Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 10. Number 1. March 2019                                               Pp.361 -381

Abstract PDF

Full Paper PDF

Functional Analyses of Metadiscourse Markers in L2 Students’ Academic Writing  

Nayef Jomaa Jomaa
Faculty of Letters, Karabuk University, Turkey

Mohammad M. Alia
Faculty of Languages and Communication, UniSZA, Malaysia



Stance in general and metadiscourse markers, in particular, have attracted the interest of several studies. Therefore, this study explores the use of metadiscourse in the second language (L2) academic writing by English as a foreign language (EFL) postgraduates in one of the Malaysian public universities. We analyzed the frequency and wordings of modality within the citations of the literature review chapters of 20 Ph.D. theses employing the Systemic Functional Linguistics. Data were analyzed manually utilizing the technique of quantifying the findings to highlight the similarities and differences in using metadiscourse markers. The findings revealed the dominance of full declarative clauses in both Applied Linguistics and Information Technology. Besides the Finite Modal Operators, Mood Adjuncts and Comment Adjuncts were also used to demonstrate modality with a variety in their stance, degrees, and frequencies. Pedagogically, these findings could help supervisors in identifying the implications of their students’ writings. In addition, students can be directed towards reading EAP textbooks and materials that are dedicated to areas of academic writing, metadiscourse markers, and citations.
Keywords: EAP/ESP, metadiscourse markers, stance, EFL postgraduates, Systemic Functional Linguistics

Cite as:   Jomaa ,N. J., &  Alia, M. M. (2019). Functional Analyses of Metadiscourse Markers in L2 Students’ Academic Writing.
Arab World English Journal, 10
 (1) 361-381.


Nayef J. Jomaa is an Assistant Professor in Applied Linguistics at the Department of Western
Languages and Literature, Faculty of Letters, Karabuk University, Turkey. His main research
interests focus on ESP/EAP, academic writing, Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), and genre