Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, Chabahar Maritime University, Iran

2 PhD Candidate in ELT, Chabahar Maritime University, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Chabahar Maritime University, Iran


Novice academic writers, particularly Iranian graduate students (IGSs), upon entering an academic community, are hypothesized to face probable difficulties in practicing rhetorical expectations set by the experienced (EXP) members, hence, not being able to write in a way acceptable to these professionals. To explore the probable rhetorical distance between them, this study investigated the employment of interactional metadiscourse markers (IMMs) in the writings of IGSs (MA and Ph.D.) and EXP figures in Applied Linguistics. 120 recent research articles (RAs) served as the corpus of the study. Drawing on Hyland’s (2005) model of metadiscourse, all occurrences of the five types of IMMs were functionally identified, and compared. To detect any possible significant differences between the corpora, Chi-square tests were run. The results indicated that the IGSs used far less IMMs than the EXP ones in their RAs. However, the general pattern of their metadiscourse use was similar to the EXP writers’. It can be concluded that although the IGSs are relatively aware of general rhetorical framework of the genre based on IMMs, they seem to be far away from the rhetorical standards set by the established members of the discipline. Finally, the possible justifications and implications of the study were presented.


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