New knowledge claims in discussions in applied linguistics research articles
: A contrastive investigation of Indonesian and International journals

  • Udi Samanhudi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This study aims to provide a better understanding of the similarities and differences of writing for two different journal contexts. The focus of the study is on the construction of Discussion Sections in research articles and in particular, an investigation of the similarities and differences in the use of rhetorical moves, citations and engagement in research articles in Indonesia-based Journals and International Journals publishing in the field of Applied Linguistics.

Bringing together two established and complementary frameworks of genre analysis (Swales 1990, 2004) and the engagement system of Martin and White’s (2005) appraisal framework, the research provides a textual analysis of fifty Discussion Sections from published research articles taken from the two publication contexts. The overall aim of this study is to provide research-based evidence to assist in EAP instruction particularly in the teaching of English for Research Publication Purposes (ERPP), a growing sub-field within Applied Linguistics.

Move analysis shows that Move 2: reporting results and Move 4: commenting on results are ‘the heart’ of Discussion Sections in both corpora. A higher number of Step options used in Move 4: commenting on results indicates that the main communicative focus of research article Discussion Sections in both Indonesian local and international publication contexts is about on commenting on the results. In terms of sequencing moves, this research shows that moves are not organised linearly. Citations analysis shows a dominant use of integral citations especially verb-controlling type in the Indonesian local corpus. It is suggested that this citation type requires less demand on synthesising various sources cited while Discussion Sections in the International corpus make greater use of non-integral citations which indicates a succinct synthesis of various sources. In terms of function, referring to literature is the most salient citation function in the Indonesian local corpus while attribution is the most dominant one found in the International corpus. To build more dialogue with readers especially when writers commenting on results, the research article Discussion Sections in the International corpus mobilise heteroglossic resource through the use of ‘contraction’ and ‘expansion’ features that create more space for refutation and build a writer-reader relationship. Conversely, Discussion Sections in the Indonesian local corpus deploy more ‘contraction’ resources that limit other external voices.

To complement the textual analysis, Indonesian early-career academics as part of the community of the discipline and are working in the field of context were interviewed. Their perspectives suggest that it is important for results of genre analysis studies to be transformed into teaching materials and methods to enable novice writers to better understand research article writing conventions in the field of Applied Linguistics.
Date of AwardDec 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsIndonesia Endowment Fund for Education (Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan/LPDP)
SupervisorAisling O'Boyle (Supervisor) & Tess Maginess (Supervisor)


  • new knowledge claims
  • applied Linguistics
  • English research articles
  • early-career academics
  • discussion section
  • academic writing for publication

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