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This paper examines discursive features of engagement (Hyland, 2009) demonstrated by native English- and Russian-speaking academics in their research articles. Pronoun choice, formation of directives, references to shared information, and use of rhetorical questions are identified in written academic discourse and analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. This research connects the use of interactional features in research-based writing and the communicative practices of the authors. It is argued that academic discursive traditions are molded by the sociocultural environment, which either encourages or discourages a writer to engage in dialogue with the reader.