A discourse analysis of the macro-structure, metadiscoursal and microdiscoursal features in the abstracts of research articles across multiple science disciplines

Sing Bik Cindy Ngai, Rita G SINGH, Alex Chun Koon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The abstract of a scientific research article convinces readers that the article deserves to be read. Abstracts can also determine the success of publications and grant applications. In recent years, there has been a trend of cross-disciplinary collaborations in the science community. Scientists have been increasingly expected to engage not only experts of their own disciplines, but also other disciplines with the scope of interest extending to non-experts, such as policy-makers and the general public. Thus, the macro-structure, metadiscoursal and microdiscoursal features exhibited in scientific article abstracts merit attention. In our study, we examined 500 abstracts of scientific research articles published in 50 high-impact journals across five science disciplines (Earth, Formal, Life, Physical and Social Sciences), and performed quantitative analysis of the move structure as well as use of boosters and linguistic features. We found significant interdisciplinary variations in the move structure, boosters and linguistic features employed by these science disciplines. We confirmed that each science discipline possesses a distinct set of macro-structural, metadiscoursal and formalization features, which contribute to its own unique discipline-specific convention. Understanding and observing the disciplinary rhetorical choices and communication conventions will allow scientists to align the abstracts of their studies with the expectations of the targeted audience.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0205417
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume13
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A discourse analysis of the macro-structure, metadiscoursal and microdiscoursal features in the abstracts of research articles across multiple science disciplines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this