The ability to use the register and the rhetorical conventions of the research
article is important to achieving academic success and professional development
in researchers’ careers. Numerous studies have focused on research articles
across different disciplines and cross-culturally. However, little research has been
carried out into the students’ research report, from a developmental perspective
and in a different language from English. To address this gap, we are reporting
on a longitudinal study that aimed to characterize the transition of the academic
register and the interactional function from university to scientific publication.
The research focus is twofold: (1) it examines the academic register by means of
lexical diversity, syntactic complexity and lexical density, and (2) it examines and
compares the distribution of stance and engagement markers across stages. The
data (N = 16) consists of university master’s theses written in Catalan (Romance
language) and published articles in English, in the discipline of immunology,
written by the same eight subjects. As discipline-specific writing conventions are
an integral aspect of determining writing proficiency, overall findings suggest
that students have not yet acquired writing proficiency, either in academic
register or in writer-reader interactions.
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