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This article discusses selected aspects of the organisation of the academic article introduction – a section of a central academic genre, recognised as both troublesome (Swales 1990) and strategically important, as it is at this stage that the reader forms the fi rst, and often lasting, impressions of the whole text. Based on Swales’ (1990) revised CARS model of article introductions and drawing on previous Polish–English contrastive studies (e.g., Duszak 1994; Golebiowski 1998, 1999), it looks into the placement, realisation, and role of the purpose statement in introductions to articles published in the years 2001-2006 in linguistics-related peer-reviewed Englishand Polish-language journals. It seeks answers to the following questions: (i) Is the statement of purpose a typical/recurrent feature of introductions to Polish-language articles? (ii) If it does occur in Polish, in which part of the introduction is it usually made by Polish authors as compared to English writers? (iii) What is the preferred way of announcing it in both groups of texts? and (iv) Can any assessment be made of its prominence in both languages on the basis of what precedes and what follows it? Contrary to what might have been expected on the basis of previous studies, the article demonstrates that the statement of purpose is in fact a stable element of the introduction to a Polish-language linguistics article, although its prominence depends on the presence of other rhetorical moves.
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