Ivan Grigoriev, Alexandra Sokolova

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Although displaying authorial stance is an inseparable component for Anglo-American academic writing tradition, it seems to be problematic for those who are at the beginning of their academic writing career. The use of first-person pronouns is the most vivid principle of moving from formality and objectivity to uncovering the authorial stance and thus to involving the reader into the discussion. The paper focuses on the way novice writers use first-person pronouns for self-positioning. A corpus of Research Proposals written by Russian students majoring in five different subjects has been analyzed to establish discourse functions of first-person pronouns used, as well as to identify what has the major influence on the use of pronouns for authorial stance: disciplinary field or traditions of Russian academic writing. The research showed that socio-cultural traditions in writing influence greatly the way the students explain their position: ‘polite we’ not only outnumbers ‘I’ occurrences, but could substitute it in violation of conventions; disciplinary differences in discourse and textual features of the first-person pronoun use are not very visible but still play a part in academic writing. The findings from this research have implications for EAP curricula developers.

Key words: authorial stance, research proposal, self-positioning, academic genres.

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