Comparing research articles in pulmonology and other disciplines

Main Article Content

Ashleigh Cox
Eric Friginal


There have been many arguments for research-informed pedagogy in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) classes, including medical English classes. While there has been a wealth of research on writing in English for medical purposes, there has been little research on academic research articles (RAs) specifically in the pulmonology domain with very little empirical information about linguistic patterning useful in materials design for writing instruction. The extent to which writing in that branch of medicine is similar to writing in hard sciences in general is unknown. The present study analyzes the linguistic features in a specialized corpus of pulmonology research articles and a comparison corpus of research articles from other scientific disciplines using three of the functional dimensions established by Biber (1988) that are relevant to academic writing—the first, third, and fifth dimension. Results indicate that in comparison to research articles in other hard sciences, pulmonology research articles have more densely packed information and less abstract information. Pedagogical implications for academic writing teachers of respiratory therapy students in EFL and ESL contexts and future research directions are discussed.


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How to Cite
Cox, A., & Friginal, E. (2023). Comparing research articles in pulmonology and other disciplines. Focus on ELT Journal, 5(2), 21–41.
Author Biographies

Ashleigh Cox, Georgia State University

Ashleigh Cox is a graduate student studying applied linguistics at Georgia State University. She is currently researching academic writing in healthcare fields. Her research interests include English for Academic Purposes, discipline-specific writing, second language teaching, and corpus linguistics, and she likes to read about intercultural communication. She is teaching English for academic purposes, but she has also taught ESL in more general non-academic programs.

Eric Friginal, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Eric Friginal is Professor and Head of Department of English and Communication at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Before moving to Hong Kong, he was Professor and Director of International Programs at the Department of Applied Linguistics and ESL at Georgia State University. He specializes in applied corpus linguistics, quantitative research, language policy and planning, technology and language teaching, sociolinguistics, cross-cultural communication, discipline-specific writing, and the analysis of spoken professional discourse in the workplace. 


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