A phrase-frame list for social science research article introductions

Xiaofei Lu, Jungwan Yoon, Olesya Kisselev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


This study aimed to contribute to recent corpus-based efforts in compiling lists of academic expressions by deriving a pedagogically useful list of phrase-frames for a specific part-genre, i.e. research article introductions, in six social science disciplines. A combination of corpus statistics was used to extract an initial set of phrase-frame candidates with adequate frequency, variant diversity, and range across disciplines. These candidates were then manually filtered in several steps to ensure their semantic completeness and pedagogical value. The resulting 370 five-word phrase-frames and 84 six-word phrase-frames were analyzed structurally and functionally. Evaluation of a random sample of 100 phrase-frames by a panel of academic writing instructors and student writers indicated that the overwhelming majority of the phrase-frames were considered pedagogically useful by either the instructors or the student writers, or both. The implications of the current study for academic formulaic language research and of the phrase-frame list compiled for academic writing pedagogy are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of English for Academic Purposes
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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