The Generic Structure of Academic Journal Descriptions: A Comparison of the Hard and Soft Sciences

Hoda Mohsenzadeh, Mahmood Reza Atai, Ahmad Ansarifar

Volume 12 Number 1 (2021/06/01); p40 – 64

DOI:  10.6706/TIESPJ.202106_12(1).0003 


Although an overwhelming number of studies have addressed various types of academic and non-academic genres in the literature, further exploration of the genres that distribute knowledge rather than produce it seems to be warranted (Tse & Hyland, 2010). Therefore, the present research was carried out to investigate the generic structure of the genre of academic journal description (JD). We compiled a corpus of 120 JDs from the six disciplines of Applied Linguistics, Law, Psychology (soft-sciences), Chemistry, Physics, and Geology (hard-sciences). We used Hyland and Tse’s (2009) framework, to analyze the JDs in terms of their functional moves and constituting steps, the optimal order of the moves, and the main characterizing keywords. The findings revealed that the moves of positioning, standing, and publishing practices were found to be obligatory, and the two moves of audience and quality assurance were found to be optional in both soft- and hard-science JDs. The distribution step was found to be a common obligatory step in soft-science JDs, while the scope step was the only obligatory step in hard-science JDs. Implications for future research are discussed.

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