Hedging is a kind of language use which ‘protects’ your claims.

By Melinda Estridge on August 23rd, 2019

Hedging is a kind of language use which ‘protects’ your claims.

Using language with a amount that is suitable of can protect your claims from being easily dismissed. It also helps to indicate the amount of certainty we now have pertaining to the evidence or support.

Compare the next two short texts, (A) and (B). You will notice that although the two texts are, in essence, saying the thing that is same (B) has an important quantity of extra language around the claim. A large number of this language is performing the purpose of ‘hedging’.

Compare the next two texts that are short (A) and (B). Just how many differences do you realy see when you look at the text that is second? What’s the function/effect/purpose of each and every difference?

You will probably observe that (B) is more ‘academic’, however it is important to know why.

(A) Extensive reading helps students to boost their vocabulary.

(B) Research conducted by Yen (2005) seems to indicate that, for a substantial proportion of students, extensive reading may donate to a noticable difference in their active vocabulary. Yen’s (2005) study learners that are involved 15-16 when you look at the UK, even though it may be applicable to many other groups. However, the study involved an opt-in sample, which means that the sample students may have been more ‘keen’, or more involved with reading already. It would be useful to see whether or not the findings differ in a wider sample.

(please be aware that Yen (2005) is a fictional reference used only as one example).

The table below provides some situations of language to make use of when making knowledge claims.

Look for samples of hedging language in your reading that is own add for this table.

Phrases for Hedging

Language Function with Example Phrases

1) Quantifiers

a fraction
a minority/majority of
a proportion of
to a point

2) Appearance

appears to
has the looks of
is similar to
shares characteristics with
appears to be in line with

3) Possibility

has the possibility of
has the potential to
is able to

4) Frequency

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