Document Type : Research article


1 Associate Professor, University of Tehran

2 PhD Candidate in TEFL, University of Tehran, (Alborz Campus)


Interest in metadiscourse markers use in Research Articles (RAs) of different disciplines has grown among discourse and genre researchers. Among the hard sciences, Geology and its’ sub-disciplines have received scant attention. This is while Geology postgraduate students’ original research findings fail to get published in the high ranked journals of their specialty partly due to their mere knowledge on the correct use of metadiscourse markers in their RAs. In the present study, using Hyland and Tse’s theoretical framework (2004), we focused on the type and frequency of use of metadiscourse markers in the six main Geology sub-disciplines (i.e., Engineering Geology, Sedimentology, Seismology, Petrology, Palaeontology, and Geotechnics).To answer the research questions raised in the study , 180 RAs from 73 high ranked journals were selected from the main corpora. The results from the word by word analyses of the articles revealed that except for endophoric markers, the six sub-disciplines demonstrated a statistically significant difference in the type and frequency of use of metadiscourse features. In addition, the results indicated that Petrology, Engineering Geology and Sedimentology demonstrated a higher frequency of use in the employment of interactive markers compared to their three Geology counterparts. Contrarily, the three sub-disciplines, namely Seismology, Palaeontology and Geotechnics showed a higher frequency of use in the application of interactional metadiscourse elements. The findings of the study have implications for genre researchers, ESP instructors and Geology novice authors.