Reinvestigation of Editorial Genre on the Basis of Generic Structure

Category: Christmas, Genre, God, Jesus
Last Updated: 27 Jan 2021
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Editorial research has been developed since about 2005 by some professionals in the field such Scholar Ansary or Babaii because there are many following journals of editorials citing their previous development such as Fartousi and Dumanig (2012), Ansary and Babaii(2009) and so on.

Out of the gap in the confirmatory developed by Ansary and Babaii (2005), the research attempts to apply their framework in the online editorials of China Post and the consequence manifests that their editorial GSP matches the consequence of the study, further confirming their research result; however, there are some limitations in the study: there are many other English editorials in non-English-speaking countries not researched yet, so if the future study can confirm the previous research results, then the reliability in the editorial GSP can be more stabilized to the extent of a principle-like theorem.

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Then, an editorial GSP slightly differs from the work of Ansary and Babaii (2005), id est, that of Fartousi and Dumanig (2012), but the most order or acronyms in Ansar and Babaii’s (2005) editorial GSP is nearly the same; consequently, if the future study can make comparisons among editorial GSPs, the editorial GSP will be developed more completely and perfectly.

For the pedagogical implication, the editorial GSP can be designed into a curriculum as an extra-curricular course or even an in-class one for students in the secondary or tertiary education in order to raise learning interest and the medium of communicating competence through absorbing and internalizing the editorial content as a subject or the discipline of in-class oral communication. Introduction

In light of Ansary and Babaii (2005), during the past years, there has been much research in genre in and across many linguistic use domains; then, the concept, genre, has been a framework for the analysis of the form and rhetorical function such as research articles, dissertations, editorials…, serving as a tool for developing educational practices in rhetoric, linguistics, composition studies, ESP, EAP, and so on

The interest in the research lies in the need to confirm a genre model that can be applied into non-English-as-L1 pedagogical environment, the one in Taiwan in order to discipline students’ capability of understanding editorial genre to bolster their reading comprehension for the better effective communication competence. Therefore, based on such stance, it is expected that the editorial genre model may also be applied to the editorial genre in the online version of Taiwan editorial genres which will be discussed in the methodology.

For the research relative to the study theme, there is considerable. For instance, Anaray and Babii(2005) have formulated the editorial GSP on the online Washington editorials, which is the main base of the study. Next, Flowerdew and Dudley-Evans(2002) refer to their findings that they may contribute to the comprehension of the function and nature of letter editorials regardless of none generalization about it.

Then, Katajamaki and Koskela(2006) studies rhetorical structure of editorials in English, Swedish, and Finnish business newspapers whose conclusion finds that when there is variation, it concerns two stages of the rhetorical structure, i. e. solution and moral, and that editorials in business newspapers seldom present any direct solutions for the critical issues discussed.

Besides the aforementioned studies, Ansary and Babii(2009) report that an ‘unmarked’ English newspaper editorial, published either in Iran or Pakistan or the USA, typically consists of four obligatory and two optional generic rhetorical elements. Furthermore, Fartousi and Dumanig (2012) identify the rhetorical pattern of an English editorial titled ‘the Hoodies of NWO’ published on October 8, 2011 in the Tehran Times –the most read English daily newspaper- in Iran: RH ^ AI ^ (BI) ^ (IA) ^ A ^ (CR) ^ (AS): RH: Run-on Headline, CR: Concluding Remark, AS: Articulating a Solution.

In accordance with Ansary and Babaii (2005), they investigate the 30 editorials from online Washington Times in a perspective of SFL—Systemic Functional Linguistics—founded by Michael Halliday and creates a genre model for editorials; however, she expresses in the final textual page before the references that There is a dearth of confirmatory research attempting to examine whether the identified generic patterns apply to other corpuses. To serve this line of investigation, then, it seems advisable to consolidate the findings of previous exploratory genre analyses, including the one reported here, through further research.

Therefore, the purpose of the paper is to reinvestigate the gap in the aforementioned journal by Ansary and Babaii (2005), The Generic Integrity of Newspaper Editorials: A Systemic Functional Perspective, on the basis of the work of them and the British linguist, M. A. K. Halliday. If the research successfully proves the fact the genre model with respect of editorials can be applied to the online Chinese Mandarin versions of editorial model, then, it will benefit the pedagogical domain and contribute the academic value concerning the development of the editorial genre format more completely and even fully to academic boundary.

Literature Review

This research is to reinvestigate if the editorial GSP developed by Ansary and Babaii (2005) and based on Halladian Systemic Functional Linguistics model of texts analysis, can be applied into that of online China Post in Taiwan and to be more specific and detailed, this study is check whether their GSP ( Generic Structural Potential) of English newspaper editorials can be applied into it.

What relates to the concepts of the study theme are SFL, Systemic Functional Linguistics, GSP, Generic Structural Potential, and certain acronyms of a certain genre, say, editorial, exemplified later as follows. Accordingly, the study explores relevant research: First, there will be some relevant editorial works from different scholars; then GSP, is stated in detail and one real GSP of editorials listed below for illustration. For SFL, it’s a textual analytical tool or model or framework (Ansary and Babaii, 2005 & Hughes, 2009) set up by M.

A. K. Hallidy and by Morley (1985), it states that SFL interprets language as a systematic network of meaning potential and that systems compose language. For the GSP Hassan and Halliday develop it in 1989, and according to Ansary and Babaii(2005), a GSP of a genre is a condensed statement of a text (or a genre) in its CC (Contextual Configuration), and by Hassan(1984), he describes the GSP of a certain genre as “a statement of the structural resources available in a given genre.

Furthermore, in accordance with Halliday and Hasan (1989), a GSP is an abstract theoretical concept that ... express[es] the total range of optional, [iterative], and obligatory elements and their order in such a way that we exhaust the possibilities of text structure for every text that can be appropriate to [the Contextual Configuration of that text]. In order to further specify the definition of GSP, the following is given and from the research result on editorial GSP done by Hassan: [pic]

For each symbol acronyms, the following is its explanations: the caret, ^, is sequence; H stands for Heading; BI, Background Information; AI, Addressing an Issue; IA, Initiation of Argumentation; A; Argumentation; CA; Closure of Argumentation; AP, Articulating a Position; round brackets, ( ), represent optionality; the square brackets, [ ], the limit concerning sequence(the none changeability of sequence); the dot, . means the changeability of order; the braces with an arrow— {[pic]}— stand for the degree of repetition. At last, n and m represent several sets of iteration. To sum up, under SFL theories, it is practicable to use its model later developed, i. e. , GSP, to analyze a structure of a certain genre and the analytical consequence can be formulated by symbols and acronyms in a line. Methodology

The Framework for the Analysis of Online China Post Editorials Based on the work of Ansary and Babaii (2005) with regard to editorial GSP: [pic], the experiment will be conduced by the same analytical framework for the identification of texts used by Ansary and Babaii (2005). Analytical Procedure: The Sample Analysis of a Full Text As to the in-depth textual analysis, a sample from China Post Online will be given in order to show the how; for the analysis presentation, it just centers on higher-level rhetorical structure of texts, the mode constituting the larger parts of texts

The sample below is an editorial from The China Post electronically published on the column titled Editorial, on the website: http://chinapost. com. tw on Wednesday, December 26, 2012. Result |HEADLINE: |Seeking Christmas while sifting the man from the myth | | | | |The explanation of Jesus’ birth on Christmas. | |ADDRESSING AN ISSUE: |Christmas in Taiwan is not a traditional or mandatory occasion. Contrary | | |to most Western countries, where the annual holiday is celebrated and | |Christmas for Taiwanese is not a traditional or |given so much importance, Christmas is rather an occasion of convenience | |mandatory occasion but a day for friends and |for friends and family. |family reunion. | | |INITIATION OF ARGUMENTATION |For sure, there is more and more convenience for shopping — almost one in | | |two Christmas shoppers do their shopping online — and searching for that | |Buying Christmas gifts for the important one |special someone during the Christmas season.

Every time we celebrate | |becomes more convenient, but the faith or the |Christmas, however, we shouldn't run away from the challenges that come | |concepts to Christmas should be challenged |with it: to question one's faith. | |ARGUMENT 1: |In his new book, “The Infancy Narratives — Jesus of Nazareth,” Pope | | |Benedict XVI addresses such challenges when he tells us that there is | |In Pope Benedict XVI’s new book, there are some |something wrong with the timing, animals and angels of Christmas.

And | |challenges against the customary Christmas |these little changes make a huge difference. | |concepts. | | |ARGUMENT 2: |Everybody knows that Jesus wasn't actually born on Dec. 25, but the pope | | |indicates that the date for Christmas was based on a blunder by a | |In spite of the common sense about Jesus’ |sixth-century monk who was several years off in his calculation of Jesus' | |birthday not on Dec. 5, the pope further |birth date. | |indicates the wrong origin. | | |ARGUMENT 3: |What significance might this have? It doesn't change the themes and the | | |narrative of the biblical story, which is: Jesus came as a baby, as a | |Pope Benedict manifests that Jesus was a real |savior to redeem mankind.

But in Pope Benedict's words, it shows that | |figure despite the narratives about him in the |Jesus was a real historical figure, who walked on Earth and talked to | |bible. |people like anyone else. | |ARGUMENT 4: |Another thing that the pope challenges is our understanding that farm | | |animals were present on Christmas Eve. In fact, there were probably no | |The pope raises that the farm animals weren’t |oxen, sheep nor donkeys.

The pope says in his book that the animals were | |present on Christmas Eve. |implicitly referenced in the text, not explicitly, like in this passage | | |from Luke 2:7, which reads: “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and | | |wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was| | |no place for them in the inn. | |ARGUMENT 5: |What about the angels singing? Were there any angels singing? The pope is | | |also saying that there were angels but they were talking, not singing, to | |The angels on the scene were talking instead of |the shepherd. The angels offered directions as to where to find the baby. |singing and were showing the way to find the |The angel said to them, “Don't be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good| |infant Jesus. |news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today a Savior, who is | | |Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. This will be the | | |sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a | | |feeding trough. | |ARTICULATING A POSITION 1: |While we are celebrating Christmas, we should follow the pope in trying to| | |understand the world where Jesus was born and try to better understand | |A thought from the writer is that we should |contemporary Taiwan. Through his new book, Pope Benedict tells us that | |follow the pope’s argument of Jesus’ birth place |even though Caesar brought peace to the Roman Empire, a tiny child brought| |and try to better understand contemporary Taiwan. something much more wonderful: God's peace and a promise to eternal life | | |and the end to sin. | |ARTICULATING A POSITION 2: |If you are also wondering why Christmas came to be such a great | | |celebration in the West, you should also try to find the answer for | |The writer suggests the attitude of questioning |yourself and question your religion and beliefs.

While we may all agree | |the reader’s religion and beliefs and refers to |that the pope is a traditional man, we should find comfort that he is | |his feeling on the pope’s contribution with |attempting to explain how the birth of Jesus changed history forever, | |regard to the birth of Jesus. |especially on Christmas Day. | Validity and Reliability of the Analysis

It is a must to do logical tests to found the analytical validity and reliability, and in light of Yin (1984), construct validity is referential to “setting up correct operational measures for the studies notations” and reliability refers to proving that the study can be reiterated with the same results. Additionally, Yin (1984) suggests the steps in add- ing construct validity and the how is reviewing and cross-examining the analytical result y the frequent discussions with a postgraduate researcher (Dr. E. Babaii), yet, out of the lack of such suitable one, it is temporarily put off. Besides, for vindicating the analytical reliability, the approach mentioned by Ansary and Babaii (2005) is in the following: First, they randomly selected 10 texts from the corpus and requested two judges with a beforehand training background to independently code the texts. Second.

They used Kappa coefficient (K) as a felicitous non-parametric measure to index the degree of agreement between coders and their codings, and the inter-coder and intra-coder reliability indices were calculated: kappa coefficient must exceed . 60 to be dependable and valid index of an acceptable degree of agreement between judges. Under Prof Chen’s requirement, there are 5 extra GSP analyses from the same editorial website in the following: New Taiwan dollar closes flat after sharp surge (January 8, 2013)GSP:H^[AI]^{IA^A1^A2}{AP}{IA^A1}^{AP} KMT leaves year-end bonus loophole: DPP

January 8, 2013, GSP:H^[AI]^{IA^A1^A2^A3^A4}^{AP1^AP2^AP3^AP4} Opposition, ruling parties must agree: time is not on our side December 19, 2012 GSP:H^[AI]^{IA^A1^A2^A3A4}^{AP1^AP2^AP3^AP4} Benefits for the aged are more than just a handout December 11, 2012 GSP:H^[AI]^{IA^A1^A2^A3^A4}^{AP1^AP2^AP3^AP4^AP5} In Diaoyutais dispute, time has come for pragmatic diplomacy November 8, 2012 GSP:H^[AI]^{IA^A1^A2}^{AP1^AP2^AP3^AP4} Discussion The GSP for the editorials based on online China Post can be listed as: [pic] [pic]

H^[AI]^{IA^A1^ A2^ A3^ A4^ A5}^{AP1^AP2} In the above GSP, the caret sign indexes sequences order; the square brackets delimit sequence; the braces with an arrow indicate the degree of iteration. In sum, the aforementioned GSP is a condensed statement signifying an editorial from online China Post may appear in this way: an editorial typically begins with a headline and then addresses an issue and later argumentations and finally end with the articulation of the position. In ddition, such arguments and positions can be repetitive until the conclusion is mentioned. Conclusion Based on the result and discussion, it is obvious that the GSP of the editorials in the online China post matches the one raised by Ansary and Babaii(2005), but the limitation is that if there are more different data sources in the respect of editorials, the editorial GSP may be further confirmed and the degree of reliability may also be increased. For the comparisons between the literature findings as well as mine, it is elaborated below.

First, in light of Katajamaki and Koskela(2006), they further indicate the variation in business editorial GSP bout their possible changes, whose result pattern is quite similar to Ansary and Babaii’s (2005) and more detailed; therefore, it is a point the future study may refer to. Then for Fartousi and Dumanig (2012) in the comparison between their and mine findings, they’re fairly similar as well: they their editorials GSP contains AR(Articulating a Resolution).

Later, for Flowerdew and Dudley-Evans(2002), their finding is that they couldn’t form a formula but can describe of the nature and function about the editorials they analyze. Additionally, in terms of Ansary and Babaii(2009), they express that the non-native English language newspapers often carry a translated version of the same editorial printed in the native language edition of the newspapers, so it is a good research direction in the multiple comparisons in different editorial GSP with regard to whether L2 editorials may transfer their L1 into the editorials.

Finally, the pedagogical implication lies in that the model can be applied into teaching materials as part of the development for student’s interest in learning English instead of being restricted to the dull textbooks merely, especially for the textbooks in tertiary education and their comprehension in this field.


  1. Ansary, Hasan, & Babaii, Esmat (2005). The Generic Integrity of Newspaper Editorials: A Systemic Functional Perspective, Indian Journal of Applied Linguistics Ansary, Hasan, & Babaii, Esmat
  2. (2009). A Cross-culture Analysis of English Editorials: A Systemic-Functional View of Text for Contrastive
  3. Rhetoric Research Fartousi, Hassan & Dumanig, Francisco Perlas (2012). A Rhetorical Analysis of an Editorial: “The Hoodies of NWO”. World Science Publisher, United States Flowerdew, John & Dudley-Evans, Tony
  4. (2002) Genre Analysis of Editorial Letters to International Letters, Oxford University Press Katajamaki, Heli & Koskela, Merja
  5. (2006) The rhetorical structure of editorials in English, Swedish and Finnish business newspapers. Teoksessa Proceedings of the 5th International Aelfe Conference. Actas del V Congreso International AELFE.

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Reinvestigation of Editorial Genre on the Basis of Generic Structure. (2017, Jan 01). Retrieved from

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