A small corpus-based study on argument strategies in English research papers by American and Chinese students: Writing from multiple sources

Yuqin Hei, Lin Lin


This paper draws on a comparative analysis of research papers by Chinese and American university students in the humanities and social sciences to explore the argument strategies employed when synthesizing information from multiple sources. Based on the analytic framework from previous research, the analysis shows that papers written by the two groups are similar in terms of claim-making, argument support and citation; however, they differ in several subtle respects such as the degree of argumentativeness, strength of authority and means of positioning. The paper attempts to explain their respective features by referring to socio-cultural factors, writing strategies as well as textual variables.


argument strategies; academic writing; American and Chinese students; English for Academic Purposes

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