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ELC 2010. Lexico-Grammatical Patterns in English Scientific Abstracts: presenting the research’s purposes and results. Arnaldo Candido Jr. Sandra Aluísio ICMC / NILC. Carmen Dayrell Stella Tagnin DLM. English for Academic Purposes. Context.

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slide1

ELC

2010

Lexico-Grammatical Patternsin English Scientific Abstracts: presenting the research’s purposes and results

Arnaldo Candido Jr.

Sandra Aluísio

ICMC / NILC

Carmen Dayrell

Stella Tagnin

DLM

english for academic purposes
English for Academic Purposes

Context

  • Academic communication poses real challenges for novice researchers(Hyland 2009:ix)
  • Demands are heavier for non-native speakers of English(Hyland 2009:5, Milton and Hyland 1999, Vold 2006)

Difficulties relate to:

    • lexical and syntactical features of the target genre
    • rhetorical motivations behind linguistic choices
    • Disciplinary variation
    • Cultural differences across languages
local context
Local Context

Context

  • Courses on English academic writing
  • Writing tools for non-native speakers of English

Assist graduate students to write scientific papers in English

courses on english academic writing
Courses on English Academic Writing

Context

2004 to 2010

  • USP
    • Department of Physics (IFSC)
    • Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (FCF)
    • Department of Computer Science (ICMC)
  • UNESP
    • IBILCE Dentistry and Biology/Genetics
  • UFSCar
    • Department of Biology/Genetics
writing tools scipo farm cia http www nilc icmc usp br scipo farmacia
Writing tools: Scipo-Farmácia(http://www.nilc.icmc.usp.br/scipo-farmacia/)

Context

Abstracts

Gap

writing tools scipo farm cia http www nilc icmc usp br scipo farmacia1
Writing tools: Scipo-Farmácia(http://www.nilc.icmc.usp.br/scipo-farmacia/)

Context

Examples from

published abstracts

why abstracts
Why Abstracts?

Context

Relevant in various academic contexts

However …(Swales & Feak 2009: xiii)

Constructing an efficient, clear abstract is a fairly difficult task, even for experienced and widely published writers

In Brazil:

Abstracts are part of most research papers written in Portuguese as well as PhD and master’s dissertations

general objective
General Objective

Purpose

Investigate the potential differences between English abstracts written by Brazilian graduate students vis-à-vis abstracts taken from publishedpapers from the same disciplines

aim of this study
Aim of this study

Purpose

To investigate the recurring

lexico-grammatical patterns

used for presenting either the purposes or results of the research

rhetorical moves in abstracts
Rhetorical ‘moves’ in abstracts

Purpose

Swales and Feak (2009: 5)

lexico grammatical patterns
Lexico-grammatical patterns

Purpose

TheAIM of this STUDY

the

the present

study

work

investigation

article

research

project

paper

aim

purpose

objective

goal

aims

objectives

purposes

student abstracts
Student Abstracts

Corpora

Physical Sciences and Engineering

Life and Health Sciences

ST-EXA

ST-BIO

169 abstracts

34,131 tokens

169 abstracts

34,131 tokens

student abstracts1
Student Abstracts

Corpora

Physical Sciences and Engineering

Life and Health Sciences

ST-BIO

169 abstracts

34,131 tokens

169 abstracts

34,131 tokens

english abstracts
English Abstracts

Corpora

Physical Sciences and Engineering

Life and Health Sciences

ST-BIO

169 abstracts

34,131 tokens

169 abstracts

34,131 tokens

published abstracts
Published Abstracts

Corpora

Physical Sciences and Engineering

Life and Health Sciences

PB-BIO

PB-EXA

169 abstracts

34,131 tokens

169 abstracts

34,131 tokens

published abstracts1
Published Abstracts

Corpora

  • Taken from papers published by various leading academic journals (CAPES - QUALIS A)
  • Preference given to authors affiliated to universities in English speaking countries

169 abstracts

34,131 tokens

169 abstracts

34,131 tokens

methodology
Methodology

Methods

  • Identification of rhetorical moves
  • Identification and comparison of lexico-grammatical patterns in ‘purposes’ and ‘results’
1 identifying rhetorical moves
1. Identifying Rhetorical Moves

Methods

  • Automatic tagging AZEA

(Argumentative Zoning for English Abstracts) (Genovês et al. 2007)

  • a corpus-based machine learning system
  • PURPOSE: to automatically identify components of the schematic structure of scientific abstracts in English

  • AZEA achieved 80.4% accuracy (kappa 0.73) using a very small training corpus
azea s features
AZEA’s features

Methods

Basic Features

1. Sentence Length

2. Position within the abstract

3-5. Verb Tense, Voice and Modal

6. Previous Component

7-8. Formulaic patterns

14 additional features to distinguish between Results and Methods and improve accuracy

1a azea tagging
1a. AZEA tagging

Methods

<purpose> We propose a Local-Density approximation to calculate the entanglement entropy of the inhomogeneous one-dimensional Hubbard model. </purpose>

<background> Such inhomogeneity can be due to the finite size, the presence of impurities, or the periodic variation of the interaction and the external potential, as in superlattices. </background>

<purpose> We show that, to inhomogeneities due to finite size, our approximation reproduces the know thermodynamic limit and also the limit of the entanglement entropy in n=1, obtained by Cardy and Calabrese. </purpose>

1b manual validation
1b. Manual Validation

Methods

<purpose> We propose a Local-Density approximation to calculate the entanglement entropy of the inhomogeneous one-dimensional Hubbard model. </purpose>

<background> Such inhomogeneity can be due to the finite size, the presence of impurities, or the periodic variation of the interaction and the external potential, as in superlattices. </background>

<result> We show that, to inhomogeneities due to finite size, our approximation reproduces the know thermodynamic limit and also the limit of the entanglement entropy in n=1, obtained by Cardy and Calabrese. </result>

manual tagging correcting sentence break
Manual Tagging: Correcting sentence break

Methods

<purpose> We find aRb/aNa=1.959(5), </purpose><background> aK/aNa =1.786(6), </background><purpose> and aRb/aK=1.097(5). </purpose>

<result>We find aRb/aNa=1.959(5), aK/aNa =1.786(6), and aRb/aK=1.097 (5). </result>

manual tagging multi labels
Manual Tagging: multi-labels

<purpose> Using whole-cell rapid-agonist application techniques and the cell-attached single-channel recording configuration, we examined human 5-HT3A(QDA) receptors expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells . </purpose>

Methods

<method> Using whole-cell rapid-agonist application techniques and the cell-attached single-channel recording configuration, </method><purpose> we examined human 5-HT3A(QDA) receptors expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 cells . </purpose>

lexico grammatical patterns1
Lexico-grammatical patterns

Methods

  • Semi-automatic identification of patterns: WordsmithTools5(Scott 2007)
    • Starting point: Most frequent items and cluster in each corpus
    • Analysis of the surrounding context
      • Patterns should occur at least once per 10,000 words in either corpus
  • Comparison of frequencies Statistical test of significance
overall
Overall …

Results

Significant differences:

  • Between student and published abstracts
  • Across the two broad areas
purpose life and health sciences bio
PURPOSE:Life and Health Sciences (BIO)

Results

The AIM of this STUDY

the present

the

our

study

work

review

paper

aim

objective

purpose

aims

objectives

aim

purpose

objective

goal

aims

Objectives

purposes

intent

study

work

Investigation

Article

Project

Research

Clinical trial

paper

purpose life and health sciences bio1
PURPOSE:Life and Health Sciences (BIO)

Results

(In this STUDY), we VERB (the/a)

INVESTIGATE

EXAMINE

REPORT

PROPOSE

TEST

HYPOTHESIZE

DESCRIBE

PRESENT

SEEK TO

ANALYSE

EVALUATE

DEMONSTRATE

REPORT

DESCRIBE

INVESTIGATE

SHOW

ANALYSE

EVALUATE

DETERMINE

purpose physical sciences and engineering exa
PURPOSE:Physical Sciences and Engineering (EXA)

Results

  • The AIM of this STUDY
  • This STUDYVERB
  • (In this STUDY), we VERB (the/a)
results
RESULTS:

Results

1. Results VERB (that/the)

e.g. The results show that

2. we VERB (that/the)

e.g. we found that

main contributions
Main Contributions

Contributions

  • Pedagogic applications
    • Syllabus
    • Teaching material
  • Development of writing tools
pedagogic applications
Pedagogic applications

Contributions

Overuse and underuse

  • Patterns
    • Results VERB (that/the)
    • BE PARTICIPLE to VERB

(e.g.was found to be)

  • Items within patterns

It BE observed that XIt BE shown/found that

writing tools azea
Writing Tools: AZEA

Contributions

Manual validation

AZEA++

New features to be considered:

  • Lexico-grammatical patterns
  • Multi-labels
  • Disciplinary variations
writing tools
Writing Tools

Future

Work

Physical Sciences and Engineering

Life and Health Sciences