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Comparative Study of Interactional Metadiscourse Markers in the Discussion Section of Soft and Hard Science Research Articles: Hedges and Boosters in Focus
The aim of this descriptive analytical study was to examine research articles discussion sections from four disciplines to measure the functions and frequencies of hedges and boosters. To this end, scholarly research articles were randomly selected from leading and reputable journals in mechanical and industrial engineering as representatives of hard science disciplines and management and psychology as representatives of soft science disciplines. The size of the corpus in each discipline was around 17000 words. The data were analyzed in light of Hyland's (2005) model of interactional metadiscourse for hedges and boosters devices. Results of descriptive and inferential statistics showed that the use of hedges was significantly more in soft science disciples while boosters were overused in hard science disciplines, corresponding to the fact that by virtue of being less personal and more objective, hard sciences are represented through more frequent use of boosters than hedges to express facts. On the other hand, soft sciences are influenced by their subjectivity which results in higher frequencies of hedges. The findings of this study have implications for English for Academic/Specific purposes courses.
Keywords: Discussion section, Research article, Metadiscourse, Booster, Hedge.
Cited by: Jordan Journal of Modern Languages and Literatures (JJMLL) 2021, 13 (2): 263-280
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