Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume.7 Number.2 June, 2016                                          Pp.368- 379

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Features of Saudi English Research Articles Abstracts   

Wafaa Fallatah
Faculty of Arts, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics
Monash University, Clayton, Australia
Department of Languages and Translation
Taibah University, Medinah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia




The research article (RA) abstract genre has attracted significant attention in the academic community. A well-written abstract can draw journal editors’ attention and improve an author’s chances of being accepted for publishing and later being read and cited by peers. This study is a contrastive genre analysis of Saudi English RA abstracts within a World Englishes (WE) perspective. It aims to answer two questions. What are the genre structure and periodicity patterns in abstracts written by Saudi researchers for a local audience? What are the differences and similarities in genre structure and periodicity patterns between abstracts written by Saudi researchers and abstracts written internationally? The data comprised three sets of RA abstracts: the first was a Saudi English set with 37 abstracts; the second was an international set with 29 abstracts; and the third was an Arabic set with 27 abstracts. The three sets were analysed based on Swales and Feak’s (2009) five-moves CARS model through which this study investigated the moves’ presence, sequence, cyclicality, length, use of citation, use of acronyms, use of percentages, use of listing, and paragraphing. Findings show that Saudi English RA abstracts differ from the international RA abstracts in showing more move presence fluctuation; verbosity; move cyclicality; excessive use of citation, acronyms, and listings; and multi-paragraphing. Due to the scarcity of studies about Saudi English in general, this study could shed some light on this emerging variety of English and trigger more studies on Saudi English RA abstracts from new perspectives.
Keywords: Abstract, Saudi English, Swales’ abstract model, moves

Cite as: Fallatah, W.  (2016). Features of Saudi English Research Articles Abstracts.  Arab World English Journal,7 (2).


Wafaa Fallatah has a bachelor’s degree from Taibah University, Madinah, KSA, and a master
degree in Applied Linguistics from Sydney University, Sydney, Australia. For fourteen years,
she taught English as a foreign language in KSA in elementary and primary school levels as well
as university level. She presented in number of international conferences including IAWE 2015.
Her research interest includes World Englishes, cultural linguistics and media discourse.