About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 4874-4877
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.0952
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Academic communicative competence has become one of key targets of ESP training. An ability to write a talk, a research paper, a thesis in English significantly increases marketability of young and seasoned professionals. However, there does not exist a consistent tendency of teaching academic writing for research in Russian higher educational establishments. The paper attempts to address this issue paying particular attention to the problem of authorial stance development in L2 academic writing of Russian students. Within this framework we have a look at personal pronouns and their place in academic papers of students and seasoned professionals.

The role of personal pronouns in academic writing has been discussed in numerous papers (e.g., Harwood, 2005-a, b; Hyland, 2001; Kuo, 1999; Tang and John, 1999; Vassileva, 1998). Traditionally, the author is not explicitly present in academic papers (Geertz, Clifford, 1983. Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology. Basic Books, New York.) According to Gilbert G.N. and Mulkay M. (Gilbert and Mulkay, 1984: 58) impersonal style of rendering liberates the author from the responsibility for the results of the research. On the other hand, personal pronouns manifest authorial position and link the author to the results of their research.

The aim of this paper is to analyze personal pronouns in L1 and L2 academic writing. We created several corpora for further analysis:
1) L1/L2 corpus of academic papers on environmental sciences by seasoned scholars published in a peer reviewed hournal, 90,000 words.
2) L2 corpus of academic papers by 3d and 4th year BSc students of the Ecological faculty of RUDN university. For all students L1 is Russian, 30,000 words.
3) L2 corpus of academic papers by MSc students of the Ecological faculty of RUDN university. For all students L1 is Russian, 30,000 words.
4) L2 corpus of academic papers by PhD students of the Ecological faculty of RUDN university. PhD students are mostly international, 30,000 words.

The combined student corpus was created to assess personal pronouns situation in quasi-longitudinal perspective, overlooking the dynamics of authorial stance development. We used AntConc software to count frequencies for personal pronouns in all the corpora, further on we contrasted the results and evaluated the outcome. The data helps us redesign academic writing classes to further emphasize the importance of authorial presence in academic papers in English for them to be accepted in peer-reviewed academic journals.

The publication was financially supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (The agreement No 02.A03.21.0008).
Academic writing, ESP, personal pronouns, authorial stance.