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Factors other than a time-sense relationship govern tense selection. Thus, it is misleading to teach verb tense choice based on time lines only. We need to point out the communicative purposes of verb tenses in discourse frames. Motivated by a concern for the pedagogical significance of studying tense choice in relation to rhetorical functions, this paper investigates tense choice in English research article abstracts written by English native speaking authors and Korean authors, using Hyland’s (2004) model. Few differences were found between the NS and the NNS. However, we can see that tense use conventions are changing, especially in the Product move, which corresponds to the Results move in general terms. Quite a few authors employed the present tense in the Product move which has conventionally preferred the use of the past tense. The results show that a question of tense choice in the Product move can not be clear-cut because choosing the present tense does not exclude the possibility of the past and vice versa. Nevertheless, the discussion in this study gives us the confidence to make judgements of modality we intend in


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English research article abstracts/tense choice/rhetorical functions