Referential Coherence of Academic Texts: A Corpus-Based Analysis of L2 Research Papers in Management
This paper focuses on referential coherence, which is seen as a crucial attribute of effective academic writing. Findings are reported from a corpus study of Russian students’ research proposals. The learners’ use of anaphoric expressions is compared with a reference corpus, which comprises research articles published in peer-reviewed journals. It was hypothesised that learners use anaphora less frequently than professional writers and face some difficulties when using anaphoric expressions. The results of the analysis partly confirmed the hypothesis and allowed the identification of particular problems connected with the students’ use of anaphoric expressions, which were then classified into several groups. Examples of exercises aimed at dealing with the identified problems are also provided. It is hoped that the reported findings, as well as the author’s suggested reasons for the problems and possible ways of dealing with them, will be useful for EAP practitioners, researchers, and students writing their research papers in English.