The Use of Hedges and Boosters in Monolingual and Bilingual EFL Learners’ Academic Writings: The Case of Iranian Male and Female Post-graduate MA Articles

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Humanities, Payam-e Noor University, Tehran, IRI


Expressing doubt and certainty in academic writings requires a cautious use of hedges and boosters. Despite their importance in academic writing, little is known about how they are used in monolingual and bilingual male and female EFL learners’ academic writings. To shed some lights on the issue, the present study investigated the use of hedges and boosters in research articles written by monolingual and bilingual male and female EFL learners. Based on the collected corpus from twelve academic research articles, the overall rhetorical and categorical distribution of hedges and boosters were identified across four sections of these articles (Abstract, Introduction, Discussion, and Conclusion). The results evinced that the overall distribution of hedges and boosters in research articles written by bilinguals was higher than that of monolinguals. Moreover, there were significant differences between male and female EFL learners in the use of hedges and boosters in their academic research articles. These findings not only paved the way for further studies in the use of hedges and boosters but they also presented some beneficial implications for teaching of academic writing to EFL learners.


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