Share This Article:

A Contrastive Study of Master Thesis Acknowledgements by Taiwanese and North American Students

Abstract Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:110KB) PP. 8-17
DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2012.21002    9,335 Downloads   17,812 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Thesis acknowledgements are a written part genre in which graduate students express their gratitude towards a number of addressees upon completion of theses. Previous studies on thesis acknowledgements have focused on the expressions of gratitude or their generic structure. However, socio-cultural values and norms can shape the ways people express thanks and influence the rhetorical structure of a genre like thesis acknowledgements. The present study compares and contrasts the use of thanking strategies in 60 thesis acknowledgements written in English by Taiwanese and North American master students. Results show that Taiwanese students (TS) use more thanking strategies than North American students (NAS); specifically, they employ more explicit thanking strategies but less implicit thanking strategies than NAS. They also use more complex thanking strategies but less simple thanking strategies than NAS. Interestingly, the two groups vary in the arrangement of addressees and the choice of strategies for various addressees, reflecting different cultural perceptions of expressing gratitude. For example, NAS appear to make a more flexible arrangement of advisors and family members than TS. These subtle differences between TS and NAS thesis acknowledgements reveal Taiwanese and North American students’ embedded socio-pragmatic perceptions of writing this genre.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Cheng, S. (2012). A Contrastive Study of Master Thesis Acknowledgements by Taiwanese and North American Students. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 2, 8-17. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2012.21002.

References

[1] Al-Ali, M. N. (2010). Generic patterns and socio-cultural resources in acknowledgements accompanying Arabic Ph.D. dissertations. Pragmatics, 20, 1-26.
[2] Bach, K., & Harnish, R. M. (1979). Linguistic communication and speech acts. Cambridge: The MIT Press.
[3] Bazerman, C. (1984). Modern evolution of the experimental report in physics: Spectroscopic articles in Physical Review, 1893-1980. Social Studies of Science, 14, 163-196. doi:10.1177/030631284014002001
[4] Bazerman, C. (1988). Shaping written knowledge. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
[5] Cronin, B. (1991). Let the credits roll: A preliminary examination of the role played by mentors and trusted assessors in disciplinary formation. Journal of Documentation, 47, 227-239. doi:10.1108/eb026878
[6] Cronin, B. (1995). The Scholar’s courtesy. The role of acknowledgement in the primary communication process: London: Taylor Graham.
[7] Cronin, B., Mckenzie, G., & Rubio, L. (1993). The norms of acknowledgement in four humanities and social sciences disciplines. Journal of Documentation, 49, 29-43. doi:10.1108/eb026909
[8] Cronin, B., Mckenzie, G., & Stiffler, M. (1992). Patterns of acknowledgement. Journal of Documentation, 48, 107-122. doi:10.1108/eb026893
[9] Cronin, B., & Overfelt, K. (1994). The scholar’s courtesy: A survey of acknowledgement behavior. Journal of Documentation, 50, 164-196. doi:10.1108/eb026929
[10] Giannoni, D. S. (2002). Worlds of gratitude: A contrastive study of acknowledgement texts in English and Italian research articles. Applied Linguistics, 23, 1-31. doi:10.1093/applin/23.1.1
[11] Hyland, K. (2003). Dissertation acknowledgements: The anatomy of a Cinderella genre. Written Communication, 20, 242-268.
[12] Hyland, K. (2004). Graduates’ gratitude: The generic structure of dissertation acknowledgements. English for Specific Purposes, 23, 303-324. doi:10.1016/S0889-4906(03)00051-6
[13] Hyland, K., & Tse, P. (2004). “I would like thank my supervisor”: Acknowledgements in graduate dissertations. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 14, 259-275. doi:10.1111/j.1473-4192.2004.00062.x
[14] Krase, E. (2007). “Maybe the communication beteen us was not enough”: Inside a dysfunctional advisor/L2 advisee relationship. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 6, 55-70. doi:10.1016/j.jeap.2006.12.001
[15] Li, Y. (2005). Multidimensional enculturation: The case of an EFL Chinese doctoral student. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, 15, 153-170. doi:10.1075/japc.15.1.10li
[16] Searle, J. R. (1969). Speech acts: An essay in the philosophy of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[17] Swales, J. M., & Feak, C. B. (2000). English in today’s research world: A writing guide. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.
[18] Swales, J. M., & Feak, C. B. (2004). Academic writing for graduate students: Essential tasks and skills (2nd ed.). Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.