The need for stance expression and making the position of the writers clear about what they are reporting is well documented in the literature (Biber, 2006; Kelly & Bazerman, 2003; Hyland, 2005; 2008; Molino, 2010; Myers, 1989; Williams, 2006). Even hard knowledge disciplines that were traditionally expected to sound objective and detached employ stance projection strategies by which researchers express their opinions, degree of certainty or ownership of the different claims that are stated in their work (Harwood, 2005 ; Hyland, 2005). Authors of research who are writing in English as their second language (L2) are reported to find difficulty in making their voice heard in their research articles (RAs) (Flowerdew, 2001). Differences in the frequency and the accuracy of using stance markers in RAs written by L2 writers of research and native speakers (NSs) have been detected in numerous studies (Hendersson & Barr, 2010; Hyland, 2002; Jafarpour & Taki, 2012; Maurannen, 1993 ; Molino, 2010 ; Orta, 2010). Meeting the needs of almost 30% of research producers at Cairo University, this study detects the differences between stance markers in Egyptian RAs compared to internationally published RAs in the field of medicine. Differences are diagnosed and patterns of the “acceptable" use of stance markers are listed in order to help Egyptian doctors write more professionally and gain acceptance in international publishing. In this corpus-based study, 47 RAs published in local Egyptian medical journals representing different medical schools and institutions across the country were examined and compared to the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). The use of direct self-reference using first person pronouns I, me, my, we us and our compared to the more impersonal “it"‚ "that" structure was examined in both corpora. The study showed a tendency in the Egyptian RAs to sound more distant and cautious. The use of first person pronouns in Egyptian RAs was generally less frequent. Egyptian medical researchers avoided using the singular first person pronoun in their RAs but they sometimes directly referred to themselves when they wrote in a group. Egyptian researchers also showed higher frequency of the more mitigated and impersonal structures such as “it", "that" structures, the passive structure and doubt adverbs. On the other hand, Egyptian researchers showed awareness with the preferred verb tenses collocating with the first person pronoun we as well as an awareness of the different structures of the “it", "that" structures despite its complexity. The Egyptian Medical Research Articles corpus (EMRA) showed a lack of variety in some of the lexical collocates of the first person pronouns as well as “it", "that" structures.
MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Date of Award
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Committee Member 1
Library of Congress Subject Heading 1
English language -- Study and teaching -- Egypt.
Library of Congress Subject Heading 2
English language -- Writing.
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(2010).A corpus analysis of stance marker use in international and Egyptian medical
research articles [Master’s thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Seleem, Sarah Ahmed. A corpus analysis of stance marker use in international and Egyptian medical
research articles. 2010. American University in Cairo, Master's thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.