custom essays
Home > Essay Help, Writing Tips > Hedging: a Tool to Make Your Essay Academic

Hedging: a Tool to Make Your Essay Academic

academic writingAcademic writing has a variety of linguistic means and today we are going to examine one of them in detail. There are times when the writer has to use a so called tentative language which is per se an unassertive way of making claims and interpreting ideas so to say. This way the author sounds less categorical regarding borrowed opinions and general facts. This linguistic tool is called hedging and is applied in academic writing in order to distance oneself from stating uncorroborated facts. As a result, besides its formality, hedging is an impersonal construction devoid of pronouns “you”, “we”, “I” etc. It is rather significant for it has several types and can be widely used.

Hedging with verbs

The verbs “to appear” and “to seem” are put to use whenever it is necessary to relieve oneself of responsibility for the stated words.

It seems that people finally understand the problem of global pollution and start to take action.
It appears that the news reports are talking about the same thing today.

The profit of the company seems to be growing.

The cyclone appears to be changing.

This way the assumptions sound quite dependable because they create the impression of being based on trustworthy sources. However, they don’t seem too absolute in case they turn up to be wrong.

You could also use the modal verb “would” to make everything even more distant.

It would seem that his siblings also claim an interest in property.

It would appear that officials haven’t made a decision yet.

The joint-stock company would seem to be preparing for selling its shares.

They would appear to have troubles with paying taxes.

Hedging with noun phrases

It is natural that noun phrases with a tentative meaning are applied in this kind of hedging because they have the same purpose as the previous type of the academic writing tool..

There is little chance that this candidate will win this year elections.

There is some doubt on the subject of educational reforms as it is a very serious step.

There is no evidence that this politician has committed a crime.

There is a substantial percentage of people who take medication without prescription.

Hedging with the passive

The passive voice is a well-known means of reporting with a distinct pragmatic meaning. It is the perfect construction to hedge in academic papers.

It is widely recognized that the future depends on the Net generation.

It is believed that the cause of the fire wasn’t accidental.

It is not known if the judge has made his decision in favour of the accused.

It has been shown that the findings of the research are very crucial for the science world.

Obviously, all the above mentioned ways of hedging make writing academically “decorated” and they are to be used when it is essential to render facts in an ambiguous perspective.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.