Corpus-based Research on lexical Features of English Abstract in Postgraduates’ Thesis of Fashion Majors

Weili Zi

Abstract


English abstract is the accurate summarization of an article. English Abstract writing ability is a must for postgraduates of fashion majors. This paper analyzes the features of lexical usage in English abstract of fashion-major postgraduates’ thesis in terms of lexical variability and lexical density with help of corpus methodology. A small-scale corpus of 50 abstracts is built with the name English Abstract of Postgraduates’ Thesis for Fashion Majors (EAPFM), which is collected from a random sample of 126 English abstracts of postgraduates’ thesis between 2013 and 2015, 50 English abstracts of English Speaking Experts (EAESE) are taken as reference corpus. When analyzing the modal verbs, British Academic Written English (BAWE) is adopted as the reference corpus. The research result shows that the lexical coverage rate of academic words from English abstract of English-speaking experts is greater than that from fashion-major postgraduates’ English abstract. The total types of English-speaking experts’ abstracts are more than that of fashion-majors’. The frequency of the eight central modal verbs except shall from British Academic words corpus and English abstract corpus of fashion majors exhibit significant differences. What’s more, central modal verbs should and will are overused while would is less used in English abstract of postgraduates’ theses of fashion majors. Modal verb can is most frequently used by those of fashion majors because they are more self-assured for their research topics. This research is to strengthen the awareness of correctly used academic words of those postgraduates of fashion majors, and improve their academic writing ability by providing postgraduate teaching reform with the necessary data evidence.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v5i2.12139

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