As an important part-genre in the research article (RA), the abstract has gained significant attention from the academic community. A well-written abstract can attract more readers and increase the chances of the accompanying RA being indexed and cited. Previous genre analyses of RA abstracts have tended to focus on English and European languages, an on social science disciplines, such as linguistics. However, abstracts written in Chinese and in the hard sciences, such as chemistry, have been less analyzed. This study is a genre analysis on 40 RA abstracts written in two languages, English and Chinese and from two disciplines, chemistry and linguistics. The cross-disciplinary and cross-linguistic analyses reveal that linguistics abstracts follow a conventional scheme, but chemistry abstracts in these two languages do not exhibit the usual norms in terms of moves. Besides, greater difference in move structure is seen across languages in chemistry. The abstracts also manifest differences in sentence-level grammatical features such as the use of the first person pronoun and the passive voice. The results indicate that RA abstracts display differences in structure due to the differences in the writers' disciplinary and linguistic background. The results of this study can be drawn on in academic writing courses for graduate students and novice writers, especially those from non-English backgrounds in order to facilitate their successful acculturation into these disciplinary communities.