Jordanian Journals
Editorial Board
International Advisory Board
Scope and Description
Manuscript Submission
Manuscript Organization  
Publication Ethics  
JJMLL Issues  
Contact Address




On the Use of Hedges and Boosters in Different Sections of Research Articles Published in National and International Journals





This study was conducted to investigate the frequency of the use of hedges and boosters in academic writings of both Farsi and English writers. To do  so, 200 articles from four qualified journals were selected to create four different corpora. The corpora were then analyzed for the presence of hedges and boosters completely, using Ant Conc analyzer free ware. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests helped us to discuss the findings. The findings suggested that Iranian native writers made less use of hedges  in their writings compared to  English native writers, which means that nonnative writers are less conservative in claiming their results. The results of the chi square test showed that the difference between  Persian and English writers was significant. The pattern of using hedges and boosters in different parts of the articles is also different. The results and discussion sections of the articles had the highest frequency of the presence of hedges and boosters, and the methodology section had the least frequency.  The results of this study can help material developers for graduate and post graduate courses or course designers to focus more on the pragmatic part of language teaching. Nonnative writers want to publish their articles in prestigious journals in order to reach   academic identity, so the results of this study can help them to learn the pattern of writings in English. Language teachers can stress  this cross-cultural difference in their classes to increase the level of self-confidence of their students and help them to clarify their points while communicating, without becoming disappointed.

Keywords: Discourse, Discourse markers, Hedges, Boosters, Research papers, Academic writing.


Authors: Marzieh Ranjbar , Hooshang Yazdani , Moussa Ahmadian , Majid Amerian

Doi: https://doi.org/10.47012/jjmll.15.3.2


Cited by: Jordan Journal of Modern Languages and Literatures (JJMLL) 2023, 15 (3): 765-781


Full text




Abdi, Reza. 2002. Interpersonal Metadiscourse: An Indicator of Interaction and Identity. Discourse studies 4 (2): 139-145.

Afshar, Hassan Soodmand, Mohamad Moradi, and Raouf Hamzavi. 2014. Frequency and Type of Hedging Devices Used In The Research Articles Of Humanities, Basic Sciences And Agriculture. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 136: 70-74.

Akbas, Erdem, and Jan Hardman. 2018. Strengthening or Weakening Claims in Academic Knowledge Construction: A Comparative Study of Hedges and Boosters in Postgraduate Academic Writing. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice 18 (4).

Atai, Mahmoodreza, and Lela Sadr. 2006. A Cross-Cultural Genre Study on Hedging Devices in Discussion Section of Applied Linguistics Research Articles. In Proceedings of the conference of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistic: 42-57.

Behnam, Biook, Amin Naeimi, and Ali Darvishzade. 2012. A Comparative Genre Analysis of Hedging Expressions in Research Articles: Is Fuzziness Forever Wicked?. English Language and Literature Studies 2 (2): 20.

Brown, Penelope and Stephen C. Levinson. 1987. Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage 4. Cambridge university press.

Crismore, Avon, Raija Markkanen, and Margaret S. Steffensen. 1993. Metadiscourse in Persuasive Writing: A Study Of Texts Written By American And Finnish University Students. Written Communication 10 (1): 39-71.

Crompton, Peter. 1997. Hedging in Academic Writing: Some Theoretical Problems. English for Specific Purposes 16 (4): 271-287.

Crystal, David.1998. On Keeping One’s Hedges in Order. English Today 4 (3):46-47.

Drave, Neil. 2002. "Vaguely speaking: A corpus approach to vague language in intercultural conversations." In New frontiers of corpus research, pp. 25-40. Brill Rodopi.

Farrokhi, Farahman, and Safoora Emami. 2008. Hedges and Boosters in Academic Writing: Native Vs. Non-Native Research Articles in Applied Linguistics and Engineering. Journal of English Language Pedagogy and Practice 1 (2): 62-98.

Fraser, Bruce. 2010. "Pragmatic competence: The Case of Hedging". In New approaches to hedging: 15-34. Brill.

Halliday, M. A. K. 1985. An Introduction to Functional Grammar (1st ed.). London: Edward Arnold.

Hashemi, Mohammad R., and Danial Shirzadi. 2016. The Use of Hedging in Discussion Sections of Applied Linguistics Research Articles with Varied Research Methods. Journal of Teaching Language Skills 35 (1): 31-56.

Hinkel, Eli. 2005. Hedging, Inflating, and Persuading in L2 Academic Writing. Applied Language Learning 15 (1/2): 29.

House, Juliane, and Gabriele Kasper. 2011. Politeness Markers in English and German. In Conversational routine, pp. 157-186. De Gruyter Mouton.

Hu, Guangwei, and Feng Cao. 2011. Hedging and Boosting In Abstracts of Applied Linguistics Articles: A Comparative Study of English-And Chinese-Medium Journals. Journal of pragmatics 43 (11): 2795-2809.

Hyland, Ken. 1994. Hedging in Academic Writing and EAF Textbooks. English for Specific Purposes 13 (3): 239-256.

Hyland, Ken. 1996. Writing without Conviction? Hedging in Science Research Articles. Applied Linguistics 17 (4): 433-454.

Hyland, Ken. 1999. Disciplinary Discourses: Writer Stance in Research Articles. Writing: Texts, Processes and Practices99121.

Hyland, Ken. 2001. Bringing in the Reader: Addressee Features in Academic Articles. Written Communication 18 (4): 549-574.

Hyland, Ken. 2002. Authority and Invisibility: Authorial Identity in Academic Writing. Journal of Pragmatics 34 (8): 1091-1112.

Hyland, Ken. 2004. "Perspectives on Genre". In K. Hyland (Ed.), Genre and Second Language Writing (pp. 24-50). Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.

Hyland, Ken. 2004. Disciplinary Discourses, Michigan Classics ed.: Social Interactions in Academic Writing. University of Michigan Press.

Hyland, Ken. 2017. Metadiscourse: What Is It and Where Is It Going?. Journal of pragmatics 113: 16-29.

Hyland, Ken. 1998. Hedging in Scientific Research Articles. Vol. 54. John Benjamins Publishing, 1998.

Hyland, Ken.2005a. Stance and Engagement: A Model of Interaction in Academic Discourse. Discourse Studies 7 (2): 173-192.

Hyland, Ken. 2005b. Metadiscourse: Exploring Interaction in Writing. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Jalilifar, Alireza, and Mohammad Alipour. 2007. How explicit instruction makes a difference: Metadiscourse markers and EFL learners' reading comprehension skill. Journal of College Reading and Learning 38 (1): 35-52.

Khedri, Mohsen, and Konstantinos Kritsis. 2018. "Metadiscourse in Applied Linguistics and Chemistry Research Article Introductions." Journal of Research in Applied Linguistics 9 (2): 47-73.

Kopple, William J. Vande. 1985 Some exploratory discourse on metadiscourse. College composition and communication: 82-93.

Lakoff, George. 1972. Hedges: A study in meaning criteria and the logic of fuzzy concepts." In Contemporary research in philosophical logic and linguistic semantics, pp. 221-271. Springer, Dordrecht.

Mauko, I. 2014. The native speaker of English-A clash of conceptualisations: A comparative analysis of self-ascribed and non-elective native/non-native English speaker identity. MA thesis, University of Helsinki


Mirzapour, Fatemeh, and Mohammad Rasekh Mahand 2012. Hedges and boosters in native and non-native library and information and computer science research articles. 3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature® 18 (2).

Myers, Greg. 1989. The pragmatics of Politeness in Scientific Articles. Applied linguistics 10 (1): 1-35.

Quirk, Randolph, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, and Jan Svartvik. 1985. A Comprehensive English Grammar. London and New York: Longman.

Rezanejad, Atefeh, Zahra Lari, and Zahra Mosalli. 2015. A Cross-Cultural Analysis of the Use of Hedging Devices in Scientific Research Articles. Journal of Language Teaching and Research 6 (6): 1384.

Sundquist, Colleen. 2013. The Use of Hedges in the Speech of ESL Learners. ELIA. Estudios de Lingüística Inglesa Aplicada 2013 (13): 149-174.

Toulmin, Stephen. 1958. The Uses of Argument. Cambridge university press.

Varttala, Teppo. 2001. Hedging in Scientifically Oriented Discourse. Exploring Variation According to Discipline and Intended Audience. Tampere University Press.

Vassileva, Irena. 2001. Commitment and Detachment in English and Bulgarian Academic Writing. English for Specific Purposes 20 (1): 83-102.

Vassileva, Irena. 2011. Hedging in English and Bulgarian academic writing. In Culture and styles of academic discourse, pp. 203-222. De Gruyter Mouton, 2011.

West, Gregory K. 1980. That-nominal Constructions in Traditional Rhetorical Divisions of Scientific Research Papers. TESOL quarterly 14 (4): 483-488.

Yates, Linda. 2010. "Pragmatic Challenges for Second Language Learners". In Pragmatics across languages and cultures, pp. 287-308. De Gruyter Mouton.


Copyright © 2006-2022. All Rights Reserved, Yarmouk University