A Comparative Genre Analysis of Medical Research Article Introductions Written in English: The Case of La Tunisie Médicale (Tunis Med) and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)

Rim Boubaker


In order to gain international recognition, reach a wider audience and compete with members of the international scientific community, Tunisian medical professionals must have the knowledge of how to write research articles (RAs) in English. This article, thus, ties with other contrastive rhetoric studies and attempts to detect and compare the macro/micro- rhetorical features employed in sixty RA introductions published in a local journal “La Tunisie Médiacle” (Tunis Med) and a foreign journal “the Journal of the American Medical Association” (JAMA). Create a Research Space (CARS) model, developed by John Swales in 1990 and revised in 2004, was used to determine the rhetorical patterns of the sample introductions. According to Swales’ model, a RA introduction has to include three basic moves: “Move 1: Establishing a territory”, “Move 2: Establishing a niche” and “Move 3: Presenting the present work”. The findings revealed that, at the level of Moves 1 and 3, the introductions in both groups supported the general framework of writing RA introductions presented in Swales’ model. The two moves were present in almost all the introductions in both groups. However, the RA introductions published in Tunis Med were found to be less consistent with the model at the level of Move 2. This move was absent from approximately half of the RA introductions published in Tunis Med. Therefore, Tunisian researchers in the medical field can use the model to ameliorate the quality of their RA introductions if they seek to publish their RAs in prestigious journals. The study findings have implications on the Tunisian medical researchers, RAs evaluation and EFL/ESP teaching.


Genre Analysis; Contrastive Rhetoric; ESP; CARS model; Discourse Moves; Medical Research Article Introductions

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