Investigating Metadiscourse Markers in Book Reviews and Blurbs: A Study of Interested and Disinterested Genres
Informed by the need to study metadiscourse, the present study aimed to compare book reviews and blurbs as examples of disinterested and interested genres in four disciplines of applied linguistics, literature, history, and psychology. The study relied on two corpora: (a) 200 book reviews in each discipline between 2005 and 2015 (b) 4282 blurbs in the above disciplines within the same time span. To analyze the texts, Hyland’s (2005a) classification of metadiscourse markers was employed. The findings of the study showed that the frequency and type of metadiscourse markers in blurbs and book reviews are genre dependent. Generally, metadiscourse markers preponderated in the book reviews than in the blurbs (44.5 vs. 32.8 per 1000 words), which can be ascribed to the functionally dissimilar communicative purposes of the two genres. The insights gained from this study can be of tremendous help to deepen our understanding of these genres and to show how evaluation and other textual features of writing are verbalized across disciplines and across genres.