The macrostructure of research article abstracts: general and culture-specific characteristics (on the material of English, German, and Russian languages)

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2019, Vol. 5. №1

The macrostructure of research article abstracts: general and culture-specific characteristics (on the material of English, German, and Russian languages)

For citation: Silkina O. M., Khomutova T. N. 2019. “The macrostructure of research article abstracts: general and culture-specific characteristics (on the material of English, German, and Russian languages)”. Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates, vol. 5, no 1, pp. 16-33. DOI: 10.21684/2411-197X-2019-5-1-16-33

About the authors:

Olga M. Silkina, Postgraduate Student, Department of Linguistics and Translation Studies, South Ural State University (Chelyabinsk);

Tamara N. Khomutova, Dr. Sci. (Philol.), Head of the Department of Linguistics and Translation, South Ural State University (Chelyabinsk);


In the era of globalization, due to the growing need to publish research results in international journals, there is an increasing interest in the research article abstract, which is an integral part of a research article. At the same time, cultural differences can influence upon the content and the structure of the abstract. In order to minimize possible difficulties related to cultural differences in the process of abstract writing, it is necessary to develop a universal model of a research article abstract, which meets the standards of most international scientific journals. One of the important elements of a research article abstract is its macrostructure, which represents the deep level of the text meaning organization. This article describes a pilot study aimed at testing methods of identifying and studying the general and culture-specific features of the macrostructure of a research article abstract. The research material is represented by the three corpora of research article abstracts in English, German, and Russian. The criteria for the selection of texts and the course of research are described, the results obtained are interpreted. As a result of the analysis, the main types of macrostructures of English, German, and Russian research article abstracts were identified, the relationship between the type of an abstract and the type of its macrostructure was established. The “list of key questions” macrostructure corresponds to indicative abstracts and is more typical for Russian texts, the “problem — solution” macrostructure corresponds to informative abstracts and is typical of English and German abstracts. The differences are explained by the specific attitude of various types of cultures to such values as time, the nature of argumentation, and the nature of thinking.


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