Argumentation Strategies in Negative Academic Book Reviews

Vassileva, Irena (2015) Argumentation Strategies in Negative Academic Book Reviews. Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, 2 (2). (In Press)

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Although nobody would deny that academic criticism is an inherent feature of academic communication, most of the existing studies assume that due to the nature of the development of science, collaborative rhetoric is intrinsic to academic discourse and criticism is the exception rather than the rule. In order to check this hypothesis, the present pilot study investigates a sample corpus of 10 book reviews in the field of English applied linguistics that are definitely negative in character. Scientific book reviews not only belong to the basic academic genres, but also possess a functionally determined highly evaluative character, thus being potential carriers of academic criticism. They have, unfortunately, received relatively little attention as yet. The study aims to uncover the argumentation strategies used by review writers in terms of classical Aristotelian argumentation theory.Within this theory the notion of topic plays a crucial role. There are two basic types of topoi: those based on everyday-logic generic premises and those with conventionalised conclusions, whose subgroups are used as a methodological instrument of the analysis. The analysis leads to conclusions concerning the surface expression of the argumentation strategies used by writers, the degree to which criticism is based on objective logic and on subjective personal evaluation, the preference for certain topoi, as well as some general concerns in relation to confrontation in the academia. Keywords: academic discourse rhetoric, negative book reviews, English, confrontation in science, argumentation

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > LT Textbooks
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: J-FLTAL
Depositing User: Alma Milisic
Date Deposited: 25 Dec 2014 10:47
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2016 11:48

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