‘Verbs’ in Thesis and Journal-Article Introductions: A Comparative Functional Approach
This transitivity study aims to delineate the ‘verbs’ employed in the introduction sections of students’ English-major theses (IST) in reference to those of the introduction sections of research articles (ISRA) published by TESOL journal. To obtain this purpose, ten introduction sections from ISRA were analysed as the parameter, and 10 from its IST counterparts were evaluated. Both data sets were initially scrutinized for their categorization of process types. Then the analysis was followed by the categorization of specific processes in each process type. All data analysis was executed by employing the tables of analysis adapted from the transitivity framework of Halliday and Matthiessen. The transitivity analysis reveals that compared with the data of TESOL journal, the meaning making in the IST is inclined to be represented by less investigative processes of material, verbal, and mental clauses. Some less investigative processes are reflected from the verbs ‘use’, ’want’, ‘say’, etc., while the knowledge building processes in the ISRA are shown by more investigative processes such as ‘investigate’, ‘find’, ‘question’, etc. Overall, in reference to the clauses in the research articles (RA) of TESOL journal, the ones in the introduction sections of students’ undergraduate theses still lack processes for supporting the basis of knowledge building. It is expected that the findings of this study contribute to the field of academic writing, that is, to give insight to student thesis writers into how to make meaning of their introduction functionally.