Textual Organization of Request Letters in Spanish and English and of Request Memoranda in Spanish: an Exploratory Study


  • María Stella Martínez Contreras Universidad del Norte
  • Francisco Moreno Castrillón Universidad del Norte




genre-based analysis, generic structure, moves, written communications, request letters and memoranda


This paper describes a genre-based analysis of a group of request letters in Spanish and English and of request memoranda in Spanish, all produced by native speakers of Spanish1. The framework of analysis adopted is based on the concept of genre propo­sed by Swales (1990) and Bathia (1993). The generic description of these letters and memoranda shows which moves appear to be more conventionalized. The relationship between contextual factors and the choice of moves is explored. This paper concludes that this type of analysis can provide useful insights into the design of teaching materials for business communications in Spanish and English.

Recieived: 31-05-04 / Accepted: 13-09-04

How to reference this article:

Martínez Contreras, M. S. & Moreno Castrillón, F. (2004). Textual Organization of Request Letters in Spanish and English and of Request Memoranda in Spanish: an Exploratory Study. Íkala. 9 (1), pp. 83 – 102 

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Author Biographies

María Stella Martínez Contreras, Universidad del Norte

Doctora en Lingüística aplicada: Enseñanza de Inglés Subespecialidad: Análisis de Discurso. Investigadora del Grupo Educación y Lenguaje, reconocido por Colciencias.

Ph.D, M.A. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Francisco Moreno Castrillón, Universidad del Norte

Ikala.indd Máster en Filología Hispánica. Máster en Administración de Empresas. Profesor de la Universidad del Norte y Coordinador Académico del Di­ plomado en Enseñanza del Español como Segunda Lengua. Departamento de Lenguas. Investigador del Grupo Educación y Lenguaje, reconocido por Colciencias.


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How to Cite

Martínez Contreras, M. S., & Moreno Castrillón, F. (2004). Textual Organization of Request Letters in Spanish and English and of Request Memoranda in Spanish: an Exploratory Study. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 9(1), 83–102. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ikala.3143