Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English Language Education

Subject Categories

Language and Literacy Education


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Dept of English and Applied Linguistics

Thesis Advisor

Leah E. Gustilo

Defense Panel Chair

Sterling M. Plata

Defense Panel Member

Ethel Joy C. Ong
Francisco P. Dumanig


Citation is an essential aspect in academic writing that enables writers to provide context, display intellectual credibility, show acknowledgement of other author’s ideas, refer to the origin of ideas, and enable others to conduct further research. Aiding citation are reporting verbs that convey expression of perspectives, stance, and evaluation of other written works. This study aimed at identifying citation practices and use of reporting verbs among expert writers (quartile 1 journal article authors from SCIMAGO) and non-expert writers (Senior High School students of De La Salle University Integrated School). Specifically, preferences in the use of citation typologies, rhetorical function, and semantic categories were explored across IMRAD sections of articles from three disciplines and three groups from the Senior High School Academic Strand. The frameworks of Swales’ (1990) citation typologies, Thompson and Tribble’s (2001) rhetorical functions of citations, and Kwon et al.’s (2018) semantic categories of reporting verbs were utilized to analyze the datasets of expert and non-expert writers. Similarities and significant differences in citation practice and reporting verb use were identified through the application of log-likelihood test. Although it was found that non-expert writers used more citations and reporting verbs, expert writers were observed to use appropriate citation typologies, purposive use of rhetorical function, varied reporting verbs, and strategic use of reporting verb categories. However, non-expert writers were found to have limited and less strategic use of the rhetorical functions and semantic categories of reporting verbs. Divergence to standard formats and patterns were also noted among non-expert writers, specifically in the placement of reporting verbs. The selection of the most appropriate reporting verb to sustain discussion and initiate argument proves to be challenging for non-expert writers of this study. This difficulty explains the preference of non-expert writers to neutral Show reporting verbs. Contrary to literature, it was found that non-expert writers of this study are not adamant in utilizing integral citation and rhetorical functions that require the use of a reporting verb, which was noted to be grammatically challenging thus commonly avoided. A unique finding in this study is that the word stock of reporting verbs used by non-expert writers is greater compared to the lexical items of reporting verbs used by expert writers. Also, both expert writers and non-expert writers use phrasal verbs, combination verbs of different semantic categories, and the constant use of reporting verb adjuncts such as “according to”. The most important contributions of the present study are described under theoretical, empirical, methodological, and pedagogical categories. First, its theoretical contributions consist of the summarizations of different approaches, findings, and theories from previous works which informed the analysis of the present study. They were confirmed, challenged, or extended in the present study. More importantly, the present study provided an extended/modified frameworks of Thompson and Tribble (2001) and Kwon et al. (2018) which yielded well-defined categories. Future researchers may benefit from this modified frameworks not only because of their clear operationalized definitions but because they were used in a the analysis of a bigger corpus from both expert and non-expert writers. In addition, the present study provided a data-based model of citation and reporting verb practices of expert and non-expert writing which can be bases for analyzing other datasets and teaching for academic purposes. Second, its methodological contributions consist of the detailed description of the combined and modified procedures from previous studies which can guide future researchers. The present study ensured that decisions pertaining to methods have bases from the literature. Third, the present data provided rich empirical evidence based on a bigger corpus regarding how expert and non-expert writers manipulate their knowledge of citation's and reporting verb's function in order to suit their needs. This empirical, data-based evidence becomes a solid basis for cross-disciplinary pedagogical implications. Hence, the present study is confident in endorsing an empirically-based module in teaching citation and reporting verbs for Senior High School and other recommendations that may inform the teaching of citations and reporting verbs across disciplines. In addition, the proposed empirically-based model of common core and periphery of citation and reporting verb use by expert and non-expert writers across disciplines can benefit syllabi writers, curriculum designers, and research teachers in modifying and strengthening the grassroots teaching of

citation and reporting verbs. An added bonus goes to the expert writers as well. The

evidence provided here can provide information for the different disciplines regarding the features of citation and reporting verbs practiced within their community of practice/disciplines. Ultimately, the results of this present study will help English teachers and thesis and dissertation mentors in strengthening the teaching of citation and reporting verbs to be applied not merely to avoid plagiarism but rather to realize the greater objectives of research writing.

Abstract Format







Bibliographical citations; Academic writing; English language—Verb

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Available for download on Tuesday, May 16, 2028