Scientific discourse is increasingly internationalised, as a result of the great influence that the discourse conventions of the international English-speaking academic community exert on scientific communication worldwide. Contrastive rhetoric studies, however, have shown that the particular configuration of different discourse communities may have an influence on the construction of genres. This book explores rhetorical preferences in the research article abstract genre. The main focus of the study is an investigation of the extent to which there is cross-linguistic variation in terms of the rhetorical strategies used by writers in abstracts to foreground their main knowledge claims and present themselves as qualified discourse community members. From a quantitative and qualitative perspective, the author compares the rhetorical structure and other socio-pragmatic features of abstracts written in English for international scientific journals with those written in Spanish for Spanish journals in the experimental social sciences, and more specifically in the disciplines of phonetics and psychology. In the interpretation of results, the author mainly draws on socio-cultural and contextual factors to account for cross-cultural rhetorical variation.