The Corpus of Health Science Research Article Introductions (CHSRAI)

This project involves visiting scholar Aysel Şahin Kızıl (İzmir Bakırçay University) and CLaC members Lee McCallum and Benet Vincent with guidance from Hilary Nesi.

Exploration of lexico-grammatical features of different registers and text types is an important area in Applied Linguistics and a key area of interest for CLaC. Our project is interested in using recent developments in phraseology to develop pedagogic materials for novice researchers writing in English as an second language. Studies in this area have highlighted the importance of acquiring recurrent multiword sequences in understanding the language of various disciplines. One type of approach which can yield multiword sequences of pedagogical value is phrase-frames (p-frames), discontinuous multiword items with a variable slot (e.g. it is * that, the * of this project). By investigating frequently-occurring p-frames and their common ‘fillers’, we can identify semantically coherent multiword sequences (Römer, 2010). P-frames have been used as an approach to investigate the phraseological profile of academic language in Social Sciences (Lu, Yoon, & Kisselev, 2018, 2021), Mathematics (Cunningham, 2017), Business Management (He, Ang, & Tan, 2021) and Education (Golparvar & Barabadi, 2020). Although these studies yielded significant results regarding the properties of p-frames, a closer scrutiny reveals that more research is needed to better understand the disciplinary variation, the methodological choices used in p-frame identification and their pedagogical utility.

This project aims to systematically investigate the phraseology used in research article introductions published in the Health Sciences and to develop a list of pedagogically useful phrases aligned with rhetorical moves and steps.

This project has 3 main objectives:

  1. Descriptive: to provide a description of frequent p-frames and resulting phrasal units with their rhetorical functions as used in research articles in Health Sciences
  2. Methodological: to reflect on the methods through which p-frames have been identified across various studies so far and recommend criteria used to extract p-frames and filtering procedures to generate useful lists of phrases.
  3. Applied: to explore the use of p-frames list for pedagogical purposes.


Cunningham, K. J. (2017). A phraseological exploration of recent mathematics research articles through key phrase frames. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 25, 71.

Golparvar, S. E., & Barabadi, E. (2020). Key phrase frames in the discussion section of research articles of higher education. Lingua, 236, 102804.

He, M., Ang, L. H., & Tan, K. H. (2021). A corpus-driven analysis of phrase frames in research articles on business management. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 39(2), 139–151.

Lu, X., Yoon, J., & Kisselev, O. (2018). A phrase-frame list for social science research article introductions. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 36, 76–85.

Lu, X., Yoon, J., & Kisselev, O. (2021). Matching phrase-frames to rhetorical moves in social science research article introductions. English for Specific Purposes, 61, 63–83.

Römer, U. (2010). Establishing the phraseological profile of a text type. English Text Construction, 3(1), 95–119.

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