Rhetorical patterns of argumentation in EFL journals of Persian and English

2013 IJRSLL – Volume 2 Issue 1


Pishghadam, Reza*
Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran (pishghadam@um.ac.ir)

Attaran, Atena
Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran (atena.attaran@gmail.com)


Argumentation is a core of article writing. Despite its importance, no English as a foreign language (EFL) research has examined how Iranian researchers set their argumentations based upon a well-established theoretical model of argumentation. This qualitative study intends to bridge this gap by building upon Toulmin’s (2003) model of argumentation to analyze the use of argumentation in EFL articles rhetorically. To this end, 90 articles from the reliable EFL journals in English and Persian were randomly selected with the purpose of discovering underlying conventions which lay behind their argumentations in discussion section of each. Articles in Persian corpus were written by native Persian writers, articles in English corpus were written by native English writers and English articles in inter-language corpus were written by native Persian speakers. This study pointed the differences among the three groups of articles. It was thus indicated that Iranians transfer their first language argumentation rhetorical patterns to their writing in a foreign language, i.e. English. This illustrates that culture may count for the argumentation elements presented in Iranian EFL articles. Other influential factors were also discussed. Finally, pedagogical implications were suggested in the context of second language learning.

Keywords: speech act of argumentation; rhetorical pattern; EFL articles; culture; corpus; language analysis


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrsll.2012.132

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