Interactive metadiscourse in research articles: A comparative study of paradigmatic and disciplinary influences

Feng Cao, Guangwei Hu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports a comparative study of interactive metadiscourse in quantitative and qualitative research articles across the disciplines of applied linguistics, education, and psychology. Drawing on Hyland's metadiscourse framework, the study examined the use of five types of interactive metadiscourse, together with their subtypes, in a corpus of 120 research articles. Quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed clear cross-paradigmatic differences in the incidence of reformulators, comparative and inferential transitions, sequencers, and non-linear references. The analyses also identified marked cross-disciplinary differences in the use of exemplifiers, comparative transitions, linear references, and integral citations. These observed differences are interpretable in terms of the contrasting epistemologies underlying the qualitative and quantitative research paradigms and the different knowledge-knower structures prevailing in the disciplines under investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-31
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Disciplinary discourse
  • Epistemology
  • Interactive metadiscourse
  • Knowledge-knower structure
  • Qualitative research
  • Quantitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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