The argument style in research article discussions to support research findings in language studies

Safnil Arsyad, Bambang Kaswanti Purwo, Zifirdaus Adnan


The argument quality in a research article discussion (henceforth RAD) determines the quality of the article as a whole, and therefore this section must be written as convincingly as possible. However, authors in different disciplines such as Language Studies (LS) may address this section in a different argument style. This study is aimed at investigating how Indonesian writers in LS support their findings in their RADs. There were 40 RADs taken from four different Indonesian journals in LS; the articles were chosen from the latest volumes of the nationally accredited journals. This study used a genre analysis method in which the major source of data is a collection of texts as a product of language activity. The results show that the majority of Indonesian writers use Style 1 (interpreting the research findings or suggesting what the research findings mean), Style 2 (explaining or elaborating the research findings), Style-3 (stating the possible cause/s of the research findings), and Style 4 (illustrating or exemplifying the research findings) to support their research findings. However, unlike international authors, Indonesian writers do not relate their research findings with those of previous related studies; if they do so, it is to confirm the interpretation or explanation of their research results. The results of this study may help Indonesian authors in LS improve the quality of their RADs especially when writing articles in English to be submitted to an international journal.


Indonesian research articles; discussion section; rhetorical style; new knowledge claim; language studies

Full Text:



Adnan, Z. (2009). Some potential problems for research articles written by Indonesian academics when submitted to international English language journals. The Asian EFL Journal Quarterly, 11(1), 107–125.

Adnan, Z. (2014). Prospects of Indonesian Research Articles (RAs) being considered for publication in center journals: A comparative study of rhetorical patterns of RAs in selected humanities and hard science disciplines. In A. Lyda & K. Warchal (Eds.), Occupying Niches: Interculturality, cross-culturality and aculturality in academic research (pp. 66-79). Springer.

Amnuai, W., & Wannaruk, A. (2013). Investigating move structure of English applied linguistics research article discussions published in international and Thai journals. English Language Teaching, 6(2), 1-13.

Arsyad, S. (2013a). A genre-based analysis of Indonesian research articles in the social sciences and humanities written by Indonesian speakers. Journal of Multicultural Discourses, 8(3), 234-254.

Arsyad, S. (2013b). A Genre-based analysis on discussion section of research articles in Indonesian written by Indonesian speakers. International Journal of Linguistics, 5(4), 50-70.

Arsyad, S., & Adila, D. (2017). Using local style when writing in English: The citing behaviour of Indonesian writers in English research article introductions. Asian Englishes, 20(2), 170-185.

Arsyad, S., & Arono. (2016). Potential problematic rhetorical style transfer from first language to foreign language: A case of Indonesian writers writing research article introductions in English. Journal of Multicultural Discourses, 11(33), 315-350.

Arsyad, S., & Wardhana, D. E. (2014). Introduction in Indonesian social sciences and humanities research articles: How Indonesians justify their research project. Linguistik Indonesia, 32(2), 149-163.

Basthomi, Y. (2009). Examining research spaces in doctoral prospectuses. TEFLIN Journal, 20(2), 140-158.

Basturkmen, H. (2012). A genre-based investigation of discussion sections of research articles in dentistry and disciplinary variation. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 11(2), 134-144.

Branson, R. D. (2004). Anatomy of a research paper. Respiratory Care, 49(10), 1222-1228.

Brown, J. D. (1996). Testing in language programs. Prentice-Hall Regents.

Corder, G. W., & Foreman, D. I. (2009). Nonparametric statistics for non-statistician: A step-by-step approach. John Willey and Sons.

Dobakhti, L. (2013). Commenting on findings in qualitative and quantitative research articles’ discussions in applied linguistics. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 2(5), 2200-3452.

Dudley-Evans, T. (Ed.). (1994). Genre Analysis: Approach to text analysis for ESP in Malcolm Coulthard in advances in written text analysis. Routledge.

Dujsik, D. (2013). A genre analysis of research article discussion in applied linguistics. Language Research, 42(9), 453-477.

Flowerdew, J. (2001). Attitudes of journal editors to non-native speaker contributions. TESOL Quarterly, 35(1), 127-150.

Hagin, S. (2009). How to write the results and discussion sections. English 1102/66 of Kennesaw State University, Spring.

Hess, D. R. (2004). How to write an effective discussion. Respiratory Care, 49(10), 1238-1241.

Holmes, R. (1997). Genre analysis and the social sciences: An investigation of the structure of RA discussion sections in three disciplines. English for Specific Purposes, 16(4), 321-327.

Irawati, L., Saukah, A., & Suharmanto. (2018). Indonesian writers writing their discussion section both in English and Indonesian research articles. Cakrawala Pendidikan, 27(3), 447-456.

Jalilifar, A. R. (2011). World of attitudes in research article discussion section: Cross-linguistic perspective. Journal of Technology and Education, 5(3), 177-186.

Kanoksilapatham, B. (2005). Rhetorical structure of biochemistry research articles. English for Specific Purpose, 24(3), 269-292.

Kwan, B. S. C., Chan, H., & Lam, C. (2012). Evaluating prior scholarship in literature reviews of research articles: A comparative study of practices in two research paradigms. English for Specific Purposes, 31, 188-201.

Liu, Y., & Buckingham, L. (2018). The schematic structure of discussion sections in applied linguistics and the distribution of meta-discourse markers. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 34(July), 97-109.

Loan, N. T. T., & Pramoolsook, I. (2015). Move analysis of results-discussion chapters in TESOL master’s theses written by Vietnamese students. 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 21(2), 1-15.

Loi, C. K., Evans, M. S., Akkakoson, S., Ahmed, S. & Ahmed, S. (2015). Rhetorical patterns in the discussion sections of Malay research articles. International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics, 1(2), 118-121.

MacCulloch, D. (2018, November 15). What are the humanities?. The British Academy.

Martin, P. M. (2003). A genre analysis of English and Spanish research paper abstracts in experimental social sciences. English for Specific Purposes, 22(1), 25-43.

Mirahayuni, N. K. (2002). Investigating textual structure in native and non-native English research articles: strategy differences between Indonesian and English Writers [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of New South Wales.

Moyetta, D. (2016). The discussion section of English and Spanish research articles in psychology: A contrastive study. ESP Today, 4(1), 87-106.

Parkinson, J. (2011). The discussion section as argument: The language used to prove knowledge claims. English for Specific Purposes, 30(3), 164-175.

Peacock, M. (2002). Communicative moves in the discussion section of research articles. System, 30, 479-497.

Sabet, M. K., & Kazempouri, M. (2015). Generic structure of discussion sections in ESP research articles across international and Iranian journals. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 6(2), 87-95.

Safnil. (2001). Genre structure analyses of the Indonesian research articles [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. The Australian National University.

Salimi, S. & Yazdami, M. (2011). Move analysis of the discussion section of sociolinguistics and testing articles: Are standard met?. International Conference on Language, Literature and Linguistics, 6, 354-358.

Salmani Nodoushan, M. A. (2016). Working on the ‘write’ path: Improving EFL students’ argumentative-writing performance through L1-mediated structural cognitive modification. International Journal of Language Studies, 10(4), 131-152.

Snodgrass, E. A. (2011). Referencing sources in discussion and conclusion sections of academic research papers [Unpublished master’s thesis]. Iowa State University.

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

Swales, J. M. (2004). Research genres: Explorations and applications. Cambridge University Press.

Tahririan, M. H., & Jalilifar, A. R. (2004). Genre analysis of thesis and dissertation abstracts: Variation across cultures. Iranian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 7(2), 121-143.

Thyer, B. A. (2008). Preparing research articles. Oxford University Press.

Yang, R., & Allison, D. (2003). Research articles in applied linguistics: Moving from results to conclusions. English for Specific Purposes, 22, 365-385.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Print ISSN: 2355-2794, Online ISSN: 2461-0275

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.