A Comparison of Introductions in Japanese-Authored Japanese Articles, Japanese-Authored English Articles, and Articles by English Native Speakers

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Charles M. Mueller, Fuji Women’s University

According to Swales’s (2004) analysis of research articles (RAs), introductions generally involve three “moves,” with Move 1 (M1) establishing a research territory, Move 2 (M2) identifying a gap in existing research, and Move 3 (M3) discussing how the current research addresses this gap. Some cross-linguistic studies have suggested that Asian writers organize introductions differently from English writers, with less use of M2, less employment of direct criticism of previous research, and more cycling of moves. The current study examined 75 applied linguistics RAs written during the last decade: (a) in English by English native speakers, (b) in Japanese by Japanese native speakers, and (c) in English by Japanese native speakers. Analysis showed that the RAs written by these three groups exhibited only minor differences. The results suggest that Japanese-authored RAs and English native-speaker RAs are converging around an agreed-upon set of disciplinary expectations.