Language_Institutional_Practice_Chapter2_Part17.docx - organizational structure as suggested by Swales(1990 does not suit the nature of the emails

Language_Institutional_Practice_Chapter2_Part17.docx -...

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organizational structure, as suggested by Swales (1990), does not suit the nature of the emails. Applying the BCU approach, however, seemed more suitable as it focuses on the functions of the segments in the texts. It calls for investigating the segments of the texts to identify the local purpose of every segment; and then, classifying the segments into moves and move types. This approach seems in support of Bhatia’s (1993) observation that the “psycholinguistic aspect of genre analysis reveals the cognitive structuring” (p. 19). In terms of the suitability for the nature of the data (the email messages), the BCU approach seems suitable for two main reasons. Firstly, exploring the emails showed that every segment in the email messages carries a function or communicative purpose. Even though some emails were not highly structured (some emails were highly structured) as formal written business correspondence (i.e., business letters, faxes, written memos), but their function or communicative purpose was clear. Secondly, the BCU approach provides a detailed framework for corpus-based analysis. As this study investigates a corpus of workplace emails, the provided framework provides useful insights and guidelines into how to carry the investigation of discourse units in a large set of data. In addition, the use of BCU framework is central in investigating the socio-cognitive strategies used in the rhetorical moves of the email messages. That is, the use of the BCU framework in this study is used to identify the rhetorical moves of the email messages and the generic structures used in constructing the email messages (step 6 and 7 in the BCU framework).
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Swales (1990) and Biber et al. (2007) categorized the discourse units to moves and steps, whereas Bhatia (1993) categorized them to moves and strategies. They defined the move as the unit that carries the communicative intention. The move may include one or a number steps or strategies. The step or the strategy, however, is a smaller unit than the move and includes the strategies used to achieve the communicative intention. As such, the step is the micro unit and the move is the macro unit of the discourse unit. The identification of the communicative purpose depends on the communicative intentions or the moves. As such, given that the email messages varied in length from a single word to 686 words, the investigation of the organizational structure of the emails in this study is based on the move level. The move included the micro strategies or steps used by the writers to achieve their communicative intention. The working definition of the move in this study is:
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  • Summer '17
  • Iking
  • E-mail, E-mail address, MOVE, BCU, biber

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