & Khakbaz, 2011, p.112) to analysing and describing the structure and language use of the critical review texts. Analysis of the schematic structure identified 5 stages: Introduction, Summary of the Article, Analysis of the Article: Positive Critique, Analysis of the Article: Negative Critique, and Conclusion. The values of appreciation that contributed to the evaluative purpose of the critical review genre were categorised as valuation, composition, and reaction. Based on the analysis, this report provides suggestions for structural and lexical resources for the realisation of the purpose of a critical review text and for the expression of evaluative meanings.