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A genre analysis of medical research articles

Hospitals and other health institutions around the world have begun to tie staff promotion and careers to publication; accordingly, an increasing number of medical journal articles are being written by non-native English speakers and novice writers. This work aims to analyse medical journal articles as a genre, and follows Swales’ (1990) framework for doing so, by interviewing a sample of the discourse community and finding the Rhetorical Moves that make up the genre, with additional investigation of stance, via selected reporting verbs, and cohesion, through selected discourse markers. I compiled one of the larger corpora of medical research articles (250), as well as one of the most recent (2001-2011). Previous studies reviewed 50 articles at most, drawn from earlier periods of time. As part of the examination of the genre, this study includes discussions with a sample of the discourse community, the users of the genre, with interviews from ten doctors and five editors from around the world who have a wide range of experience in writing, publishing and editing articles. In addition, I identified 17 Rhetorical Moves, with four considered optional, with the idea to identify a sequence that writers and educators can use to see how the medical article may be written. I also examined 13 reporting verbs to determine if it is possible to identify authorial stance regarding the information being reported, and were coded as being factive (the authors agreed with the information), non-factive (the authors conveyed no judgement on the information) and counter-factive (the authors disagreed with the information being reported). Finally, the study looked at how cohesion is maintained through examples of the five types of discourse markers. This study presents the most comprehensive examination of the genre to date, which, through the utilization of corpus analysis techniques, allows a more in-depth analysis than previous studies.
Date January 2015
CreatorsDavis, Richard Hill
PublisherUniversity of Glasgow
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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