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Utilizing the Literatures in Teaching the Research Paper

John Swales
TESOL Quarterly
Vol. 21, No. 1 (Mar., 1987), pp. 41-68
DOI: 10.2307/3586354
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3586354
Page Count: 28
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Utilizing the Literatures in Teaching the Research Paper
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Abstract

Teaching research English, particularly the writing of papers, to nonnative speakers (NNS) has not been given the attention it needs. Available evidence points both to the overwhelming role of English as a medium of communication in the international research literature and to the low level of NNS contributions to that literature. This article outlines and illustrates an approach to the teaching of research English (on a group rather than an individual basis) which derives from four bodies of literature: (a) the sociology of science, (b) citation analysis, (c) technical writing, and (d) English for academic purposes. It is argued that this approach gives the ESL instructor insight into research writing processes and products, increases instructor confidence, provides accessible content, and produces texts from the literatures that can be used directly in class. The discussion reviews present knowledge of the research paper; considers the issues of genre, schema, and rhetorical structure; and relates the orientation taken in this article to the current debate about "process" and "product" approaches to ESL writing.

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