Rearticulating Rhetorical Modes of Apologies in Academic Texts: EFL University Students' Voices


  • Anselmus Sudirman Universitas Sarjanawiyata Tamansiswa, Indonesia
  • J. C. Setyo Karjono Universitas Sarjanawiyata Tamansiswa, Indonesia



The objectives of this research are 1) to describe the frequencies of rhetorical modes of apologies in academic texts written by EFL university students, and 2) to find out problems that they face when constructing rhetorical modes of apologies through exposition, narration, description and argumentation genres of writing. Using documents and interviews, this qualitative research mainly deals with the purposive sampling technique, data reduction, and display concerning rhetorical modes of apologies and problems on constructing them. The research results show that the interpretation of students' rhetorical expressions is meta-pragmatic based on interactions, linguistic nuances, and rhetorical meanings. Rhetorical modes of apologies influence the language production, contextual expressions, and dissemination of messages to audiences or readers. The language used in the rhetorical modes of apologies is integrally connected to one's identity, personality, and situation. Therefore, several efforts are made to see how linguistic differences in a series of interactions lead to denials, avoidance of responsibility, reduction of offensiveness, corrective action, and mortification. The interview results outline that rhetorical modes of apologies function as an integral part of interests, utilities, and moral values instead of some problems the students faced while writing the academic texts.


Download data is not yet available.


Abasi, A. R. (2012). The pedagogical value of intercultural rhetoric: A report from a Persian-as-a-foreign-language classroom. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21(3), 195–220. DOI:

Beck, S. W. (2009). Composition across secondary and postâ€secondary contexts: cognitive, textual and social dimensions. Cambridge Journal of Education, 39(3), 311–327. DOI:

Belcher, D. (2014). What we need and don’t need intercultural rhetoric for: A retrospective and prospective look at an evolving research area. Journal of Second Language Writing, 25, 59–67. DOI:

Benoit, W. L., & Smythe, M. J. (2003). Rhetorical theory as message reception: A cognitive response approach to rhetorical theory and criticism. Communication Studies, 54(1), 96–114. DOI:

Bruner, M. L. (2011). Rhetorical studies and national identity construction. National Identities, 13(4), 403–414. DOI:

Chávez, K. R. (2015). Beyond Inclusion: Rethinking Rhetoric’s Historical Narrative. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 101(1), 162–172. DOI:

Christoffersen, K. (2019). Linguistic Terrorism in the Borderlands: Language Ideologies in the Narratives of Young Adults in the Rio Grande Valley. International Multilingual Research Journal, 13(3), 137–151. DOI:

Connor, U. (2004). Intercultural rhetoric research: beyond texts. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 3(4), 291–304. DOI:

DiSanza, James R., Legge, N. J. (2016). The Rhetoric of Persuasive Attack: Continuing the Development of a Taxonomy of Attack Strategies and Tactics. Relevant Rhetoric, Volume 7, 1–16. Retrieved from

Ellwanger, A. (2012). Apology as Metanoic Performance: Punitive Rhetoric and Public Speech. Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 42(4), 307–329. DOI:

Ene, E., McIntosh, K., & Connor, U. (2019). Using intercultural rhetoric to examine translingual practices of postgraduate L2 writers of English. Journal of Second Language Writing, 45, 100664. DOI:

Ficcadenti, V., Cerqueti, R., & Ausloos, M. (2019). A joint text mining-rank size investigation of the rhetoric structures of the US Presidents’ speeches. Expert Systems with Applications, 123, 127–142. DOI:

George, R., & Edwards, Katherine Gordon Nicoll, N. S. (2004). Rhetoric and Educational Discourse : Persuasive Texts (First Edit). London: RoutledgeFalmer.

John D. Ramage, John C. Bean, J. J. (2016). Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings. (B. Potthoff, Ed.) (7th Editio). London: Pearson Education, Inc. Retrieved from

Kjeldsen, J. E. (2018). The rhetoric of sound, the sound of arguments. Three propositions, three questions, and an afterthought for the study of sonic and multimodal argumentation. Argumentation and Advocacy, 54(4), 364–371. DOI:

Liu, J. (2008). The Generic and Rhetorical Structures of Expositions in English by Chinese Ethnic Minorities: A Perspective from Intracultural Contrastive Rhetoric. Language and Intercultural Communication, 8(1), 2–20. DOI:

Liu, Y., & Zhu, C. (2011). Rhetoric as the Antistrophos of pragmatics: Toward a “Competition of Cooperation†in the study of language use. Journal of Pragmatics, 43(14), 3403–3415. DOI:

Matthew B. Miles, A. Michael Huberman, J. S. (2014). Qualitative Data Analysis: A Methods Sourcebook (Third Edit). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Mircică, N. (2014). Communication and Rhetoric in Knowledge. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 149, 591–594. DOI:

Nemesi, A. L. (2013). Implicature phenomena in classical rhetoric. Journal of Pragmatics, 50(1), 129–151. DOI:

Novak, M. (2020). Multi-modal argumentation and rhetoric in judicial proceedings. Argumentation and Advocacy, 56(1), 41–60. DOI:

Papadopoulos, A., & Hegarty, K. (2017). Moving beyond the metaphor, reaching beyond the rhetoric: Social work education in a changing environment. Journal of Cleaner Production, 168, 357–365. DOI:

Polezzi, L. (2014). Description, appropriation, transformation: Fascist rhetoric and colonial nature. Modern Italy, 19(3), 287–303. DOI:

Rawson, K. J. (2018). The Rhetorical Power of Archival Description: Classifying Images of Gender Transgression. Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 48(4), 327–351. DOI:

Rieder, J. (1990). Rhetoric of Reason, Rhetoric of Passion. Rationality and Society, 2(2), 190–213. DOI:

Shaw, P., & Vassileva, I. (2009). Co-evolving academic rhetoric across culture; Britain, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany in the 20th century. Journal of Pragmatics, 41(2), 290–305. DOI:

Stein, Kevin A. & Ostrowsky, M. K. (2016). “Taco the Puppy is Super Sickâ€: Student Excuses as a Unique Form of Apologia Rhetoric. Relevant Rhetoric, Vol. 7, 1–19. Retrieved from

Towner, E. B. (2010). Truly Public Apologies: Third-Party Participation in Rwandan Apologetic Rhetoric. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 11(1), 63–69. DOI:

Valentine, R. Y. (1981). The rhetoric of Horacio’s narration in Rayuela. Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, 58(4), 339–344. DOI:

Waller, G. F. (1987). The new rhetoric and the new literary theory. Poetics, 16(2), 103–107. DOI:

Werry, C. (2005). Rhetoric and reflexivity in cognitive theories of language. Language & Communication, 25(4), 377–397. DOI:




How to Cite

Sudirman, A., & Karjono, J. C. S. (2020). Rearticulating Rhetorical Modes of Apologies in Academic Texts: EFL University Students’ Voices. Tamansiswa International Journal in Education and Science (TIJES), 1(2), 16–24.




Citation Check