Presenting the direction of a study in research articles : Would the paradigm and the section matter?

Research output: Conference PapersRGC 33 - Other conference paperpeer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPresented - 8 Dec 2017

Conference

TitleInternational Conference on ESP, New Technologies and Digital Learning
LocationHong Kong Polytechnic University
PlaceHong Kong
Period7 - 9 December 2017

Abstract

An utmost important task of a research undertaking is setting its direction. It involves establishing its goals and delimiting its boundaries, which determine how the rest of the project proceeds. In various types of research texts (e.g., proposals, theses, or articles), the direction of a study (DoS) needs to be articulated explicitly and clearly for the reader, usually at the end of the Introduction and the Literature Review. Direction-setting and expressing it comprehensibly often pose some challenges to the novice research writer (see, e.g., Andrews, 2002; Pryor, 2010), which explains why many research and writing textbooks offer advice for how to formulate DoS. The three most common forms suggested are the purpose statement, the research question and the hypothesis (e.g., Creswell, 2009; Feak & Swales, 2004; Weissberg & Buker, 1990), which Lim (2010) collectively refer to as directional determinants (DDs) (cited in Feak & Swales, 2011). Yet, the tips provided are often rather general, drawing on limited authentic data and do not pay special attention to how the DDs may vary across different epistemological traditions (e.g., positivist, interpretivist or pragmatist) or across the two sections of Introduction and in the Literature Review section. The study to present in this paper aims to address the gap by comparing the use of the three DDs in the Introduction and the Literature Review sections of research articles which are published in an applied social science discipline but follow different research paradigms. Findings show both cross-paradigm and cross sectional differences, which will be presented in the paper together with some pedagogical implications.

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Citation Format(s)

Presenting the direction of a study in research articles: Would the paradigm and the section matter? / Kwan, Becky S C; Chan, Thomas.
2017. International Conference on ESP, New Technologies and Digital Learning, Hong Kong.

Research output: Conference PapersRGC 33 - Other conference paperpeer-review