Matching phrase-frames to rhetorical moves in social science research article introductions

Xiaofei Lu, Jungwan Yoon, Olesya Kisselev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This study contributes to the emerging line of research on the linguistic realizations of rhetorical functions in disciplinary writing by presenting a list of phrase-frames identified from the Corpus of Social Science Research Article Introductions (COSSRAI) aligned with the rhetorical move-steps that they occurred in. COSSRAI contains the introduction sections of 600 research articles published in leading journals in six social science disciplines. The corpus was manually annotated for rhetorical move-steps using an extensively adapted version of Swales’ (2004) Create a Research Space model. A list of phrase-frames was extracted from the corpus using a combination of corpus statistics and manual filtering. The phrase-frames were then systematically mapped to the rhetorical move-steps they occurred in. Three types of phrase-frames emerged from our analysis: specialized phrase-frames that occurred in one move-step only, semi-specialized phrase-frames that occurred primarily in one move-step but also in others, and non-specialized phrase-frames that occurred in multiple move-steps with no clear association with any of them. We conclude with a discussion of the pedagogical implications of the list of phrase-frames aligned with rhetorical move-steps and the findings of our analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-83
Number of pages21
JournalEnglish for Specific Purposes
StatePublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Matching phrase-frames to rhetorical moves in social science research article introductions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this