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Narratives in Academic and Professional Genres


Edited By Maurizio Gotti and Carmen Sancho Guinda

This book received the Enrique Alcaraz Research Award in 2015.

Through Narrative Theory, the book offers an engaging panorama of the construction of specialised discourses and practices within academia and diverse professional communities. Its chapters investigate genres from various fields, such as aircraft accident reports, clinical cases and other scientific observations, academic conferences, academic blogs, climate-change reports, university decision-making in public meetings, patients’ oral and written accounts of illness, corporate annual reports, journalistic obituaries, university websites, narratives of facts in legal cases, narrative processes in arbitration hearings, briefs, and witness examination accounts. In addition to exploring narration in this wide range of contexts, the volume uses narrative as a powerful tool to gain a methodological insight into professional and academic accounts, and thus it contributes to research into theoretical issues. Under the lens of Narratology, Discourse and Genre Analysis, fresh research windows are opened on the study of academic and professional interactions.


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CHRISTOPH A. HAFNER / LINDSAY MILLER / CONNIE NG KWAI-FUN A Tale of Two Genres: Narrative Structure in Students’ Scientific Writing - 235


CHRISTOPH A. HAFNER / LINDSAY MILLER / CONNIE NG KWAI-FUN A Tale of Two Genres: Narrative Structure in Students’ Scientific Writing Courses in English for Science and Technology (EST) tend to focus primarily on the range of specialist genres that students will encounter when writing for the academy, for example research articles, text- books, dissertations and theses, lab reports. Such a focus allows the students to develop the discipline specific literacy skills that they need in order to write for a specialist audience in the academy, usually the professors in their discipline. However, studies of scientific writing show how written communication in science extends to other, less specialized audiences as well, as when scientists write popular science articles that aim to appeal to an interested and educated audience of ‘outsiders’ to the discipline (e.g. Hyland 2010; Myers 1990). Further- more, if one examines the actual communicative activity that scientists are engaged in, it becomes apparent that they are involved in many interactions with non-specialists: government officials, academic pub- lishers, industry representatives and so on (Latour 1987). Other studies of scientific discourse (e.g. Lemke 1998) describe an increasing trend towards multimodal representation in science, drawing particularly (though not exclusively) on the visual mode. There is some evidence (Engberg/Maier 2011; Starfield/Paltridge/ Ravelli 2012) that this change is beginning to have an effect on certain kinds of academic discourse, though it is still not clear how significant these changes are likely to be. This trend is consistent with a more general movement from...

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