A Structural Move Analysis in the Introduction Section of Indonesian EFL Undergraduate Students’ Theses

Merina Devira, Purwati Purwati, Irma Dewi Isda, Baihaqi Baihaqi, Firman Firman


This research aimed to reveal the rhetorical structures (Moves) of the thesis introduction sections written by a group of students at English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Education Department and if the thesis introduction sections written by the students are in line with the standard model. This research employed a qualitative study and the subject of the research were all student theses with the relative score A (86-100) assessed based on the thesis defense examination during the Academic Year of 2020/2021 in Even Semester. The number of theses selected was six (6) introduction section texts coded as follows: T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, and T6. The analysis was done manually and by referring to the revised CARS model by Swales (2004 cited in Pashapour et al., 2018). The steps constructed in the students’ thesis introduction were highlighted and classified into the Move based on the communicative purposes realized. The results of data analysis revealed that the lowest occurrence of steps constructed by the text samples in Move2 and a relatively higher proportion of steps found in Move1 and Move3 indicated that the thesis introduction sections written by students are misguided and unstructured. Although the text samples selected were confirmed as the most outstanding thesis performance with the A (86-100) score, this finding showed that the students have a lack of knowledge and familiarity with the generic structure of the thesis introduction section. Therefore, several points related to the teaching of academic writing (literacy) and the handling of thesis supervision should be recommended to an institution for better students’ performance in completing their theses
Keywords: Academic writing, genre analysis, a structural move analysis, the thesis introduction section.

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