Chih-Wei Kuo, Stephanie W. Cheng & Chih-Hua Kuo

National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan



Making citations, or referring to others’ studies, is regarded as an important academic convention. Previous studies have created various typologies for citations; however, most of them have focused on the forms of citations or on the reporting verbs used in citations. Only a few recent studies have investigated the discourse functions of citations. This study attempts to explore both the forms and functions of citations in IMRD sections, using a corpus of 36 research articles in applied linguistics. The form-based analysis reveals that all rhetorical sections except Results show a preference for non-integral citations. The function-based analysis indicates that “providing views or findings” of the cited study is the most prevalent function. It is also found many citations perform the functions characteristic of the specific communicative purposes of individual sections. For example, the function of “providing background information for a research topic” is found to occur exclusively in Introduction, and “providing a comparison” is more frequently used in Results and Discussion than in the other sections. This study provides empirical evidence that citations can perform a wide range of discourse functions in research articles other than reviewing literature. These findings provide insightful pedagogical implications.


Key Words: citation analysis, citation forms, citation functions, research article, functional typology










關鍵字: 引用分析、引用形式、引用功能、學術期刊論文、功能類型學