This paper examines email requests sent by Indonesian students to Japanese university professors using English as their lingua franca. It particularly analyzes how students modify their email requests using internal and external modifications as a way to soften the force of the imposed requests. Data were gathered from a total of 56 authentic emails and analyzed using a framework contrived by Economidou-Kogetsidis (2011), a modified Cross-Cultural of Speech Act Realization Patterns (CCSARP) coding scheme initially developed by Blum-Kulka, House & Kasper (1989). The result showed that while Indonesian students barely use the internal modifications to soften the imposition of their written requests, they tend to rely more on the use of external modifications using supporting moves. This strategy can indirectly modify the illocutionary force of the request as the students ensure that they provide their professors with enough background information and justify the reason behind their request through grounder moves. This present study also shows a shift in students' communication style where brevity is highly preferable.
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