A Cross-cultural Analysis of Moves in Arabic and English Police and Security Research Article Abstracts
As an academic genre, an abstract is an obligatory step that researchers across disciplines and languages should write to join their discourse community. Therefore, genre analysts have broadly employed move analysis in identifying the rhetorical structures and variations in research article abstracts (RAAs) from a specific discipline and across disciplinary areas. Analysis of RAAs has seldom been involved in cross‐cultural studies, and never been conducted on police and security RAAs. Hence, this study examined the rhetorical structures of RAAs in police and security sciences, and across two languages, Arabic and English. The corpus consisted of 30 Arabic RAAs and 30 English RAAs. The data was analyzed using three move models: Swales' (1990, 2004) modified CARS, Bhatia's (1993) four-move structure and Hyland's (2000) five-move structure. The results showed that many of the RAAs in Arabic and English police and security journals embrace Bhatia's (1993) first three moves: purpose, method, and result, and Hyland's (2000) first four moves: introduction, purpose, method, and results. However, most of these RAAs omitted the conclusion move. For almost half of Arabic RAAs, the method section was optional. In contrast, most the English RAAs had the method section as an obligatory step. With regard to Swales' model, the RAAs in both languages did not use all moves. Many of the Arabic RAAs used Move 1 (step 1): Claiming centrality, Move 3 (Step 1A): Outlining purpose, and Move 3 (Step 2): Announcing principle findings. The English RAAs varied in their use of moves and did not favor one pattern of moves. Move 3 (Steps 1A and 2) was found to be obligatory in the English RAAs. Due to the variation in the use of moves across the two languages; it is not possible to conclude that cross-cultural factors affected the way RAAs were written.
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