Investigating Metadiscourse Markers in Book Reviews and Blurbs: A Study of Interested and Disinterested Genres


  • Alireza Jalilifar Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz
  • Samira Hayati Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz
  • Alexanne Don University of New South Wales



Metadiscourse Markers, Book Reviews, Blurbs, Interested Genres, 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. ‎


Author Biographies

Alireza Jalilifar, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz

Alireza Jalilifar is professor of applied linguistics at Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran. 

He has published extensively in in academic discurse. Jalilifar is the editor-in-chief of Journal of Research in Applied Linguistics. Besides, Jalilifar has supervised more than 50 MA and 10 PhD theses in Iran. His main interests are second language writing, genre analysis, and academic discourse.

Samira Hayati, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz

Samira Hayati is a PhD candidate in applied linguistics at Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz.

Alexanne Don, University of New South Wales

Alexanne Don is assisstant professor of applied linguistics at University of New South Wales. She received an MA (TEFL, Birmingham, UK) in 1997, and was awarded her PhD in 2007 (Applied Linguistics, Birmingham, UK). She has been an Art and/or language teacher and lecturer in Australia, Japan, and the UK. In pursuing her main research interests in social semiotics - investigating the relations between language, context, and identity - she uses the discourse analytic tools of Systemic Functional Linguistics and its metaphorical nephew, the Appraisal framework.