Rhetorical differences in RA introductions written by English L1 and L2 and Castilian Spanish L1 writers

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Journal Article
Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 2011, 10 (4), pp. 238 - 251
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As English is the leading medium of communication in academia, publication in international journals presents a goal and a challenge for some non-Anglophone researchers. Research articles (RAs) written in English and Spanish have been examined in order to discover whether the textual organization in each language is similar or different. However, intercultural studies of texts produced by L2 writers in English are few in number - in particular studies focussing on the Introduction section which is known to be troublesome for novice writers. In this paper, I examine RAs in English and Spanish as well as RAs written in English by Spanish-background speakers in the fields of applied linguistics, using Swales' (2004) schema to focus on the Introduction genre moves and steps. The results indicate that while the English L1 texts display a close affinity to the CARS (2004) schema, the Spanish L1 texts display some culture specific writing style. On the other hand, English L2 texts produced by Spanish writers appear to be developing CARS-like control of the Introduction section, thus accommodating the needs of a broader audience. I hope my findings will assist Spanish scholars to achieve greater visibility worldwide by giving closer attention to English rhetorical conventions. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
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