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Mind the gap!: highlighting novelty in conference abstracts
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5299-8982
2013 (English)Conference paper, (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The conference abstract or proposal is a promotional genre, intended to secure the acceptance of a paper at a conference and often (especially in the 'hard' disciplines) in subsequent proceedings. It is therefore, as Hyland and Tse (2005) note, a high-stakes genre, and therefore one which early-career researchers need to master.

 

One promotional resource is to show the research to be novel and original; to demonstrate (in Swales' 1990 terms) that a gap exists in the research literature.  Given that a significant proportion of space in abstracts is given over to material which corresponds to the introduction in the paper itself (Cutting, 2012), opportunities for highlighting the gap exist.  However, not all authors take advantage of this opportunity.  reported that Just over 40% of the TESOL abstracts were found not to contain a 'gap statement' (Halleck and Connor, 2006) . 

 

One factor driving the propensity to include a gap statement (or not) appears to be first language (Yakhontova, 2006). In addition, novice researchers may be less likely to deploy this feature which can help them promote their work.

 

This paper will report the results of an investigation into conference asbstracts in the sciences and engineering. Two corpora, one consisting of abstracts written by postgraduates during an academic writing course, and one consisting of accepted and published abstracts were analysed for two features: the presence or absence of a 'gap' statement, and the lexical and structural routines used for describing the gap. Comparisons between the corpora will be presented, and implications for the academic writing classroom will be addressed.

 

References

 

Cutting, D. J. (2012). Vague language in conference abstracts. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 11, 283–293.

Halleck, G. B., & Connor, U. M. (2006). Rhetorical moves in TESOL conference proposals. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 5, 70–86.

Hyland, K., & Tse, P. (2005). Hooking the reader: a corpus study of evaluative that in abstracts. English for Specific Purposes, 24, 123–139.

Swales, J. (1990). Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Yakhontova, T. (2006). Cultural and disciplinary variation in academic discourse: The issue of influencing factors. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 5, 153–167.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
Keyword [en]
applied linguistics; English applied linguistics; academic writing; English for academic purposesc
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Humanities, English; Humanities, Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-25370OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-25370DiVA: diva2:617041
Conference
BALEAP Biennial Conference, 19-21 April, 2013, Nottingham
Available from: 2013-04-21 Created: 2013-04-21 Last updated: 2015-04-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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