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This study presents an analysis of research article introductions (RAIs) written in Thai by Thai academic writers. The analysis is based on 40 Thai RAIs taken from Thai journals in educational and medical fields. The rhetorical characteristics and linguistic features of the RAIs are examined using the CARS model proposed by Swales (1990). The results show that the pattern of studied RAIs supports the general framework presented by Swales but the specific steps in the introductions are less consistent with the model. The Thai writers avoided criticizing and evaluating the works of others. They adopted different strategies in establishing a niche, including the ‘identifying-potential-problem strategy.’ Different from English writers, the Thai writers did not reveal the findings of their research and the research structure in the introduction section. In addition to announcing their present research and outlining purposes of their study, the Thai writers ended their research article introduction by indicating implications of their research. Linguistic features in the Thai RAIs were found different from those found in English RAIs studied by Swales. While the English writers employed various types of verbs in presenting previous research, the Thai writers used only a few reporting verbs. The topic-prominent aspect of Thai language and the limited use of passive voice in Thai also marked the differences in sentence constructions between Thai and English. The differences between Thai and English RAIs are due to socio-cultural aspects, cultural linguistics and research environments. Comparisons of RAIs in the fields of medical and educational research revealed the use of similar strategies, except that the Thai writers in medical fields used a greater number of English code-mixing with Thai. The results gained from this study can be used to design tasks and materials for teaching writing that focus not only on grammar but also on rhetorical structures and various genres of writing.