Analysing metadiscourse markers in your text

What are Metadiscourse Markers?

Text Inspector can analyse an important linguistic feature in a text called ‘metadiscourse markers’.

Also known as ‘transitions’, these are words and phrases such as ‘firstly’ and ‘in conclusion’ that add extra information to a text.

 

They can:

  • show how ideas in a text are connected to each other

  • help the reader understand which direction the text is flowing in

  • present the writer’s opinion and potentially take a stance

  • express the writer’s degree of certainty

  • help the writer connect with the audience

 

Most commonly, these markers are used in academic texts. However, you can also find them other types of texts you’ll encounter over the course of the average day. This can include blog posts, news articles, reviews, newsletters, and even works of fiction.

Why analyse textual metadiscourse markers?

By studying the textual metadiscourse markers in a text, we can better understand the text and become more effective learners, students and linguists.

 

This gives us clarity on essential details such as what the author was trying to say, their opinion on the topic, their argument, and the factual content of the text.

Of course when we understand language use more deeply, we can use our knowledge to improve the quality of our own writing.

Adding these types of words can help us express ourselves better in our non-native language, help others to understand what we’ve written, and potentially improve our academic performance.

 

What types of metadiscourse markers does Text Inspector analyse?

Text Inspector analyses thirteen categories of metadiscourse marker.

 

These are as follows:

  1. Announce Goals (Frame marker)
  2. Code glosses
  3. Endophorics
  4. Hedges
  5. Logical connectives
  6. Relational markers
  7. Attitude markers
  8. Emphatics (Boosters)
  9. Evidentials
  10. Label stages (Frame marker)
  11. Person markers
  12. Sequencing (Frame marker)
  13. Topic shifts (Frame marker)

 

These categories are based on the types identified by Stephen Bax, Fumiyo Nakatsuhara and Daniel Waller in their 2019 study published in the Science Direct journal. This study was built upon the work done by renowned British linguist Prof. Ken Hyland.

 

[If you’re not a linguist, try not to be overwhelmed with the terminology here! You can find a full list of the words further down the page]

Where do I find the metadiscourse information in the analysis?

1) When you analyse your text, you’ll see an overview page which contains a full summary of the analysis.

2) To find the metadiscourse information, look at the menu on the left side of the page. You’ll find a ‘metadiscourse’ tab which you should click.

3) Here you’ll see detailed information on the metadiscourse markers, presented as both a table and a graph (and split into tokens and types).

4) Below this you’ll see a full list of the words analysed. We’ve highlighted the metadiscourse markers here so you can better understand how they fit within the context of the text.

Remember that you also need to take account of the context to be sure that the term identified by Text Inspector is in fact being used as the discourse marker you were expecting.

Which metadiscourse markers do we use?

Below is the full list of Metadiscourse markers as used in Text Inspector. Remember that you also need to take account of the context to be sure that the term identified by Text Inspector is in fact being used as the discourse marker you were expecting.

Announce Goals (Frame marker)

  • my purpose
  • the aim
  • I intend
  • I seek
  • I wish
  • I argue
  • I propose
  • I suggest
  • I discuss
  • I would like to
  • I will focus on
  • we will focus on
  • I will emphasise
  • we will emphasise
  • my goal is
  • in this section
  • in this chapter
  • here I do this
  • here I will

Code glosses

  • for example
  • for instance
  • e.g.
  • i.e.
  • that is
  • that is to say
  • namely
  • in other words
  • this means
  • which means
  • in fact
  • Viz.
  • specifically
  • such as
  • put another way
  • known as
  • defined as
  • called

Endophorics

  • see
  • noted
  • discussed below
  • discussed above
  • discussed earlier
  • discussed later
  • discussed before
  • section
  • chapter
  • fig
  • figure
  • table
  • example
  • page

Hedges

  • almost
  • apparently
  • appear to be
  • approximately
  • assume
  • believed
  • certain extent
  • certain level
  • certain amount
  • could
  • couldn’t
  • doubt
  • essentially
  • estimate
  • frequently
  • generally
  • in general
  • indicate
  • largely
  • likely
  • mainly
  • may
  • maybe
  • might
  • mostly
  • often
  • perhaps
  • plausible
  • possible
  • possibly
  • presumably
  • probable
  • probably
  • relatively
  • seems
  • sometimes
  • somewhat
  • suggest
  • suspect
  • unlikely
  • uncertain
  • unclear
  • usually
  • would
  • wouldn’t
  • little
  • not understood

Logical connectives

  • and
  • but
  • therefore
  • thereby
  • so
  • so as to
  • in addition
  • similarly
  • equally
  • likewise
  • moreover
  • furthermore
  • in contrast
  • by contrast
  • as a result
  • the result is
  • result in
  • since
  • because
  • consequently
  • as a consequence
  • accordingly
  • on the other hand
  • on the contrary
  • however
  • besides
  • also
  • whereas
  • while
  • although
  • even though
  • though
  • yet
  • nevertheless
  • nonetheless
  • hence
  • thus
  • leads to
  • or

Relational markers

  • incidentally
  • by the way
  • determine
  • consider
  • imagine
  • let
  • let us
  • let’s
  • lets
  • note
  • notice
  • our
  • recall
  • our
  • us
  • we
  • you
  • your
  • one’s
  • assume
  • think about

Attitude markers

  • admittedly
  • I agree
  • amazingly
  • appropriately
  • correctly
  • curiously
  • disappointing
  • disagree
  • even
  • fortunately
  • have to
  • hopefully
  • important
  • importantly
  • interest
  • interestingly
  • prefer
  • pleased
  • must
  • ought
  • prefer
  • remarkable
  • surprisingly
  • unfortunate
  • unfortunately
  • unusually
  • understandably

Emphatics (Boosters)

  • actually
  • always
  • apparent
  • I believe
  • certain that
  • certainly
  • certainty
  • clearly
  • it is clear
  • conclusively
  • decidedly
  • definitely
  • demonstrate
  • determine
  • doubtless
  • essential
  • establish
  • in fact
  • the fact that
  • indeed
  • know
  • it is known that
  • must
  • never
  • no doubt
  • beyond doubt
  • obvious
  • obviously
  • of course
  • prove
  • show
  • sure
  • true
  • undoubtedly
  • well known
  • won’t
  • even if
  • should
  • by far

Evidentials

  • according to
  • cite
  • cites
  • quote
  • established
  • said
  • says
  • points out
  • points to
  • point to
  • point out
  • argues
  • argue
  • claim
  • claims
  • believe
  • believes
  • suggests
  • suggest
  • show
  • shows
  • proves
  • prove
  • demonstrates
  • demonstrate
  • found that
  • studies
  • research
  • literature

Label stages (Frame marker)

  • to conclude
  • in conclusion
  • to sum up
  • in sum
  • summarise
  • summarize
  • overall
  • on the whole
  • all in all
  • so far
  • thus far
  • to repeat

Person markers

  • I
  • we
  • me
  • my
  • our
  • mine

Sequencing (Frame marker)

  • to start with
  • first
  • firstly
  • second
  • secondly
  • third
  • thirdly
  • fourth
  • fourthly
  • fifty
  • fifthly
  • next
  • to begin
  • last
  • lastly
  • finally
  • subsequently
  • two
  • three
  • four
  • five

Topic shifts (Frame marker)

  • well
  • to move on
  • to look more closely
  • to come back to
  • in regard to
  • with regard to
  • to digress

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