La Prensa MedicaISSN: 0032-745X

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Rhetorical Structure of the Abstracts of Medical Sciences Research Articles

Background and aims: Abstracts as an independent type of genre play a crucial role in selling research articles (RAs), therefore; it is essential to acquire their rhetorical structures and linguistic features to enter a discourse community. Following Santos’s (1996) move scheme model, this study aimed at exploring the most frequently employed rhetorical structures in the abstract sections (ASs) of research articles (RAs) in medical sciences. Material and methods: To this end, a total of 1500 empiricallyoriented RA abstracts with high impact factors were selected from five data bases and analyzed manually. Results: The results showed that medical abstracts were structured within a five-move scheme wherein moves Situating the research (STR), Presenting the research (PTR), and Discussing the research (DTR) were considered conventional in medical sciences abstracts, while moves Describing the methodology (DTM) and Summarizing the results (STR) were essentially obligatory. In other words, the findings revealed that there was a dominant formula-like pattern used by the authors in medical abstracts. Conclusion: The findings of the present study provide novice RA writers with useful instructions on what the useful rhetoric structures are in their discipline and how to use them appropriately.

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