The move structure of abstracts in applied linguistics research articles in light of the distribution and functions of metadiscourse markers

Zahra Ashofteh, Majid Elahi Shirvan*, Seyyed Ehsan Golparvar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


To communicate with other experts in a specific field as well as sharing knowledge in the academic world, researchers might need to publish their research articles (RAs) in high-impact factor journals. In addition, to increase the possibility of publishing their RAs in these journals, they should improve their writing skills. Many investigations have been conducted so far which have analyzed the move structure or the distribution of metadiscourse markers in different sections of RAs. But, to the best of our knowledge, no study has yet been conducted to investigate the analysis of both move structure and use of metadiscourse markers in RAs abstracts of applied linguistics. To bridge this gap, the present study employed the model of abstract moves in RAs and the model of metadiscourse markers as a framework to analyze 125 RA abstracts, which were extracted from five main journals. Regarding the move organizational features, presenting the research (PTR) and situating the research (STR) were identified as opening moves. Also, discussing the research (DTR), summarizing the findings (STF), and describing the methodology (DTM) were employed as closing moves. Furthermore, in terms of the distribution of metadiscourse markers in the collected abstracts, the findings showed the high frequency of transitions. In addition, the results demonstrated that applied linguistics authors are tentative and use more hedges in their abstracts, possibly to open space for opposite arguments of their claims. Finally, this study suggests pedagogical implications for novice authors in the field of applied linguistics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2077-2096
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Language and Linguistic Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30-Dec-2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Applied linguistics
  • Distribution
  • Function
  • Hyland’s model
  • Metadiscourse markers
  • Pho’s model
  • RA abstracts

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