This paper reports on the development of the analysis engine for the Research Writing Tutor (RWT), an AWE program designed to provide genre and discipline-specific feedback on the functional units of research article discourse. Unlike traditional NLP-based applications that categorize complete documents, RWT’s analyzer categorizes every sentence in the text as both a communicative move and a rhetorical step. We describe the construction of a cascade of two support vector machine classifiers trained on a multi-disciplinary corpus of annotated Introduction texts. This work not only demonstrates the usefulness of NLP for automated genre analysis, but also paves the road for future AWE endeavors and forms of automated feedback that could facilitate construction of functional meaning in writing.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/elena_cotos/8/