Genre-Based Analysis of Arabic Research Article Abstracts across Four Disciplines

Mohammed Nasser Alhuqbani


Analysis of abstracts has seldom been involved in disciplines and journals where Arabic is used. Hence, this study examined the rhetorical structures of abstracts across four unrelated disciplines in Arabic: law, linguistics, medicine and police. The corpus consisted of 40 Arabic abstracts, with 10 abstracts from each discipline. The data was analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively using two move models: Bhatia's (1993) four-move structure and Hyland's (2000) five-move structure. The results showed that these four disciplines greatly varied in their adherence to these models. However, abstracts in medicine strictly adhered to either Bhatia's or Hyland's model. Abstracts in law, linguistics and police had no conventional move structure. This disciplinary variation could be attributed to the Arabic journals' publication policy which leaves the writing of abstracts at the researchers' disposal. As for the preferred verb tense, researchers used the present tense in the introduction, purpose and conclusion moves, and the past tense in the method and result moves. The findings have important implications for Arabic for Academic Purposes. Arab postgraduate students and novice researchers need to understand and apply the rhetorical structures commonly used in their writing of abstracts, so that they can successfully join their discourse community. Arabic journals also need to amend their policy for accepting and publishing articles, including abstracts.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2013.v4n3p371

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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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