A Comparative Genre Analysis of Hedging Expressions in Research Articles: Is Fuzziness Forever Wicked?

Biook Behnam, Amin Naeimi, Ali Darvishzade


Scientific writers might not inevitably be exact, precise and explicit in expression, eschewing vulnerability to criticism and seeking acceptability form academia. The present study aimed at investigating the frequency, form and function of the multi-objective linguistic and rhetorical device of hedging in the discussion sections of 100 qualitative and quantitative research articles where appropriate expression of scientific claims is highly welcome. As such, the taxonomy proposed by Hyland (1996) was applied in order to identify and classify the various hedge words, followed by an independent-samples t-test to compare the total number of hedging devices. The results revealed a statistically significant difference between qualitative and quantitative research articles with respect to both frequency and form of the employed hedge words, bearing important implications for educational researchers and practitioners in applying appropriate hedging strategies in the academic publishing of scientific texts.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ells.v2n2p20


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