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ERIC Number: EJ1096423
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Apr
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0142-6001
"Notice the Similarities between the Two Sets …": Imperative Usage in a Corpus of Upper-Level Student Papers
Neiderhiser, Justine A.; Kelley, Patrick; Kennedy, Kohlee M.; Swales, John M.; Vergaro, Carla
Applied Linguistics, v37 n2 p198-218 Apr 2016
The sparse literature on the use of imperatives in research papers suggests that they are relatively common in a small number of disciplines, but rare, if used at all, in others. The present study addresses the use of imperatives in a corpus of upper-level A-graded student papers from 16 disciplines. A total of 822 papers collected within the past 5 years were analyzed for imperative use, with particular emphasis placed on the main text of papers from the five disciplines with the highest proportion of imperatives. In each of these disciplines, text-based interviews were conducted with faculty members to establish disciplinary contexts. Results show that imperatives are used frequently in physics, philosophy, economics, mechanical engineering, and linguistics, though in quite varying ways. The interview data suggest that successful and experienced student writers adopt the potentially "high risk strategy" (Hyland 2012) of initiating a sentence with an imperative for various strategic purposes that are discipline-specific. Such insights have implications for writing instructors and materials designers in both L1 and L2 contexts.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A