The rhetorical structure of academic book reviews of literature: An English-Spanish cross-linguistic approach

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Since the 1990s, there has been an increasing interest in the study of genres (Swales 1990). Recent research on the academic journal book review (BR) has shown that the BR in English is shaped according to a rhetorical structure that gives it genre status (Motta-Roth 1998). However, it is not known whether this rhetorical structure is shared by comparable texts in other languages. This chapter carried out an English-Spanish cross-linguistic study of the rhetorical structure of BRs on the basis of two comparable corpora of 20 BRs of literature in each language. The main results show that, despite sharing similar overall patterns of organization, the Spanish BRs of literature develop more descriptive moves and are less likely to end with criticism-loaded strategies.


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