METM10 workshops

Abstracts and introductions: genre analysis for editors and translators of research articles

The workshop will present a genre-based approach to editing (and translating) research article abstracts and introductions. These two sections are chosen because they come together to tell nearly the -œwhole story- of the research experience. The conventions and the underlying structure of information in these sections will be examined from a genre perspective, with special emphasis on the use of standard -œmoves- and -œsteps- that conform to readers' expectations. Knowledge of these conventions will allow language facilitators to identify anomalies that might reduce an author's possibilities of success with readers.


Purpose: To explore the concept of genre analysis as an efficient way for language facilitators to approach the discourse of research articles to gain guidance on structure and style.

Description/structure: The basics of genre analysis applied to research articles will be introduced, and the scientific discourse of abstracts and introductions will be considered with reference to the needs and practices of authors and readers. The first part of the workshop will consider different conventions for the writing of abstracts and ways in which author's editors can help to adapt them to the expectations of readers. In the second part, the Create a Research Space (CARS) model (see Swales, 1990) will be presented as a tool for analyzing introductions and for identifying what Swales calls strategic -œmoves-.

The workshop will be very practical and participative, using examples, exercises and group discussion. It will apply the principles of genre analysis to texts from a range of disciplines in order to reinforce the participants' ability to venture into a new field if market demands so require.

Who should attend? Author's editors and translators who work with research texts. Participants of the earlier workshop on genre analysis who would like to revisit genre analysis in a more focused way.

Outcome skills: Participants will gain greater awareness of the research article genre in general and be able to identify the conventions of different text types within and across disciplines.

Pre-meeting information: Participants may want to read any of the following books, or parts of them:
Bazerman, Charles (1988). Shaping Written Knowledge: The Genre and Activity of the Experimental Article in Science. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. (Now available online from WAC Clearninghouse Landmark Publications in Writing Studies,

Swales J. (1990). Genre Analysis: English in academic and research settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Swales J. (2004). Research Genres. Explorations and Applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Swales, J.M. and Feak, C.B. (2009) Abstracts and the Writing of Abstracts. Michigan: University of Michigan Press.

About the facilitator:

Alan Lounds is head of the Language Advisory Unit at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. The services provided by the unit include translation of institutional and academic documents, provision of language support services and editing of research articles. Alan's responsibilities include procurement and quality control of editing services for academics working in a wide range of fields. He also has 20 years' experience as a freelance editor and translator for direct clients.