Ibérica (Apr 2011)

Delineating sampling procedures: Pedagogical significance of analysing sampling descriptions and their justifications in TESL experimental research reports

  • Jason Miin-Hwa Lim

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 21
pp. 71 – 92


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Teaching second language learners how to write research reports constitutes a crucial component in programmes on English for Specific Purposes (ESP) in institutions of higher learning. One of the rhetorical segments in research reports that merit attention has to do with the descriptions and justifications of sampling procedures. This genre-based study looks into sampling delineations in the Method-related sections of research articles on the teaching of English as a second language (TESL) written by expert writers and published in eight reputed international refereed journals. Using Swales’s (1990 & 2004) framework, I conducted a quantitative analysis of the rhetorical steps and a qualitative investigation into the language resources employed in delineating sampling procedures. This investigation has considerable relevance to ESP students and instructors as it has yielded pertinent findings on how samples can be appropriately described to meet the expectations of dissertation examiners, reviewers, and supervisors. The findings of this study have furnished insights into how supervisors and instructors can possibly teach novice writers ways of using specific linguistic mechanisms to lucidly describe and convincingly justify the sampling procedures in the Method sections of experimental research reports.