Authorial Stance by Academic Writers in an EFL Context: A Case Study of Journal Article Contributors by UDSM Scholars


  • Erasmus Msuya University of Dar es Salaam


The current study assessed different ways academic writers make their
stance towards the findings of and scholarly assertions by other scholars
as well as their findings in their research report writing. The study was
guided by Hyland ' s (2005) academic interaction model. It involved 60
research articles, chosen randomly from fields of humanities, business
studies, natural sciences and engineering sciences. Documentary review
was used as the sole data gathering tool. The findings show that the
authors variously registered their authorial stance notably -under three
categories of stance nouns: relations, attributes and entity, the most
dominant being the category of entity. It was concluded that the art and
science of academic writing by authors in the studied research articles is
generally similar across disciplines .

Author Biography

Erasmus Msuya, University of Dar es Salaam

Senior Lecturer, Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, University of Dar es Salaam,
P.O. Box 35040, Dar es Salaam, T anzania


Abdi, R. (2011). Metadiscourse Strategies in Research Articles: A

Study of the Differences across Subsections. Journal of

Teaching Language Skills, 3(1):1-16.

Afsari, S. and Kuhi, D. (2016). A Functional Investigation of Selfmention

in Soft Science Master These. The Journal of

Applied Linguistics , 9(18): 49-64.

Ahmad, U. & Mehrjooseresht, M. (2012). Stance Adverbials in

Engineering Thesis Abstracts. Procedia - Social and

Behavioral Sciences 66: 29 €“ 36.

Alg, S. (2012). Hedges and Boosters in L1 and L2 Argumentative

Paragraphs: Implications For Teaching L2 Academic

Writing. Unpublished Thesis, Middle East technical


Asmuth, J. & Gentner, D. (2005). Context Sensitivity of Relational

Nouns. Proceedings of the Twenty-seventh Annual Meeting

of the Cognitive Science Society , 163-168.

Aull, L.L. & Lancaster, Z. (2014). Linguistic Markers of Stance in

Early and Advanced Academic Writing: A Corpus-based

Comparison, Written Communication, 31(2):151-183.

Biber, D., Johansson, S., Leech, G., Conrad, S. & Finegan, E. (1999).

Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Harlow:

Pearson Education Limited.

Journal of Linguistics and Language in Education Volume 14, Number 2 (2020) |101

Biber, D. & Conrad, S. (1999). Lexical Bundles in Conversations and

Academic Prose. In H. Hasselgard & S. Oksefjell (eds.). Out

of Corpora: Studies in Honour of Stig Johansson (pp. 181 €“

. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Biber, D. (2006). Stance in Spoken and Written University Registers.

Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 5: 97-116.

Biber, D. (2006). University Language: A Corpus-Based Study of

Spoken and Written Registers. Amsterdam/Philadelphia:

John Benjamins.

Çakır, H. (2016). Native and Non-Native Writers ' Use of Stance

Adverbs in English Research Article Abstracts. Open Journal

of Modern Linguistics , 6: 85-96.

Casanave, C. P. (2003). Multiple Uses of Applied Linguistics in a

Multi-disciplinary Graduate EAP Class. ELT Journal , 57(1):


Chang, P. (2015). EFL Doctoral Students ' Conceptions of Authorial

Stance in Academic Research Writing: An Exploratory

Study. RELC Journal , 47(2):175-192.

De Bryun, P. S. (1998). Pragmatiese Merkers: Die Verwaarloosde

Rededeel. South African Journal of Linguistics ' Suid-

Africaanse Tydskrif vir Taalkunde ' , 16(4):127 €“135.

Elisifa, Z. & Kyara, S. (2017). Assessing EFL Learners ' Authorial

Stance in Academic Writing: A Case of OUT Theses and

Dissertations Authors. A Research Report under DRPS

Grants, Open University of Tanzania.

Getkham, K. (2016). Authorial Stance in Thai Students ' Doctoral

Dissertation. English Language Teaching, 9(3): 80-95.

Heather, A. & Quintana-Toledo, E. (2013). Adverbial Stance Marking

in the Introduction and Conclusion Sections of Legal

Research Articles. Revista de Lingüística y Lenguas

Aplicadas, l(8):13-22.

Henderson, A. and Barr, R. (2010). Comparing Indicators of

Authorial Stance in Psychology Students ' Writing and

Published Research Articles. Journal of Writing Research,

(2): 245-264.

Heng, C. S. & Tan, H. (2010). Extracting and Comparing the

Intricacies of Metadiscourse of two Written Persuasive

Corpora. International Journal of Education and

Development Using Information and Communication

Technology, 6 (3): 124-146.

Hinkel, E. (2005). Hedging, Inflating, and Persuading in L2

Academic Writing. Applied Language Learning, 15: 29-53.

| Authorial Stance by Academic Writers in an EFL Context

Hinkel, E. (2009). The Effects of Essay Topics on Modal Verb Uses in

L1 and L2 Academic Writing. Journal of Pragmatics, 41:


Hyland, K. (1998). Boosting, Hedging and the Negotiation of

Academic Knowledge. TEXT, 18(3): 349-382.

Hyland, K. (1999). Talking to Students: Metadiscourse in

Introductory Course Books. English for Specific Purposes ,

(1): 3-26.

Hyland, K. (2000). Hedges, Boosters and Lexical Invisibility:

Noticing Modifiers in Academic Texts. Language Awareness ,

(4): 179-197.

Hyland, K. (2002b). Options of Identity in Academic Writing. ELT

Journal , 56(4):351-358.

Hyland, K. (2005). Stance and Engagement: A Model of Interaction

in Academic Discourse. Discourse Studies, 7(2):173 €“192.

Hyland, K. (2008). Persuasion, Interactions and Construction of

Knowledge: Representing Self and Others in Research

Writing. International Journal of English Studies , 8(2):1-23.

Hyland, K. (2010). Metadiscourse: Mapping Interactions in Academic

Writing. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 9(2): 125 €“143.

Jiang, F. K. (2017). Stance and Voice in Academic Writing: The

"noun + that" Construction and Disciplinary Variation.

International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 22(1): 85 €“106.

Jiang, F. & Hyland, K. (2016). ' The fact that ' : Stance Nouns in

Disciplinary Writing. Discourse Studies, 17(5):529 €“550.

Kafes, H. (2009). Authorial Stance in Academic English: Native and

Non-Native Academic Speaker Writers ' Use of Stance

Devices (Modal Verbs) in Research Articles. Unpublished

Dissertation, EskiÅŸehir: Anadolu University.

Kibler, A. K. & Hardigree, C. (2017). Using Evidence in L2

Argumentative Writing: A Longitudinal Case Study across

High School and University. Language Learning, 67(1): 75-

Kondowe, W. (2014). Hedging and Boosting as Interactional

Metadiscourse in Literature Doctoral Dissertation Abstracts.

International Journal of Language Learning and Applied

Linguistics World (IJLLALW) , 5(3): 214-221.

Kuo, C. H. (1999). The Use of Personal Pronouns: Role Relationships

in Scientific Journal Articles. English for Specific Purposes ,

(2):121 138.

Maroko, G. (2013). Learning about Author Positioning in Written

Academic Discourse. Argentinian Journal of Applied

Linguistics, 1(2):47-60.

Journal of Linguistics and Language in Education Volume 14, Number 2 (2020) |103

Martin, J. R. & White, P. R. (2005). Language of Evaluation:

Appraisal in English. London: Pal-grave Macmillan.

Mojica, L. (2005). Filipino Authors ' Ways of Showing

Detachment/Commitment intheir English Academic Papers.

In D. Dayag & J. S. Quakenbush (eds.). Linguistics and

Language Education in the Philippines and Beyond: A

Festschrift in Honor of Ma. Lourdes S. Bautista, (pp. 511-

. Manila: Linguistic Society of the Philippines.

Monte-Sano, C. (2011). Beyond Reading Comprehension and

Summary: Learning to Read and Write in History by

Focusing on Evidence, Perspective, and Interpretation,

Curiculum Inquiry, 41(2): 212 €“249.

Msuya, E. A. (2016). Exploring Author Visibility in Academic Writing

in EFL Tanzanian Context: A Case Study of University of

Dar es Salaam Postgraduate Dissertations and Theses.

International Journal of English Language and Literature . 4


Myers, G. A. (1989). The Pragmatics of Politeness in Scientific

Articles. Applied Linguistics , 10(1): 1-35.

Nivales, M. L. (2010). Hedging in College Research Papers:

Implications for Language Instruction. Asian EFL Journal .

pp 35-45.

Press, F. (2012). In-text and Out-of-text Engagement: Interactional

Features in Students' Academic Writing and Academic

Engagement. Theses and Dissertations. 180.

Salager-Meyer, F. (1997). I Think that perhaps you should: A Study

of Hedges in Written Scientific Discourse. In T. Miller (ed.).

Functional Approaches to Written Text: Classroom

Applications. (pp. 105-118). Washington: English Language

Programs- United States Information Agency.

Saleem, S. A. (2013). A Corpus Analysis of Stance Marker Use in

International and Egyptian Medical Research Articles.

Unpublished MA Dissertation in TESOL, The American

University in Cairo.

Silver, M. (2003). The Stance of Stance: A Critical Look at Ways

Stance is Expressed and Modeled in Academic Discourse.

Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 2: 359-374.

Starosta, S. (1985). Relator Nouns as a Source of Case Inflection. In

V. Z. Acson & R. L. Leed (eds.). For Gordon H. Fairbanks.

Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press: 111 €“133.

| Authorial Stance by Academic Writers in an EFL Context

Taki, S. & Jafrpour, F. (2012). Engagement and Stance in Academic

Writing: A Study of English and Persian Research Articles,

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 3(1): 157-177.

Uba, S. Y. (2017). Authorial Stance in Accounting PhD Theses in a

Nigerian University. Unpublished Thesis, School of

Education, University of Leeds.

Uysal, H. H. & Akpınar, K. D. (2008). Cross-Cultural Differences in

Turkish, Japanese and Indian Scholars ' Conference

Abstracts. The 8th International Language, Literature, and

Stylistics Conference, Izmir