Genre-Based Inquiry of Literature Review in Social Sciences Master’s Theses


  • Gideon Sumayo Southern Christian College
  • Donnie Tulud University of Southern Mindanao


Rhetorical Moves, Genre Analysis, Literature Review, MA Theses, Philippines


Literature review (LR) as a distinct type of genre was disregarded continuously, and its rhetorical moves and steps were less explored. Hence, this research attempted to study the rhetorical structure through move analysis of the LR section of social science master’s theses. The research determined the common rhetorical moves employed in the 30 LR sections of quantitative theses at the University of Southern Mindanao Graduate School. The rhetorical structure in the LR sections was examined using the move structure model formulated by Hsiao and Yu (2012). Results revealed that the thirty LR corpora employed presenting field knowledge, occupying the niche, but deficient in classifying themes, and integrating and relating previous works to the current study as their text features. Findings also revealed that every thesis writer in the 30 LR corpora have various ways of presenting their LRs, which means that there is no general pattern or format in writing LR in thesis manuscripts analyzed. This implies that the LRs in the master’s theses analyzed are written in a variety of styles depending on the orientation of the writers not following Hsiao and Yu’s prescribed model. Also, an additional step was subsumed under Move 4 and is labeled announcing the conceptual framework, which is not evident in the previously published model structure for LR, which means this step is considered a new structure in the literature review section evident only in the USM Graduate School.


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Author Biographies

Gideon Sumayo, Southern Christian College

Gideon S. Sumayo teaches at the Senior High School Department, School of Basic Education, Southern Christian College, Midsayap, Cotabato, Philippines. He is a graduate of Bachelor of Secondary Education major in English and Master of Arts in Language Teaching major in English from the University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan, Cotabato, Philippines. More so, he is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Education major in Applied Linguistics at the University of the Immaculate Conception, Davao City, Philippines. He currently teaches English-related subjects in the Senior High and Junior High levels specializing in Reading and Writing Skills and English for Academic and Professional Purposes.

Donnie Tulud, University of Southern Mindanao

Donnie M. Tulud teaches at the Department of English Language and Literature, College of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Southern Mindanao (USM)-Kabacan, Cotabato. He finished his Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Linguistics at the University of the Immaculate Conception, Davao City in 2015. He is currently an Assistant Professor 4 and the Program Head of Master of Arts in Language Teaching Major in English at the University of Southern Mindanao (USM), Kabacan, Cotabato.



How to Cite

Sumayo, G., & Tulud, D. (2021). Genre-Based Inquiry of Literature Review in Social Sciences Master’s Theses. International Journal of Language and Literary Studies, 3(2), 97–113.