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Hedging and academic writing: an analysis of lexical hedges
Hedging is an important metadiscourse device that should be used for various motives particularly in academic writing because it acts as a face-saving strategy and represents the certainty of the scientists’ knowledge on the study field, but nevertheless it is not an obvious consideration for many non-native writers of English. Although the significance of hedging in academic writing is beyond argument, excessive use of it may create a counter-productive result. In other words while underuse of hedging may lead to overstatement, overuse of it may bring about suspicions on the credibility of the statements, therefore a moderate and balanced used of hedging is a necessary for the true credibility of the author on the reader. In this regard, the present study investigated academic texts of native writers and non-native writers of English with purposes of revealing the differences between them in terms of hedging strategies while composing an academic text; detecting lexical hedges used by native writers and non-native writers of English and diversity of these hedges through some analyses; creating a list of lexical hedges; and offering some suggestions regarding the use of lexical hedges in academic writing.
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