The Generic Integrity of Newspaper Editorials: A Systemic Functional Perspective

TitleThe Generic Integrity of Newspaper Editorials: A Systemic Functional Perspective
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsAnsary, Hasan, and Esmat Baba, ii
JournalRELC Journal: A Journal of Language Teaching and Research

One fruitful line of research has been to explore the local linguistic as well
as global rhetorical patterns of particular genres in order to identify their recognizable
structural identity, or what Bhatia (1999: 22) calls ‘generic integrity’. In terms of
methodology, to date most genre-based studies have employed one or the other of
Swales’ (1981/1990) move-analytic models of text analysis to investigate whether or
not the generic prototypical patterns that he has introduced exist universally. This
paper, however, considers the application of the Systemic Functional (SF) theory of
language to genre analysis. The paper looks, in particular, at distinctive rhetorical
features of English newspaper editorials as an important public ‘Cinderella’ genre
and proposes a generic prototypical pattern of text development for editorials or what
Halliday and Hasan (1989) refer to as the Generic Structure Potential (GSP) of a
genre. The results of this study should benefit both genre theory and Systemic Functional
Linguistics (SFL) and will be, it seems, of interest not only to applied linguists,
but to those involved in education, journalism, and the media.