Document Type : Research article


1 Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Letters & Human Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University. Tehran, Iran

2 MA in TEFL, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Letters & Human Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


International scientific communication is mostly conducted in English. Consequently, writing and publishing in English is of significant importance in academic settings. Alongside many other factors, proper academic writing has an appropriate level of linguistic formality. Research has shown that linguistic features can distinguish between formal and informal texts. Different scholars have utilized different methods to define and measure formality. The present study compares the degree of formality of applied linguistics articles written in English by native English speaking and Iranian non-native English-speaking researchers by calculating their F-scores, a measure of formality introduced by Heylighen and Dewaele (1999). In total, 80 articles were selected from four international journals. Half of them were written by Iranian non-native researchers and the other half by native researchers. The results indicated a medium level of formality in both groups. However, articles written by Iranian non-native researchers were found to have a significantly higher degree of formality. Broadly, this research has implications for teachers of English in different areas, journal editors, materials developers and researchers who want to publish internationally.


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