Genre Analysis of Experiment-based Dental Research Article Abstracts: Thai and International Journals

Kriangkrai Vathanalaoha, Supong Tangkiengsirisin


Academic dental abstracts play a pivotal role for readers to grasp the essence of scientific development in the world of dentistry as they particularly address on key information designated by dental researchers. However, the generic structures of Thai and international dental research article abstracts have not been investigated as a means of pedagogical implication in terms of English for Specific Purposes (ESP). This study aims to investigate generic structures of Thai and international dental research article abstracts and compare the results with respect to the linguistic features found within the two datasets. Two separate datasets of 120 abstracts were randomly selected and compiled from dental journals certified by Thai-Journal Citation Index (TCI) and Impact Factors (IF), respectively, were analysed by Kanoksilapathams (2013) BPMRD nomenclature of abstract analysis. A set of linguistic features based on Phos (2008) and Hylands (2004) frameworks also reported to show linguistic variation in dental research article abstracts between Thai and international writers. The data shows that Move B is apparently disregarded by Thai writers while the others are comparatively similar. Regarding linguistic features, objective writing is more emphasised by Thai writers through the omission of self-reference pronouns and the lack of modalities. As international publication is a milestone for professional success in higher education, the results from this study can stress on a means of developing writing pedagogy that can be globally used within the academic discourse of dentistry.


Keywords: genre analysis; abstract writing; dentistry; linguistic analysis; English for specific purposes

Full Text:



Anderson, L.W., Krathwohl, D.R., Airasian, P.W., Cruikshank, K.A., Mayer, R.E., Pintrich, P.R., Raths, J. & Wittrock, M.C. (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Pearson, Allyn & Bacon.

Basturkmen, H. (2012). A genre-based investigation of discussion sections of research articles in Dentistry and disciplinary variation. Journal of English for Specific Purposes. 11, 134-144.

Bhatia, V. K. (1993). Analysing genre: Language use in professional settings. London: Longman.

Biber, B. & Conrad, S. (2009). Register, genre, and style. Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press.

Cross, C. & Oppenheim, C. (2006). A genre analysis of scientific abstracts. Journal of Documentation. 62, 428-446.

Eak-in, S. (2015). Effects of a corpus-based instructional method on students’ learning of abstract writing: A case study of an EAP course for engineering students. Journal of English Studies. 1-41.

Fowler, R. (1986). Linguistic criticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Halliday, M. A. K. & Martin, J. R. (1993). Writing Science: Literacy and discursive power. London: The Palmer Press.

Hartley, J. (2002). Do structured abstracts take more space? And does it matter? Journal of Information Science. 28, 417-422.

Hyland, K. (2004). Disciplinary discourse: Social interactions in academic writing. London: Pearson Educational Ltd.

Hyland, K. & Tse, P. (2005). Hooking the reader. A corpus study of evaluative that in abstracts. English for Specific Purposes. 24, 123-139.

Hyland, K. (2009). Writing in the disciplines: Research evidence for specificity. Taiwan International ESP Journal. 1(1), 5-22.

Kanoksilapatham, B. (2005). Rhetorical structure of biochemistry research articles. English for Specific Purposes. 24, 269-292.

Kanoksilapatham, B. (2009). Generic structure of research article abstracts in sciences. Journal of English Studies. 4, 95-111.

Kanoksilapatham, B. (2013). Generic characterization of civil engineering research article abstracts. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies. 19(3), 1-10.

Kanoksilapatham, B. (2015). Structural organization of research article abstracts: Civil and biomedical engineering. RMUTI Journal. Special Issue 1, 507-512.

Kravitz R. L., Franks P., Feldman M. D., Gerrity M., Byrne C., Tierney W. M. (2010). Editorial Peer Reviewers' Recommendations at a General Medical Journal: Are They Reliable and Do Editors Care? PLoS ONE, 5(4): e10072. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010072

Lancaster, F. W. (1991). Indexing and abstracting in theory and practice. London: The Library Association.

Lieungnapar, A. & Watson Todd, R. (2011). Top-down versus bottom-up approaches toward move analysis in ESP. Paper presented at the Doing Research in Applied Linguistics International Conference, Bangkok. Retrieved from


Martinez, I. (2001). Impersonality in the research article as revealed by analysis of the transitivity structure. English for Specific Purposes. 20(3), 227-247.

Nwogu, K. (1997). The medical research paper: structure and functions. English for Specific Purposes. 16(2), 119-138.

Pasavoravate, Y. (2011). Genre analysis of thesis and dissertation abstracts in linguistics written by students in Thailand and students in England. Unpublished doctoral dissertation: Chulalongkorn University.

Pho, P. D. (2008). Research article abstracts in applied linguistics and educational technology: A study of linguistic realizations of rhetorical structure and authorial stance. Discourse Studies. 10(2), 231-250.

Rowley, J. E. (1988). Abstracting and indexing (2nd edition). London: Clive Bingley.

Saeeaw, S. & Tangkiengsirisin. (2014). Rhetorical structure of research article abstracts in environmental science. Thoughts. 66-79.

Salager-Meyer, F. (1990). Discoursal flaws in medical English abstracts: A genre analysis per research and text type. Text. 10, 365-384.

Salager-Meyer, F. (1992). A text-type and move analysis study of verb tense and modality distribution in medical English abstracts. English for Specific Purposes. 11, 93-113.

Samraj, B. (2002). Disciplinary variation in abstracts: The case of wildlife behavior and conservation biology. In J. Flowerdew (Ed.), Academic discourse (pp. 40-56). London: Pearson.

Santos, M. (1996). The textual organization of research paper abstracts in applied linguistics. Text. 16(4), 481-499.

Semino, E. (1997). Language and world creation in poems and other texts. London: Longman.

Swales, J. M. (1990). Genre analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Swales, J. M. (2004). Research genres: Explorations and applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Swales, J. M. & Feak, C. (2009). Abstracts and the writing of abstracts. Michigan: the University of Michigan Press.

Taylor, G. & Chen, T. (1991). Linguistics, culture, and subcultural issues in contrastive discourse analysis: Anglo-American and Chinese scientific texts. Applied Linguistics. 12(3), 319-336.

Tseng, F. (2011). Analyses of move structure and verb tense of research article abstracts in applied linguistics journals. International Journal of English Linguistics. 1(2), 27-39.

Weissberg R. & Buker, S. (1990). Writing up research. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents.

Zhao, J. & Wu, T. (2003). A genre analysis of medical abstracts by Chinese and English native speakers. Journal of Medical Colleges of PLA. 28(1), 60-64.



  • There are currently no refbacks.




eISSN : 2550-2247

ISSN : 0128-5157