Thematic Progression in the Academic Writing of Non-English Major Postgraduates in Mainland China
International Journal of Language and Linguistics
Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2019, Pages: 1-7
Received: Dec. 12, 2018; Accepted: Dec. 25, 2018; Published: Jan. 21, 2019
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Wenna Dou, Department of Foreign Languages, School of Human and Law, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Beijing, China
Hu Zhao, School of Environment and Energy Engineering, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Beijing, China
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Through combing out eight patterns of Thematic Progression which are most frequently used in English scientific and technological academic papers, this study aims to examine the usage tendency and internal influencing factors of Thematic Progression patterns in English research abstracts written by postgraduates majoring in architecture and civil engineering in mainland China. Combining corpus-based analyses and group-focus interviews, results show that the overall writing level of Chinese non-English major postgraduates could reach the publishing standards of international journals in the facet of the number of words and sentences. Especially, “Simple Linear Thematic Progression” and “Thematic Progression with a Constant Theme” were the most frequently used in the students’ abstracts. Findings suggest that the tendency of using “Simple Linear Thematic Progression” was driven by the logic of students’ thinking in the academic writing process, while the application of “Thematic Progression with a Constant Theme” was correlate with genre types. The specific Move Structure in research abstracts was also found to be potentially affecting the usage tendency of special Thematic Progression patterns. Both theoretical and practical implications were discussed in this study.
Thematic Progression, Academic Writing, Non-English Major Postgraduates, Corpus-Based Analyses, Case Study
To cite this article
Wenna Dou, Hu Zhao, Thematic Progression in the Academic Writing of Non-English Major Postgraduates in Mainland China, International Journal of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 7, No. 1, 2019, pp. 1-7. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20190701.11
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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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