“Think about how fascinating this is”: Engagement in academic blogs across disciplines

Hang Joanna Zou, Ken Hyland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


As a relatively new and rapidly growing academic genre, the academic blog offers an open space for scholars to disseminate their work and discuss research issues. In this new rhetorical context, researchers in different fields try to create interpersonal solidarity to engage a relatively unpredictable readership, which is strongly influenced by knowledge-making practices. In this paper, we explore how bloggers across disciplines engage their readers. Based on 132 blog posts from both soft and hard fields, we examine bloggers’ use of engagement resources. The results suggest blogs in soft disciplines have significantly more reader mentions, directives and questions, while hard science blogs rely on resources which claim relatively more author authority and require more shared understanding. The study not only contributes to our understanding of how researchers create more egalitarian and engaging interpersonal relations with readers than in research articles, but reveals clear disciplinary differences.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100809
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of English for Academic Purposes
Early online date31 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Academic blogs
  • Disciplinary practices
  • Engagement
  • Interaction
  • Knowledge

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