An Investigation into the Macro Rhetorical Structures of the EFL Research Abstracts of Graduates of 2013: The Case of Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia

Cherie Mesfin Gessesse 1 *

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This study was an attemptto find out the rhetorical structures which were used in the abstracts of the graduates’ M.A. and M.Sc. theses that were drawn from nine programmes of four disciplines of two Universities. Consequently, 9 sets of 87 corpora of abstracts were collected and analysed employing Hyland’s (1996) Five-Move Model of genre analyses. It was thought to be more descriptive to analyse the messages of the research abstracts which were communicated to the graduates’ theses supervisors, advisors, invigilators and otherswho destined to employ these extracts as one medium of communication among the discourse community. These analyses focused on macrostructures of the abstracts of the M.A. and M.Sc. theses. With a handful of variations that were noted in the segments of the findings tapped from the abstracts of the Public Health and Micro-Biology, all the evidence suggested that a move structure of M2, M3, and M4 was utilised while these abstracts were structured, organised. Irrespective of the field of studies, the programmes, and the analogous disciplines that the research abstracts were collected, the rhetorical structures that focused on the descriptions of the moves of the objectives, methods, and products/results were the most frequently communicatedones. These schematic units were considered as mandatory moves that were used to communicate the messages to the intended audiences from multidisciplinary and cross disciplinary perspectives. These were taken as mandatory moves unlike the M1 and M5 rhetorical structures which were identified as the least utilised in the same abstracts to address the intended/assumed messages to the anticipated audience. The findings also showed implications to academic EFL writing teachers whereby the observed commonalities and/or differences in the anatomies of these pieces of the academic writings should be considered while teaching how to write the abstracts to achieve the intended communication ends. Except the abstracts which were collected from the College of Medical Sciences, nearly all were found out to be structured ones.


Research Abstracts Move/Rhetorical Structures Move Analyses Genre Analyses


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Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp. 1-22

Published Online: 15 Jan 2016

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