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Evaluation in experimental research articles

Hunston, Susan (1953-) (1989)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis examines evaluation in experimental research articles in terms of the meanings made and their contribution to the organisation of the articles. After an introduction to the phenomenon of evaluation in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 surveys recent work concerning the process of scientific discovery and the writing of research articles. Chapter 3 returns to evaluation and its place in various theories of discourse, mainly those of Sinclair and of Halliday. The model of evaluation proposed in this thesis is set out in the next three chapters, dealing in turn with the Status, Value and Relevance functions of evaluation. Status is the function of evaluation which bestows entity, assessing along a certain-uncertain parameter. Value bestows quality and assesses along a good-bad parameter. Evaluation of Relevance is meta-discoursal and marks significance. Relevance Markers are identified, which progressively chunk and organise the text. Comparisons between texts analysed for Status, Value and Relevance demonstrate a movement towards the theoretical and an increase in complexity of argument as the sub-discipline under discussion progresses. Chapter 7 investigates the contribution of evaluation towards text structure and notes a number of ways in which discourse units in experimental research articles may be organised. The concluding chapter, Chapter 8, discusses some of the practical and theoretical implications of the work described in the thesis. The Appendix contains the research articles which comprise the corpus.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Hoey, Michael
School/Faculty:Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Arts
Department:Department of English
Keywords:Evaluation, scientific discourse, academic discourse, discourse analysis
Subjects:PE English
P Philology. Linguistics
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:912
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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