Cautious Language and Hedging Hedging is a type of language use which 'protects' your claims. Using language with a suitable amount of caution can protect your claims from being easily dismissed.
Printed in Great Britain This paper reviews and evaluates some of the different ways in which the term hedge has been understood and defined in the literature.
Although the use of hedges as a politeness strategy offers the fullest functional account of hedging in academic writing, there has been a tendency to extend the reference of hedge to politeness-related features of academic writing, such as impersonal constructions, the use of the passive, and lexis-projecting emotions.
It is further argued that it is not possible to designate certain kinds of lexis as epistemically modal and that authors can only be held responsible for modalizing, or hedging, their own propositions.
A new definition of hedging in academic writing means, closely related to the ordinary definition, is suggested, together with a taxonomy of the hedges which would fit this definition so far identified in academic writing.
Unless or until a definition and a clear description can be achieved there seems little hope of studying or teaching the phenomenon consistently.
Hedge as a linguistic concept was introduced by G. As this concept is far from being clear, however, I would like to begin by reconsidering the ordinary use of hedge. Without having to concern them- Address correspondence to: Crompton selves with the precise forms hedging takes, the compilers of the following dictionary definitions boldly address the action of hedging: To go aside from the straight way; to shift, shuffle, dodge; to trim; to avoid committing oneself irrevocably; to leave open a way of retreat or escape [Oxford English Dictionary OEDMurray The OED definition evokes guerrilla-style tactics: Functions and Forms of Hedges If we bear its ordinary meaning in mind, G.
Firstly there is the question of function. If not, how can we tell those instances where it is serving as a hedge from those where it is not? Some kind of analysis is required.
The function of ordinary dare one say common or garden? What are these functions? Secondly, there is the question of form: If this is the case we are still a long way from developing a taxonomy of such items.
What are the various kinds of hedge? All subsequent researchers have been obliged to offer their own answers to these basic questions about function and form.
As we shall see, little agreement has so far been reached. Approximators and Shields Addressing the question of function, R. Lakoff introduced the subcategory of performative hedges, which modify the illocutionary force of Hedging in Academic Writing the speech act they accompany.
The area of per-formative hedging has been studied in some detail in relation to politeness and acts such as requesting, ordering, inviting, declining requests, etc.
However, much of this is not directly relevant to academic writing, in which, generally speaking, the main speech act performed is that of stating a proposition. Building on the work of the Lakoffs, Prince et al.
The function of approximaton is either to adapt a term to a non-prototypical situation e. Within shields they identified two further subclasses: In the conversations Prince et al. So, for example, attribution shields were a means of according status to reported information e.
Nevertheless, their characterization of the over- all function of shields is clear and economical, and anticipates later descrip tions of hedges as expressing epistemic modality. Under this scheme hedges would be designated commentative language, which serves the function of modulating propositions: Crompton respectability, we abandon the term hedge altogether, we abandon a useful label; the proposed substitute comment has far too large a scope, and like other euphemisms seems likely to lead to ambiguity.
There are kinds of comments on propositions which express attitudes other than uncertainty; e. These are formally similar but functionally quite different from:an important feature of academic writing is the concept of cautious language, or "hedging".
It is necessary to make decisions about your stance on a particular subject, or . Hedging It is often believed that academic writing, particularly scientific writing, is factual, simply to convey facts and information.
However it is now recognised that an important feature of academic writing is the concept of cautious language, often called "hedging" or "vague language". In academic writing, the use of hedging language is crucial to increase the credibility of your work.
In this post, we discuss hedging in academic writing and look at some examples of hedging sentences.
In writing, hedging words are used to convey certainty. In academic writing, the use of hedging language is crucial to increase the credibility of your work.
In this post, we discuss hedging in academic writing and look at some examples of hedging sentences. Features of academic writing Hedging.
It is often believed that academic writing, particularly scientific writing, is factual, simply to convey facts and information. However it is now recognised that an important feature of academic writing is the concept of cautious language, often called "hedging" or .
The term “hedging” in academic writing refers to a means of protecting (or strengthening) your argument. Sometimes, you may get comments from your instructors that “You have great ideas, but your argument here is far-fetched.