Introductory chapter: Dialogue, community and persuasion in research writing

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The expression of personal opinions and assessments is a ubiquitous feature of human interaction and, despite its apparently impersonal facade, also central to academic writing. In scholarly genres argument involves presenting a position on things that matter to a discipline in ways that disciplinary members are likely to find familiar and persuasive. Beneath its frozen surface, an academic text is seeking to build an appropriate relationship between the writer and the reader by anticipating the audience’s likely interests, knowledge, reactions and processing needs. We can, then, see academic writing as essentially dialogic as writers seek to engage and persuade their readers. In this introductory chapter I explore some of the ways that this is achieved. Based on an analysis of 240 published research papers I show how features of stance and engagement, such as hedges, self-mention, directives and reader pronouns, are not simply dry textualisations but elements of persuasive craftsmanship which help construct a disciplinary view of the world while simultaneously negotiating a credible persona for writers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDialogicity in Written Specialised Genres
EditorsLuz Gil-Salom, Carmen Soler-Monreal
PublisherJohn Benjamins
ISBN (Electronic)9789027269829
ISBN (Print)9789027210401
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameDialogicity in Written Specialised Genres
ISSN (Print)1875-1792

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