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Volume 6 Number 3, Autumn 2009, Pages 1-401   

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A Comparative Study of Metadiscourse Use in Research Articles written by Native and Non-native Speakers: Is Audience Taken into Account?

    Ahmad Reza Eghtesadi and Hossein Navidinia

Metadiscourse refers to "aspects of a text which explicitly organize a discourse or the writer's stance towards either its content or the reader" (Hyland, 2005, p. 14). It is an indication of whether the writer has had a particular reader in mind while developing the text. This study aimed to metadiscoursally analyze the articles in two Iranian EFL journals, i.e., Roshd and TELL which are apparently addressed to different audiences and see how the authors in these journals pay attention to the expected readers. Moreover, to have a clearer picture of the metadiscourse use in academic texts, some articles written by English language native speakers were analyzed both in terms of the metadiscourse use per T-unit and per 100 words. The results indicate that the articles written by native speakers which are mainly addressed to TESOL professionals and researchers include more metadiscourse signals than the articles in the two Iranian journals. Comparing Roshd and TELL, it appears that Roshd authors use more metadicourse in the abstract sections of their articles, but in the introduction and results and discussion sections, the TELL authors used more metadiscourse. The findings of the study imply that Iranian authors in general and Roshd authors in particular should pay more attention to their expected readers through more metadiscourse use.

Keywords: Metadiscourse, interactive resources, interactional resources, Roshd EFL journal, TELL journal, native speakers of English