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Comparison of Generic Structure and Citation Practice of Dissertation Introductions Between Mechanical Engineering and Management of Technology

Abstracts


This study investigated the textual organization and citation use of 24 doctoral dissertations from Mechanical Engineering (ME) and Management of Technology (MT) by students in Taiwan. Units of 'move' and 'step' were adopted to identify the textual organization prevalent in their introduction sections. Citation functions and styles were also compared. The analysis reveals similarities and differences of their textual organization as well as attribution behaviors, and highlights the unique characteristics and perspectives of each discipline. For genre structures, there were fewer differences at the move level than those at respective steps. For instance, ME writers used more texts for steps of topic generalization and literature review but MT students only showed so with much fewer citations as shown in its overall lower citation density. MT students spent more space on building topic centrality when their students used persuasive communicative resources to argue why their own projects were needed to fill existing research gaps. Concerning citation formal, Mechanical Engineering writers tended to convey a neutral attitude towards their findings by removing the agent, but students of Management of Technology adopted an author-active stance toward their work by more seemingly appended non-integral forms. Concerning why they used citations, writers of both areas mainly cited references to give credit to other scholars and support their own decisions for the research projects, Pedagogical implications are drawn from the conclusion and discussed with suggested future research.

References


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Liou, H. C., & Chen, W. F. (2016). Structure and citation practice of introductions among non-native expert and novice writers in Mechanical Engineering. Taiwan International ESP Journal, 8(1), 1-21. doi: 10.6706/TIESPJ.2016.8.1.1
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