Document Type : Research article


1 Department of English, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran.

2 English Language Department, Maragheh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Maragheh, Iran.


Inspired by intercultural rhetoric theories and their distinctions between big and small cultures, the current study strived to investigate whether Move Recycling (MR) in English soft science research articles (RAs) was sensitive to cultural and disciplinary variations. To this end, 600 English RAs, half of which were written by Iranians and the other half by native English authors in six soft science disciplines, published from 2006 to 2018, were selected. Weissberg and Buker’s (1990) Move model was used to determine the main Moves prevalent in RAs; then, the frequency of recycled Moves in the RA sections was calculated. The quantitative data analysis results revealed that the use of MR was not associated with the RA authors’ cultural background. However, some differences were found in the distribution of recycled Moves across RA sections and disciplines. That is, MR was most frequently found in the Discussion and least frequently in the Method sections. Moreover, it was most often observed in Economics and least often in Psychology RAs, which was attributed to discipline-specific conventions. In the qualitative phase of the study, some RA authors’ rationales for using MR elicited via emails underwent content analysis, and their three common reasons for using MR, including reader guidance, discipline conventions, and RA length, were identified. The findings of this study might help course designers prepare discipline-specific materials for EAP writing classes in which MR is emphasized.