Lexical bundles in student and professional writing in EAP
Multi-word units and metaphor in ESP
Lexical bundles have also been examined in research into student and professional academic writing (for example, Tribble, 2011; Hyland, 2008; Cortes, 2013). Hyland (2008) identified 240 different 4-word bundles in a 3.5-million-word written corpus of published and student writing including PhD dissertations and master’s theses). Hyland (2008) found up to almost 16,000 individual bundles in the corpus, accounting for approximately 2% of the total words. Hyland (2008) found differences in the amount of lexical bundles in the disciplines: Electrical Engineering (3.5%), Business Studies (2.2%), Applied Linguistics (1.9%) and Biology (1.7%) (Hyland, 2008, p. 12). The functions of the bundles were also analysed and categorised into research-oriented (e.g. the structure of the), text-oriented (for example, as a result of the) and participant oriented bundles (e.g. as can be seen). Hyland’s (2008) findings included that 50% of the bundles occurred only in one discipline, and 30% were shared in two other disciplines. These findings suggest that the amount and kind of lexical bundles can vary depending on the discipline.
Cortes (2013) investigated lexical bundles in student and professional writing in History and Biology. She found that academic writers (academics) and students varied in the amount of lexical bundles they used in writing, saying that students use fewer lexical bundles less often in writing, and tend to rely on a fairly small group of bundles. Chen and Baker (2010) examined the use of lexical bundles by Chinese learners of English and first language novice writers and first language professional writers in English. Professional writers were found to use more noun-phrase bundles and referential bundles than both groups of learner writers. The Chinese writers were found to use a small group of lexical bundles — a common finding in studies of second language writers as they tend to use the lexical bundles that they feel most comfortable with. Nesselhauf (2005 p. 69) refers to lexical bundles used in this way as ’lexical teddy bears’.