The Academic Phrasebank is ageneral resource for academicwriters. It makes explicit the morecommon phraseological ‘nuts andbolts’ of academic writing.AcademicPhrasebankA compendium of commonlyused phrasal elements inacademic English in PDF format2018 enhanced editionDr John Morley

Navigable PDF version 2018 The University of ManchesterThe Academic Phrasebank is for the sole use of the individual who has downloaded it from of The Academic Phrasebank by electronic (e.g. via email, web download) or any other means is strictlyprohibited and constitutes copyright infringement.The Academic Phrasebank is only available on this website: phrasebank/ or onthe Kindle store (search “Academic Phrasebank” in your regional Kindle store). If you see this version of The AcademicPhrasebank made available anywhere else, please contact [email protected] immediately.

PrefaceThe Academic Phrasebank is a general resource for academic writers. It aims to provide thephraseological ‘nuts and bolts’ of academic writing organised according to the main sections of aresearch paper or dissertation. Other phrases are listed under the more general communicativefunctions of academic writing.The resource was designed primarily for academic and scientific writers who are non-native speakersof English. However, native writers may still find much of the material helpful. In fact, recent datasuggest that the majority of users are native speakers of English.The phrases, and the headings under which they are listed, can be used simply to assist you inthinking about the content and organisation of your own writing, or the phrases can be incorporatedinto your writing where this is appropriate. In most cases, a certain amount of creativity andadaptation will be necessary when a phrase is used.The Academic Phrasebank is not discipline specific. Nevertheless, it should be particularly useful forwriters who need to report their empirical studies. The phrases are content neutral and generic innature; in using them, therefore, you are not stealing other people's ideas and this does notconstitute plagiarism.Most of the phrases in this compendium have been organised according to the main sections of aresearch report. However, it is an over-simplification to associate the phrases only with the section inwhich they have been placed here. In reality, for example, many of phrases used for referring toother studies may be found throughout a research report.In the current PDF version, additional material, which is not phraseological, has been incorporated.These additional sections should be helpful to you as a writer.Dr John Morley, 20182 Pag e

ContentsAbout Academic Phrasebank . . .4 . . . . . . . . . . . .73146556371 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .828697100104109111113117119123125127130 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133136139141142143145147148149Major SectionsIntroducing WorkReviewing the LiteratureDescribing MethodsReporting ResultsDiscussing FindingsWriting ConclusionsGeneral FunctionsBeing CautiousBeing CriticalClassifying and ListingComparing and ContrastingDefining TermsDescribing TrendsDescribing QuantitiesExplaining CausalityGiving Examples as SupportSignalling TransitionIndicating Shared KnowledgeWriting about the PastWriting AbstractsWriting AcknowledgementsNotes on Academic WritingAcademic StyleStyle in PresentationsCommonly Confused WordsBritish and US SpellingPunctuationUsing ArticlesSentence StructureWords for Connecting IdeasParagraph StructureHelpful Tips for Writers3 Pag e

About Academic PhrasebankTheoretical InfluencesThe Academic Phrasebank largely draws on an approach to analysing academic texts originallypioneered by John Swales in the 1980s. Utilising a genre analysis approach to identify rhetoricalpatterns in the introductions to research articles, Swales defined a ‘move’ as a section of text thatserves a specific communicative function (Swales, 1981,1990). This unit of rhetorical analysis is usedas one of the main organising sub-categories of the Academic Phrasebank. Swales not only identifiedcommonly-used moves in article introductions, but he was interested in showing the kind oflanguage which was used to achieve the communicative purpose of each move. Much of thislanguage was phraseological in nature.The resource also draws upon psycholinguistic insights into how language is learnt and produced. It isnow accepted that much of the language we use is phraseological; that it is acquired, stored andretrieved as pre-formulated constructions (Bolinger, 1976; Pawley and Syder, 1983). These insightsbegan to be supported empirically as computer technology permitted the identification of recurrentphraseological patterns in very large corpora of spoken and written English using specialisedsoftware (e.g. Sinclair, 1991). Phrasebank recognises that there is an important phraseologicaldimension to academic language and attempts to make examples of this explicit.Sources of the phrasesThe vast majority of phrases in this resource have been taken from authentic academic sources. Theoriginal corpus from which the phrases were ‘harvested’ consisted of 100 postgraduate dissertationscompleted at the University of Manchester. However, phrases from academic articles drawn from abroad spectrum of disciplines have also been, and continue to be, incorporated. In most cases, thephrases have been simplified and where necessary they have been ‘sifted’ from their particularisedacademic content. Where content words have been included for exemplificatory purposes, these aresubstitutions of the original words. In selecting a phrase for inclusion into the Academic Phrasebank,the following questions are asked: does it serve a useful communicative purpose in academic text?does it contain collocational and/or formulaic elements?are the content words (nouns, verbs, adjectives) generic in nature?does the combination ‘sound natural' to a native speaker or writer of English?When is it acceptable to reuse phrases in academic writing?In a recent study (Davis and Morley, 2015), 45 academics from two British universities were surveyedto determine whether reusing phrases was a legitimate activity for academic writers, and if so, whatkind of phrases could be reused. From the survey and later from in-depth interviews, the followingcharacteristics for acceptability emerged. A reused phrase: should not have a unique or original construction;should not express a clear point of view of another writer;depending on the phrase, may be up to nine words in length; beyond this 'acceptability'declines;may contain up to four generic content words (nouns, verbs or adjectives which are notbound to a specific topic).Some of the entries in the Academic Phrasebank, contain specific content words which have beenincluded for illustrative purposes. These words should be substituted when the phrases are used. Inthe phrases below, for example, the content words in bold should be substituted:4 Pag e

X is a major public health problem, and the cause of .X is the leading cause of death in western-industrialised countries.The many thousands of disciplinary-specific phrases which can be found in academic communicationcomprise a separate category of phrases. These tend to be shorter than the generic phrases listed inAcademic Phrasebank, and typically consist of noun phrases or combinations of these. Acceptabilityfor reusing these is determined by the extent to which they are used and understood by members ofa particular academic community.Further workDevelopment of the website content is ongoing. In addition, research is currently being carried outon the ways in which experienced and less-experienced writers make use of the AcademicPhrasebank. Another project is seeking to find out more about ways in which teachers of English foracademic purposes make use of this resource.References and related reading Bolinger, D. (1976) ‘Meaning and memory’. Forum Linguisticum, 1, pp. 1–14.Cowie, A. (1992) ‘Multiword lexical units and communicative language teaching’ inVocabulary and applied linguistics, Arnaud, P. and Béjoint, H. (eds). London: MacMillan.Davis, M., and Morley, J. (2015) ‘Phrasal intertextuality: The responses of academics fromdifferent disciplines to students’ re-use of phrases’. Journal Second Language Writing 28 (2),pp. 20-35.Hopkins, A. and Dudley-Evans, A. (1988). ‘A genre-based investigations of the discussionssections in articles and dissertation’. English for Specific Purposes, 7(2), pp.113-122.Pawley, A., and Syder, F.H. (1983). ‘Two puzzles for linguistic theory: nativelike selection andnativelike fluency’. In: Richards, J.C. and Schmidt, R.W. (Eds.), Language and communication,pp. 191-226. Longman: New York.Sinclair, J. (1991) Corpus, concordance, collocation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Swales, J. (1981). Aspects of article introductions (Aston ESP Research Report No. 1).Birmingham: Language Studies Unit: University of Aston.Swales, J. (1990). Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.Wood, D. (2015) The fundamentals of formulaic language. London: Bloomsbury.Wray, A., and Perkins, M. (2000). ‘The functions of formulaic language: an integrated model’.Language and Communication, 20, pp.1-28.5 Pag e

Major Sections6 Pag e

Introducing WorkThere are many ways to introduce an academic essay or short paper. Most academic writers,however, appear to do one or more of the following in their introductions: establish the context, background and/or importance of the topicindicate an issue, problem, or controversy in the field of studydefine the topic or key termsstate the purpose of the essay or piece of writingprovide an overview of the coverage and/or structure of the writingSlightly less complex introductions may simply inform the reader: what the topic is, why it isimportant, and how the writing is organised. In very short assignments, it is not uncommon for awriter to commence simply by stating the purpose of their writing and by indicating how it isorganised.Introductions to research dissertations and theses tend to be relatively short compared to the othersections of the text but quite complex in terms of their functional elements. Some of the morecommon elements include: establishing the context, background and/or importance of the topicgiving a brief review of the relevant academic literatureidentifying a problem, controversy or a knowledge gap in the field of studystating the aim(s) of the research and the research questions or hypothesesproviding a synopsis of the research design and method(s)explaining the significance or value of the studydefining certain key termsproviding an overview of the dissertation or report structureExamples of phrases which are commonly employed to realise these and other functions are listedunder the headings that follow. Note that there may be a certain amount of overlap between someof the categories under which the phrases are listed. Also, the order in which the differentcategories of phrases are shown reflects a typical order but this is far from fixed or rigid, and not allthe elements are present in all introductions.A number of analysts have identified common patterns in the introductions of research articles.One of the best known is the CARS model (create a research space) first described by John Swales(1990)1. This model, which utilises an ecological metaphor, has, in its simplest form, three elementsor moves: 1Establishing the territory (establishing importance of the topic, reviewing previous work)Identifying a niche (indicating a gap in knowledge)Occupying the niche (listing purpose of new research, listing questions, stating value,indicating structure of writing)Swales, J. (1990) Genre Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.7 Pag e

Establishing the importance of the topic for the disciplineA key aspect of X is X is of interest because X is a classic problem in A primary concern of X is X is a dominant feature of X is a fundamental property of Xs are the most widely-investigated Studies on X represent a growing field.X is an increasingly important area in.The concepts of X and Y are central to X is at the heart of our understanding of X is attracting considerable critical attention.Central to the theory of X is the Y hypothesis.X has been shown to occur in many different Investigating X is a continuing concern within X is a major area of interest within the field of X has been studied by many researchers using X has been the subject of many classic studies in X has been instrumental in our understanding of The theory of X provides a useful account of how X has been an important concept in