Hedges and Boosters in Academic Writing: Native vs. Non-Native Research Articles in Applied Linguistics and Engineering

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

University of Tabriz

Abstract

The expression of doubt and certainty is crucial in academic writing where the authors have to distinguish opinion from fact and evaluate their assertions in acceptable and persuasive ways. Hedges and boosters are two strategies used for this purpose. Despite their importance in academic writing, we know little about how they are used in different disciplines and genres and how foreign language writers present assertions in their writing. This study explores the use of hedges and boosters in the research articles of two disciplines of Electrical Engineering and Applied Linguistics. It further examines the use of hedges and boosters by native and non-native writers of English in these research articles. Based on a corpus of twenty research articles, the overall rhetorical and categorical distribution of hedges and boosters were calculated across four rhetorical sections (Abstract, Introduction, Discussion, and Conclusion) of the research articles. The analysis shows that the overall distribution of hedges and boosters in Applied Linguistics articles is higher than Electrical Engineering articles. Moreover, there are significant differences between native and non-native writers in the use of hedges and boosters. These findings may have some implications for the teaching of academic writing especially to EFL learners.
 
 

Keywords


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