Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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This study examines similarities and differences between English and Chinese letters to the editor on newspapers from the perspectives of contrastive rhetoric and genre theory. Generic structures, rhetorical structures, and logico-semantic relations of 20 letters to the editor (10 in Chinese and 10 in English) were examined in detail. Findings of this study include: 1) there was often an editor’s preview (i.e. a brief introduction to the letters written by editors) in Chinese letters to the editor in this study; 2) Appeals to values and needs were used to support their claims in Chinese letters to the editor, whereas English writers employed evidence to do this. The study suggests that ‘evidence’ and ‘appeals to values and need’ are deeply rooted in the two cultures and societies, and hence find their place in the writers’ texts; 3) consequential and additive logico-semantic relations were often used in both the Chinese and the English letters, however, consequential relations were more frequently used in the Chinese letters to the editor than in the English ones. All the findings are discussed in relation to the different writing styles and the socio-cultural values of each culture.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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