Stebletsova A.O. Academic Discourse in Western Research at the Turn of the 21st Century: Evolution of Approaches and Concepts


Anna O. Stebletsova

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Head of the Foreign Languages Department, Voronezh N.N. Burdenko State Medical University

Studencheskaya St, 10, 394036 Voronezh, Russia

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Abstract. This review paper discusses the concept of academic discourse as one of the most rapidly developing branches in contemporary linguistic research. The objective of the review was to observe and analyze basic paradigms and approaches to academic discourse in applied linguistics, genre analysis and discourse analysis developed by British, American and European linguists and examine academic discourse issues. The timeline of the review includes three periods from the middle of the 20 th century to the present. The focus on the Anglophone literature is determined by the historical interrelation between academic discourse research and English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and by an increase of national research of academic discourse and EAP. The review demonstrates evolution of academic discourse research approaches according to the time periods and domineering concepts. The review results demonstrate the contribution of Swales' genre analysis approach to the development of academic discourse research and learning. The author indicates that current research into academic discourse obviously has a cross-disciplinary trend and is based on the combination of comparative analysis and corpus linguistics methods. The author makes a conclusion that this trend will remain a significant part of academic discourse investigation and results in an increase of national publications addressing the academic discourse issues.

Key words: discourse, academic discourse, English for Academic Purposes (EAP), genre analysis approach, disciplinary variation concept.

Citation. Stebletsova A.O. Academic Discourse in Western Research at the Turn of the 21 st Century: Evolution of Approaches and Concepts. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2020, vol. 19, no. 5, pp. 5-13. (in Russian). DOI:

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