1 A Comparative Move Analysis Study of Theses Abstracts Written by Iranian M.A. Students of TEFL and English Literature, Tahereh Ghasemi and Dr. Seyyed Mohammad Alavi
The study of move analysis of research papers, initiated by Swales' pioneering study on abstracts, has gained significance in English for Specific Purpose. Researchers have employed a number of models for the analysis of the moves in different parts of research papers, however, there has been little research carried out on the analysis of moves in thesis abstracts. Therefore, through a comparative study, this research was concerned with the analysis of the move structure of Master-of-Arts thesis abstracts. The present study investigated 100 randomly selected thesis abstracts written by (50 male and 50 female) Iranian graduate students of teaching English as a Foreign Language and English Literature. In order to identify the kind and frequency of the moves in thesis abstracts, the study followed Dudley-Evans' model. The corpus, collected from six universities in Iran, was initially coded by two coders, then the non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test was employed to estimate move differences. The results revealed that there were significant differences concerning the existence and frequency of the moves and sub-moves between the abstracts written in these two disciplines. The study, also, found that gender had a moderating effect on the application of few moves. Moreover, it was found that there were a number of extra moves in the abstracts, which had not been anticipated by Dudley-Evans in his model. Key words: Move analysis, thesis abstracts, genre, discourse community, Dudley-Evans' model.