Argumentation has remained under-researched in studies analyzing academic journal publications despite its importance in academic writing. This paper reports a study in which we investigated stereotypical argumentative trends, lexico-grammatical features, and interactional metadiscourse markers in 354 research article freestanding discussion sections from the journal of ESP over forty years. The field of ESP was chosen because of its maturity, which has given substance to a dynamic ground for arguments. We drew on the pragma-dialectical approach to analyzing argumentations in the corpus. Findings indicated that due to the argumentative nature of the discussion section, certain argumentative trends recurred more often. The analysis of the lexico-grammatical features and metadiscourse markers of the standpoints also showed patterns of variability over time. The study concludes that it is imperative to incorporate relevant facets from various argumentation models to construct a comprehensive argumentation theory and gain deeper insights into argumentation in academic writing.
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