Evaluation in research article introductions: A comparison of the strategies used by Chinese and British authors

Xaioyu Xu, Hilary Nesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
144 Downloads (Pure)


This article investigates differences in evaluative style in introductions to research articles written by scholars from China and Britain. A corpus of 30 research article introductions in applied linguistics was analysed in terms of Appraisal Theory and genre analysis, using the UAM Corpus Tool. Findings from this analysis suggest that both the Chinese and the British authors were aware of the need to argue for their own opinions and maintain good relationships with their readers. However, the Chinese writers made more categorical assertions, supported by lists of references to prior studies, while the British writers were more likely to acknowledge the existence of alternative views within the research community, and were more explicit about their own attitudes towards the research topic, prior studies, and their own work. The findings, and the illustrative examples, can inform the design of programmes to help novice researchers publish internationally, and might also usefully raise the awareness of journal article reviewers and editors regarding cultural variation in approaches to stance-taking.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1568
Pages (from-to)797-818
Number of pages22
JournalText & Talk
Issue number6
Early online date26 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

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  • Appraisal
  • applied linguistics
  • culture
  • evaluation
  • genre
  • research article
  • stance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language


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