Submission Letters across English Language Teaching and Mathematics: The Case of Iranian Professionals

Alireza Jalilifar


Submitting an article to an English journal for publication requires enclosing an accompanying cover letter. Yet, the phraseology and rhetorical conventions of such letters are not comprehensively documented in literature. This article investigates two English corpora of genuine electronic submission letters to journal editors by Iranian English Language Teaching and Mathematics professionals. After gathering 200 e-mail correspondences of academics with journal editors worldwide, 60 messages (30 from each) sent with the purposes of providing or requesting information were selected and analyzed for specific rhetorical patterns following Santos’ (2002) model. Eventually, the results were juxtaposed to a highly characteristic covering letter – provided in Okamura and Shaw (2000). With few exceptions in Math corpus, both corpora illustrate proper choices regarding phraseology. Concerning rhetoric, ELT submission emails are more compatible with those of English native academics, whereas Math messages carry the rhetorical patterns in Non-native academics’ messages. With the diversity that may exist in the generic structure and function of submission letters, further research investigating communicative purposes of e-mail genre is needed.

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Copyright (c) 2009 Alireza Jalilifar

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English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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