Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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The practice of citation is indicative of academic discourse. Over the last two decades, a number of papers have explored the language of citation, some directly motivated by concern about poor citation practices among student writers. This emerging interest has given us detailed understanding of specific aspects of citation language, for example verb tense, thematic choice, voice, and the name of the cited author (eg. Swales 1986, Thompson and Ye 1991, Shaw 1992, Thomas and Hawes 1994a, Thomas and Hawes 1994b). However, we do not yet have a tool for analysing citation in terms of the underlying intertextual understandings of academic writers. This paper proposes a model of citation options which relates variation in citation language forms to writers’ ability to control how they position themselves and their texts within a multi-member colloquy that is the academic community, past, present and future. Academic writers use variation in citation language to present knowledge as more or less negotiable, and in so doing control their readers’ engagement on points of controversy. The model is potentially valuable both pedagogically and for analysing specific discourse issues, within and across academic disciplines.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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