The rhetorical functions of lexical bundles in computer science research article introductions

Mei Hung Lin, Chih Hua Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


With an increasing demand for writing research articles (RAs) for international publication, both native and non-native academics are eager to learn field-specific writing conventions of this academic genre. A large number of studies have been exploring the rhetorical structure or linguistic features of RAs. Little information, however, is available about how the rhetorical structure could possibly be realized through specific lexical bundles and vocabulary. This study examines vocabulary use, particularly lexical bundles, in the introductions of computer science RAs in relation to the rhetorical functions, or the moves, of this section, taking a genre-based, corpus-informed approach. With both self-developed and freely accessible computer software, we found field-specific major/optional moves and five-word, four-word, and three-word lexical bundles that reflect the specific rhetorical functions of RA introductions. Furthermore, based on the sub-corpora of the major moves, move-signaling words and meaningful lexical bundles were identified. Pedagogically, the corpus-based approach to the study of field-specific move structures, move-signaling words, and lexical bundles in RAs provide valuable information for course design and materials development in academic writing through which learners are able to acquire generic vocabulary knowledge and appropriate phraseology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-275
Number of pages32
JournalAsian ESP Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Computer science
  • Corpus-based studies
  • EAP
  • Genre analysis
  • Introductions
  • Lexical bundles
  • Move analysis
  • Research articles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Education


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