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Chinese PhD thesis acknowledgements A communities of practice perspective by Hua Peng


Chinese PhD thesis acknowledgements A communities of practice perspective by Hua Peng

While there is a comparatively rich research literature on English acknowledgement texts, research into Chinese PhD thesis acknowledgement texts, especially the social roles of the texts, has received little attention. To fill this gap, this book examines a corpus of Chinese PhD thesis acknowledgement texts in order to explore both the typical structure of the texts and their social function within the particular university setting as well as within a broader social context. The author uses stratified purposive sampling and semi-structured text-based interviews with PhD graduates, their supervisors and other acknowledgee representatives to gather data. Furthermore, PhD guidebooks, supervisors' CVs and graduates' publications have been collected. Three theoretical notions - communities of practice, audience and politeness - are drawn into account for the findings of the study. Besides uncovering several undocumented move patterns, the book offers insightful understanding of acknowledgement texts both as a part-genre of research writing as well as a window of the textual and social world of PhD graduates' chorus of gratitude.

About the Author

Hua Peng is a lecturer at the School of Foreign Languages and Literature, Fudan University, P.R. China. She received her MA at Fudan University and EdD degree at the University of Sydney. Her research interest is in the area of sociolinguistics, EFL learning and teaching professionalism. She is currently working on the genre-based analysis of EFL learners' electronic discourse and EFL learning from a communities of practice perspective.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th December 2010


Hua Peng

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Peter Lang AG, Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften


255 pages


Speaking / pronunciation skills
Literary studies: general
Philosophy & theory of education



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