Genre Analysis of Low-rated and High-rated Literature Reviews by EFL Postgraduates

Cheng-hua Hsiao


Literature review (hereafter LR) discourse had not been a recognized genre until its move structure was formulated (Kwan, 2006; Hsiao & Yu, 2008). However, postgraduates keep raising difficulties for this particular genre (Belcher, 1994; Dong, 1998; Qian, 2003; Liu, 2007; Kwan, 2008). Therefore, the move combinations in terms of “move configuration” was studied, by which it was a textual unit that could be readily recognized using sections with aims to analyze literature review quality levels and to provide a pedagogical implication for thesis instructors. In this study, Hsiao and Yu’s LR framework (2012) were adopted and thirty LR discourses were collected and rated into two cohorts- low-rated and high-rated groups. The results revealed that the rhetorical strategies reflected in high-rated literature reviews have complicated move configurations and more move cycles than low-rated ones. Listing and author prominent citations are found to be the text features for the low-rated LRs whereas information prominent citation is the key text feature to summarize the contents from multiple source articles in high-rated ones.

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International Journal of English Language Teaching ISSN 2329-7913 (Print) ISSN 2329-7921 (Online)

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