Author: Wu, Xiaoyan
Title: The use of hedging devices in academic writing : a comparison of expert and student writings
Advisors: Feng, William (ENGL)
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2017
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
English language -- Rhetoric -- Study and teaching (Higher)
Academic writing -- Study and teaching (Higher)
Department: Department of English
Pages: 37 pages : illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: The use of hedging devices is a salient rhetorical feature in the academic writing discourse, which allow writers to make claims with due caution and position the writer-reader relationship. Building on previous researches on hedging in academic writing, this comparative study investigates the deployment of hedging devices in the rhetorical section of Discussion in empirical research articles. Based on a corpus of 30 Discussion sections collected from three journals of applied linguistics and language teaching/learning, and another one consisting of 23 Discussion sections of master student dissertations in the same discipline, this study examines the differences and/or similarities in the use of hedging devices between expert and student academic writings. The results show that in general experts deploy hedges at a higher frequency than students, and a more diverse and flexible employment of various hedging devices could be found in expert academic writings. These divergences may be attributed to students' insufficient understanding of the convention in academic writing along with the deficient attention hedging receives in academic writing instructions. Some pedagogical suggestions are proposed in order to not only arouse students' consciousness of the significant role hedging plays in academic writing but also reinforce students' repertoire in hedging.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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