A Genre Analysis of Research Abstracts of Master of Arts Theses Written by TEFL Students from the University of Tehran and Islamic Azad University of Gorgan

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of English Language and Literature, Golestan University, Gorgan, Iran

2 Department of English Language Teaching, Gorgan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Gorgan, Iran


Following Swales’ (1981) definition of genre analysis many scholars have attempted to characterize good academic writing; however, this can be difficult and worrying for non-native writers. Since a well-written abstract encourages readers more effectively, the present study intended to find differences in the rhetorical structures of abstracts by TEFL students from the University of Tehran (UT) and Islamic Azad University of Gorgan (IAUG). To meet this end, 100 abstracts (50 abstracts by TEFL students from UT and 50 abstracts by TEFL students from IAUG) were randomly selected. Swales’ (1981) IMRD (Introduction, Method, Results and Discussion) and Swales’ (1990) CARS (Created A Research Space) models were employed to recognize the rhetorical structure of the abstracts. Then, the frequencies and sequences of moves and steps were calculated using chi-square to find the differences. The results revealed that there were significant differences between the abstracts by TEFL students from UT and IAUG. The findings indicated that TEFL students from IAUG followed the IMRD and CARS more than TEFL students from UT. The findings of this study have some pedagogical implications for both non-native writers and postgraduate students as well as English academic writing teachers and students.


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