Volume 24, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0929-998X
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9765
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This study explores the benefits of a synergy between ESP research on genre and theoretical dimensions of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). It models genre on SFL dimensions and employs this model to analyse 200 biodata written by Applied Linguistics scholars, 100 each from research articles and seminar posters. Data were analysed from contextual, logico-semantic and lexicogrammatical perspectives. The findings reveal five generic stages in biodata. The frequency distribution of these stages and the phases that realise them shows variation between research article bios and seminar bios. The most frequent logico-semantic (or rhetorical) relations identified among stages and phases are of the expansion type, namely addition and elaboration, Further, collocational frameworks are used in organising some generic phases into waves of meaning and in construing different identities. Finally, evaluative resources, in the form of lexical bundles, modification and circumstantial elements in the clause, are employed by writers to boost their professional achievements and promote themselves. These findings contribute to theoretical discussions on genre and the scholarship on the interface between identity construction and academic writing, and also motivate further research.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Achugar, Mariana & Brian D. Carpenter
    2014 Tracking movement toward academic language in multilingual classrooms. Journal of English for Academic Purposes14. 60–71. doi: 10.1016/j.jeap.2013.12.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2013.12.002 [Google Scholar]
  2. Afful, Joseph B. Archibald
    2012 Structure of reference lists in doctoral theses: A cross-disciplinary study. English for Specific Purposes World34(12). 1–16.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. 2014 Self-representation in bio statements in a festschrift at a Ghanaian University. Drumspeak5(1). 102–138.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Afful, Joseph B. Archibald & Hilary Janks
    2013 The politics of citation: An analysis of doctoral theses across disciplines. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines6(2). 193–210.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Afful, Joseph B. Archibald & Isaac N. Mwinlaaru
    2010 Commonality and individuality in academic writing: An analysis of conference paper titles of four scholars. English for Specific Purposes World1(27). 1–32.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. 2012 Sub-disciplinary variation and rhetoric in dissertation acknowledgements written by education students: The case of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. In Domwin D. Kuupole & Moses K. Kambou (eds.), National development through language education, 79–111. Cape Coast: Cape Coast University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Azar, M.
    1999 Argumentative text as rhetorical structure: An application of Rhetorical Structure Theory. Argumentation13(1). 97–144. doi: 10.1023/A:1007794409860
    https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1007794409860 [Google Scholar]
  8. Babaii, Esmat
    2010 Opting out or playing the ‘academic game’? Professional identity construction by off-center academics. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines4(1). 93–105.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Bateman, John , Thomas Kamps , Jorg Kleinz & Klaus Reichenberger
    2001 Towards constructive text, diagram and layout generation for information presentation. Computational Linguistics27(3). 409–449. doi: 10.1162/089120101317066131
    https://doi.org/10.1162/089120101317066131 [Google Scholar]
  10. Benwell, Bethan
    1999 The organisation of knowledge in British university tutorial discourse: Issues, pedagogic discourse strategies and disciplinary identity. Pragmatics9(4). 535–565. doi: 10.1075/prag.9.4.06ben
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.9.4.06ben [Google Scholar]
  11. Bhatia, Vijay K.
    1993Analyzing genre: Language use in professional settings. London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. 2002 Applied genre analysis: A multi-perspective model. Ibérica4. 3–19.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. 2004Worlds of written discourse. London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. 2008 Towards critical genre analysis. In Vijay Bhatia , John Flowerdew & Rodney H. Jones (eds.), Advances in discourse studies, 166–177. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Biber, Douglas , Stig Johansson , Geoffrey Leech , Susan Conrad & Edward Finegan
    1999Longman grammar of spoken and written English. Harlow: Pearson Education.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Carter, Ronald & Michael McCarthy
    2006Cambridge grammar of English: A comprehensive guide. Cambridge: CUP.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Cloran, Carmel , Lynne Young & Virginia Stuart-Smith
    2007 Models of discourse. In Ruqaiya Hasan , Christian M. I. M. Matthiessen & Jonathan J. Webster (eds.), Continuing discourse on language: A functional perspective (Vol.2), 645–668. London: Equinox.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Evans, Stephen
    2012 Designing email tasks for the business English classroom: Implications from a study of Hong Kong’s key industries. English for Specific Purposes31(3). 202–212. doi: 10.1016/j.esp.2012.03.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2012.03.001 [Google Scholar]
  19. 2013 Designing tasks for the business English classroom. ELT Journal67(3). 281–293. doi: 10.1093/elt/cct013
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/cct013 [Google Scholar]
  20. Firkins, Arthur , Gail Forey & Sima Sengupta
    2007 A genre-based approach: Teaching writing to low proficiency EFL students. ELT Journal64(1). 341–352. doi: 10.1093/elt/ccm052
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccm052 [Google Scholar]
  21. Flowerdew, Lynne
    2000 Using a genre-based framework to teach organisational structure in academic writing. ELT Journal54(4). 369–378. doi: 10.1093/elt/54.4.369
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/54.4.369 [Google Scholar]
  22. Frow, John
    2006Genre. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Fryer, Daniel Lees
    2012 Analysis of the generic discourse features of the English-language medical research article: A Systemic-Functional approach. Functions of Language19(1). 5–37. doi: 10.1075/fol.19.1.01fry
    https://doi.org/10.1075/fol.19.1.01fry [Google Scholar]
  24. Genette, Gerard
    1987 Introduction to the paratexts. Reprinted in translation by M. Maclean 1991 New Literary History22(2). 261–272. doi: 10.2307/469037
    https://doi.org/10.2307/469037 [Google Scholar]
  25. Gesuato, Sara
    2009 Encoding of information in titles: Practices across four genres in linguistics. In Christopher Taylor (ed.), Ecolingua: The role of e-corpora in translation and language learning, 127–157. Trieste: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Giannoni, Davide S.
    1998 The genre of journal acknowledgements: Findings of a cross-disciplinary investigation. Linguistica e Filologia6. 61–84.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Greaves, Chris & Martin Warren
    2010 What can a corpus tell us about multi-word units?In Anne O’Keeffe & Michael McCarthy (eds.), The Routledge handbook of corpus linguistics, 212–226. London: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780203856949.ch16
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203856949.ch16 [Google Scholar]
  28. Halliday, M. A. K.
    1985Introduction to functional grammar. London: Arnold.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. 1991 The notion of ‘context’ in language education. In Thao Le & Mike McCausland (eds.), Interaction and development: Proceedings of the international conference, 1–26. Launceston: University of Tasmania.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. 1996 On grammar and grammatics. In Ruqaiya Hasan , Carmel Cloran & David Butt (eds.), Functional descriptions: Theory into practice, 1–38. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/cilt.121.03hal
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.121.03hal [Google Scholar]
  31. 1997 Linguistics as metaphor. In Anne-Marie Simon-Vandenbergen , Kristin Davidse & Dirk Noël (eds.), Reconnecting language: Morphology and syntax in functional perspectives, 3–27. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/cilt.154.03hal
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.154.03hal [Google Scholar]
  32. 2005 On matter and meaning: The two realms of human experience. Linguistics and the Human Sciences1(1). 59–82.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. 2008Complementarities in language. Beijing: The Commercial Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Halliday, M. A. K. , Angus McIntosh & Peter Strevens
    1964The linguistic sciences and language teaching. London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Halliday, M. A. K. & Christian M. I. M. Matthiessen
    1999Construing experience through meaning: A language-based approach to cognition. London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. 2014Halliday’s introduction to functional grammar, 4th edn.London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Halliday, M. A. K. & Ruqaiya Hasan
    1985Language, context and text: Aspects of language in a social semiotic perspective. Oxford: OUP.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Hsieh, Hsiu-Fang & Sarah E. Shannon
    2005 Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research15(9). 1277–1288. doi: 10.1177/1049732305276687
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732305276687 [Google Scholar]
  39. Hyland, Ken
    2004 Disciplinary interactions: Metadiscourse in L2 postgraduate writing. Journal of Second Language Writing13. 133–151. doi: 10.1016/j.jslw.2004.02.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2004.02.001 [Google Scholar]
  40. 2011a Projecting an academic identity in some reflective genres. Ibérica21. 9–30.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. 2011b The presentation of self in scholarly life: Identity and marginalisation in academic homepages. English for Specific Purposes30. 286–297. doi: 10.1016/j.esp.2011.04.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2011.04.004 [Google Scholar]
  42. Hyland, Ken & Liz Hamp-Lyons
    2002 EAP: Issues and directions. English for Academic Purposes1. 1–12. doi: 10.1016/S1475‑1585(02)00002‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S1475-1585(02)00002-4 [Google Scholar]
  43. Hyland, Ken & Polly Tse
    2012 ‘She has received many honours’: Identity construction in article bio statements. Journal of English for Academic Purposes11. 155–165. doi: 10.1016/j.jeap.2012.01.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2012.01.001 [Google Scholar]
  44. Hyon, Sunny
    1996 Genre in three traditions: Implications for ESL. TESOL Quarterly30(4). 693–722. doi: 10.2307/3587930
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3587930 [Google Scholar]
  45. Jalilifar, Alireza
    2009 Submission letters across English Language Teaching and mathematics: The case of Iranian professionals. English Language Teaching2(3). 80–92. doi: 10.5539/elt.v2n3p80
    https://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v2n3p80 [Google Scholar]
  46. Kilpert, Diana
    2003 Getting the full picture: A reflection on the work of M.A.K. Halliday. Language Sciences25. 159–209. doi: 10.1016/S0388‑0001(01)00022‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0388-0001(01)00022-5 [Google Scholar]
  47. Lejeune, Philippe
    1975Le Pacte autobiographique. Paris: Seuils, coll. Poétique.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Lewin, Beverly A. & Jonathan Fine
    1996 The writing of research texts: Genre analysis and its implications. In Gert Rijlaarsdam , Huub van den Bergh & Michel Couzijn (eds.), Theories, models and methodology in writing research, 423–444. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Lin, Ling & Stephen Evans
    2012 Structural patterns in empirical research articles: A cross-disciplinary study. English for Specific Purposes31(3). 150–160. doi: 10.1016/j.esp.2011.10.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2011.10.002 [Google Scholar]
  50. Malinowski, Bronislaw
    1923 The problem of meaning in primitive languages. In Charles Kay Ogden & Ivar Armstrong Richards (eds.), The meaning of meaning, 146–152. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. 1935Coral gardens and their magic: A study of the methods of tilling the soil and of agricultural rites in the trobriand islands (vol.1). Hamburg: Severus.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Mann, William C. & Sandra A. Thompson
    1988 Rhetorical Structure Theory: Toward a functional theory of text organisation. Text8(3). 243–281. doi: 10.1515/text.1.1988.8.3.243
    https://doi.org/10.1515/text.1.1988.8.3.243 [Google Scholar]
  53. Mann, William C. , Christian M. I. M. Matthiessen & Sandra A. Thompson
    1992 Rhetorical Structure Theory and text analysis. In William C. Mann & Sandra A. Thompson (eds.), Discourse description: Diverse linguistic analyses of a fund raising text, 39–78. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.16.04man
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.16.04man [Google Scholar]
  54. Martin, J. R.
    1992English text: System and structure. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/z.59
    https://doi.org/10.1075/z.59 [Google Scholar]
  55. Martin, J. R. , Frances Christie & Joan Rothery
    1987 Social processes in education: A reply to Sawyer and Watson (and others). In Ian Reid (ed.), The place of genre in learning: Current debates, 46–57. Geelong: Deakin University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Martin, J. R. & David Rose
    2007Working with discourse: Meaning beyond the clause, 2nd edn.London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. 2008Genre relations: Mapping culture. London: Equinox.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Martin, J. R. & Peter R. R. White
    2005The language of evaluation: Appraisal in English. New York, NY: Palgrave. doi: 10.1057/9780230511910
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230511910 [Google Scholar]
  59. Matthiessen, Christian M. I. M.
    2007 The “architecture” of language according to systemic functional theory: Developments since the 1970. In Ruqaiya Hasan , Christian M. I. M. Matthiessen & Jonathan J. Webster (eds.), Continuing discourse on language (vol.2), 505–561. London: Equinox.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. 2013a Applying Systemic Functional Linguistics in healthcare contexts. Text & Talk33(4–5). 437–467.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. 2013b Appliable discourse analysis. In Fang Yan & Jonathan J. Webster (eds.), Developing systemic functional linguistics: Theory and application, 135–205. London: Equinox.
    [Google Scholar]
  62. manuscript. Rhetorical system and structure theory: The semantic system of RHETORICAL RELATIONS. Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. 2015a Register in the round: Registerial cartography. Functional Linguistics2(9).
    [Google Scholar]
  64. 2015b Modelling context and register: The long‐term project of registerial cartography. Letras50. 15–90. doi: 10.5902/2176148520205
    https://doi.org/10.5902/2176148520205 [Google Scholar]
  65. Matthiessen, Christian M. I. M. & Kazuhiro Teruya
    2014 Rhetorical relations and their lexicogrammatical realisations in different registers. Paper presented at the25th European Systemic Functional Linguistics Conference [ESFLC], Université Paris Diderot, Paris. July 10–12.
    [Google Scholar]
  66. Matthiessen, Christian M. I. M. , Licheng Zeng , Marilyn Cross , Ichiro Kobayashi , Kazuhiro Teruya & Canzhong Wu
    1998 The Multex Generator and its environment: Application and development. Proceedings of ACL Workshop on Natural Language Generation, 228–237.
    [Google Scholar]
  67. Miller, Carolyn R.
    1984 Genre as social action. Quarterly Journal of Speech70. 151–167. doi: 10.1080/00335638409383686
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00335638409383686 [Google Scholar]
  68. 1994 Rhetorical community: The cultural basis of genre. In Aviva Freedman & Peter Medway (eds.), Genre and the new rhetoric, 67–78. London: Taylor & Francis.
    [Google Scholar]
  69. Mwinlaaru, Isaac N.
    2014 Promotional discourse in academic writing: Generic patterns of biodata. Paper presented at the2nd Asia-Pacific Corpus Linguistics Conference [APCLC], The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, March 7–9.
    [Google Scholar]
  70. Ngo, Thu & Len Unsworth
    2015 Reworking the appraisal framework in ESL research: Refining attitude resources. Functional Linguistics2(1). 1–24. doi: 10.1186/s40554‑015‑0013‑x
    https://doi.org/10.1186/s40554-015-0013-x [Google Scholar]
  71. Paltridge, Brian
    2015 Referees’ comments on submissions to peer-reviewed journals: When is a suggestion not a suggestion?Studies in Higher Education40(1). 106–122. doi: 10.1080/03075079.2013.818641
    https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2013.818641 [Google Scholar]
  72. Parkinson, Jean & Jill Musgrave
    2014 Development of noun phrase complexity in the writing of English for academic purposes students. Journal of English for Academic Purposes14. 48–59. doi: 10.1016/j.jeap.2013.12.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2013.12.001 [Google Scholar]
  73. Renouf, Antoinette J. & John McH Sinclair
    1991 Collocational frameworks in English. In Karin Ajimer & Bengt Altenberg (eds.), English corpus linguistics, 128–143. Cambridge: CUP.
    [Google Scholar]
  74. Rose, David & J. R. Martin
    2012 Learning to write, reading to learn: Genre, knowledge and pedagogy in the Sydney school. Sheffield: Equinox.
  75. Santos, Mauro Bittencourt dos
    1996 The textual organisation of research paper abstracts in applied linguistics. Text16(4). 481–499.
    [Google Scholar]
  76. Scott, Mike & Chris Tribble
    2006Textual patterns: Key words and corpus analysis in language education. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/scl.22
    https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.22 [Google Scholar]
  77. Simpson, Rita
    2004 Stylistic features of academic speech: The role of formulaic expressions. In Ulla Connor & Thomas A. Upton (eds.), Discourse in the professions: Perspectives from corpus linguistics, 37–64. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/scl.16.03sim
    https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.16.03sim [Google Scholar]
  78. Swales, John M.
    1981 Aspects of article introductions. Aston ESP Research Report No.1. Language Studies Unit, University of Aston, Birmingham.
    [Google Scholar]
  79. 1990Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings. Cambridge: CUP.
    [Google Scholar]
  80. 1996 Occluded genres in the academy: The case of the submission letter. In Eija Ventola & Anna Mauranen (eds), Academic writing: Intercultural and textual issues, 45–58. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.41.06swa
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.41.06swa [Google Scholar]
  81. 2004Research genres: Exploration and applications. Cambridge: CUP. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139524827
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139524827 [Google Scholar]
  82. 2009 Worlds of genre – metaphors of genre. In Charles Bazerman , Adair Bonini & Débora Figueiredo (eds.), Genre in a changing world, 3–16. Fort Collins, CO: WAC Clearinghouse & Parlor.
    [Google Scholar]
  83. Taboada, Maite & William C. Mann
    2006a Rhetorical Structure Theory: Looking back and moving ahead. Discourse Studies8(3). 423–459. doi: 10.1177/1461445606061881
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445606061881 [Google Scholar]
  84. 2006b Applications of Rhetorical Structure Theory. Discourse Studies8(4). 567–588. doi: 10.1177/1461445606064836
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445606064836 [Google Scholar]
  85. Thompson, Paul & Chris Tribble
    2001 Looking at citations: Using corpora in English for academic purposes. Language Learning & Technology5(3). 91–105.
    [Google Scholar]
  86. Trail, Ronald L. & Austin Hale
    1995A rhetorical structure analysis of a Kalasha Narrative. Horsleys Green: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
    [Google Scholar]
  87. Vander Linden, Keith & J. R. Martin
    1995 Expressing rhetorical relations in instructional text: A case study of the purpose relation. Computational Linguistics21(1). 29–57.
    [Google Scholar]
  88. Warren, Martin
    2009 Why concgram? In Chris Greaves, Concgram 1.0: A phraseological search engine, 1–11. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
    [Google Scholar]
  89. 2014 Preparation is everything: Meetings in professional contexts in Hong Kong. English for Specific Purposes36. 12–26. doi: 10.1016/j.esp.2014.03.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2014.03.001 [Google Scholar]
  90. Xu, Xunfeng , Yan Wang , Gail Forey & Lan Li
    2010 Analyzing the genre structure of Chinese call-center communication. Journal of Business and Technical Communication24(4). 445–475. doi: 10.1177/1050651910371198
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1050651910371198 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error