Demystifying Discussion Section in Engineering Laboratory Reports


  • Veeramuthu Veerappan, Mokhtarrudin Ahmad, Wei Hui Suan, Afizal Md Aris


This study examines the genre of Engineering Laboratory Reports (ELR) discussion
section written by Electrical Engineering Undergraduates in a higher learning institution. The
aims of this study are to identify the rhetorical moves and combinations of move patterns used by
engineering students to write discussion section of ELR. A genre analysis is deemed important to
identify writing patterns and convention practices of engineering undergraduate students thus a
corpus of N= 35 was selected from electrical engineering students in their third and fourth year
of study. This study adopted an interdisciplinary approach to address the analytical framework
based on Genre Theory and Ngowu [1] analytical model was used for data analysis. The
procedures of the move analysis were based on Biber [2] BCU Approach. A pilot test was
conducted to determine the model that fits the best to describe moves and steps of ELR. The
study benchmarks a move or step to be present in at least 60% of the reports. The results show
Presenting Experimental Outcomes as the main move followed by Step 1 Restating purpose or
procedures of experiment as an optional step while Step 2 Stating Specific outcome and Step 3
Interpreting outcomes as mandatory steps. The two steps in discussion section (step 2 and 3) are
in cyclical pattern and most frequently occurred along with move 4. Step 3 is extensively written
by employing various thinking skills that are explicitly written without much manipulation and
speculation to the information. As discipline-specific writing continues to gain importance in
EAP context, this study determines ways to help students to acquire discipline-specific literacy
and to shed light on discoursal research methodology.


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How to Cite

Veeramuthu Veerappan, Mokhtarrudin Ahmad, Wei Hui Suan, Afizal Md Aris. (2020). Demystifying Discussion Section in Engineering Laboratory Reports. PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt / Egyptology, 17(9), 1864 - 1886. Retrieved from