The use of I in academic writing is a topic which causes debate among academics and academic language teachers and much confusion among students writing for assessment. Although some research into the use of pronouns in academic texts has been completed, the effect of genre on pronoun use in academic writing is under-researched. This paper therefore aims to identify the rhetorical function for which first person singular pronouns are used across different genres of business students’ academic writing. The rhetorical functions of the instances of I in thirteen genres of good quality student academic writing were analysed using a modified version of Hyland's (2002) typology. The results showed that the genre of writing seems to influence the rhetorical functions for which I is used.
- BAWE corpus
- Business student academic writing
- First person singular pronoun
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language