Interaction in two journalistic genres
A study of interactional metadiscourse
The study of interactive features of language has been a very productive source of insights into written discourse in recent years, revealing the ways that writers engage with readers to successfully persuade them of a particular viewpoint in a range of different genres and contexts. While a variety of approaches have illuminated our understanding of these features, the concept of interactional metadiscourse has been particularly valuable in revealing how writers project themselves into their discourse to signal their understandings of their material and their audience. In this paper we draw on Hyland’s (2005a) model of metadiscourse to explore some of the ways that interaction contributes to the success of two journalistic genres: popular science and opinion articles. Examining 200 popular science and 200 opinion texts, we show that despite the broadly similar audience and sources of these genres, authors structure their interactions very differently, contributing to the rhetorical distinctiveness of these genres. The paper not only offers a detailed account of interactional metadiscourse in these genres, but illustrates how interpersonal connections are accomplished for particular persuasive purposes in everyday public texts.
Keywords: boosters, interactional metadiscourse, attitude markers, popular science, opinion texts, engagement features
Published online: 28 April 2014
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