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Language use in peer review texts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 February 2009

Agnes Weiyun He
Department of Linguistics, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901


Applying the functional approach to language developed by Halliday and Hasan, this study delineates the criterial and characteristic features of language used in 13 peer review letters from a graduate seminar by native speakers of English, with an average length of 300–350 words. Examining discourse goals, global text structure, obligatory and optional elements, sequence and co-occurrence of discourse elements, verb types, modalized directives, and lexical choice, this article demonstrates that peer review texts are shaped by the institutional and situational contexts within which they are embedded, and at the same time contribute to these contexts. (Genre studies, interactive discourse analysis, written communication, systemic linguistics, peer review, classroom discourse)

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1993

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