In the frame: Signalling structure in academic articles and blogs

Ken Hyland, Hang Zou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Metadiscourse is now established as one of the most frequently used methods for analysing academic discourse, but one feature, frame markers, seem to have gone relatively unnoticed. Frame markers represent an important way by which authors structure their discourse for particular readers, helping them to see the coherence of arguments and guiding their thinking in the direction the author wishes to go. As a result, like all metadiscourse, it varies with audience, purpose and context and in this paper we explore this variation by studying how authors use this feature when reworking their research articles as academic blogs. Based on two corpora of 50 blog posts and 50 journal articles with the same authors and topics, we found important differences in the use of frame markers and in the distribution and frequencies of its sub-categories. The results show how writers are sensitive to reader knowledge and the kinds of assistance that expert and lay audiences may need in order to follow the author’s arguments. The study thus contributes to our understanding of how writers’ choices help define different rhetorical contexts and the ways that recontextualisation is accomplished across academic genres.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-44
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Early online date2 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • recontextualisation
  • academic blogs
  • frame markers
  • metadiscourse
  • research articles

Cite this