Should a Book Be Judged by its Back Cover? Some Written/Formal Features as Observed in Happily-Ever-After Women’s Novel Blurbs

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Apisak Pupipat


This study examined written/formal register based on happily-ever-after women’s fiction conventional blurbs. In particular, the 80 blurbs were equally divided into two types: the classic and mass-marketed. Biber et al. (2021) was used as the framework to extract features to respond to the two research questions: What were the top written/formal features among the classic and mass-marketed happily-ever-after women’s novel blurbs? And, which blurb type displayed more resemblance to written/formal register? The functional framework comprised three main groups of features: The passives, adjectivals and adverbials. Results revealed that the first two showed a strong tendency towards written/formal register while the last seemed to show the opposite but was taken here to be in-between features, corresponding to fiction language. The top written/formal features based on the two types of blurbs were the passives (both the full and reduced forms) (26%), full relative clauses (23%), full adverbial clauses (20%) and attributives (13%). The blurb type that seemed inclined towards written/formal nature more was the classic, as substantiated by five salient features: the passives, attributives, -en adjectivals, -ing adverbials and -en adverbials. It is believed that discourse analysts and ESL/EFL teachers can pay more attention to these useful syntactic features, particularly the full and reduced forms, as ways to compress information in formal writing.

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How to Cite
Pupipat, A. (2023). Should a Book Be Judged by its Back Cover? Some Written/Formal Features as Observed in Happily-Ever-After Women’s Novel Blurbs. LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network, 16(1), 604–630. Retrieved from
Research Articles
Author Biography

Apisak Pupipat, English Department, Liberal Arts, Thammasat University, Thailand

An Associate Professor who enjoys teaching English, linguistics and literature (and sometimes music) at Thammasat University’s English Department. In the free time, he listens to western classical music and dhamma talks, and reads humor to laugh at life’s little ironies. He can be contacted at [email protected].


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