Hedging as a Marker of Variation in Pakistani Research Dissertations of Sciences and Social Sciences


  • Tayyabba Yasmin Lecturer, University of Education, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Asim Mahmood Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • Sadaf Jabeen Assistant Professor, Lahore College Women University, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Ghazal Khalid Siddiqui Assistant Professor University of Education, Lahore, Pakistan




Academic Writing, Metadiscourse, Hedges, Epistemic


Perspicuous organization and persuasion are required in academic writing for creating unity, making claims, sequencing, and eloquence. Hedging is a distinctive aspect of academic writing. Hedging can be employed as a communicative strategy to decrease or enhance the strength of claims (Hyland, 1998). This research study explores the frequencies and grammatical categories of hedges in the research dissertations written by Pakistani authors. The corpus of the study contains 150 research dissertations of sciences and social sciences. The frequencies and forms of hedges are examined by utilizing Varttala’s (1999) classification of Hedges. Lists of hedges have been developed to identify the different categories of hedges. Instances of hedges have been extracted from the corpora with the help of AntConc 3.5.8 (2019) software. The results reveal that the authors from the field of social sciences are more careful and cautious in making their claims as compared to the sciences.


Azher, M., Nisa, R. U., & Nawaz, S. (2020). Hedging as an Indicator of Disciplinary Variation in Pakistani Academic Discourse: A Corpus Based Study. Global Language Review, V (I), 46-56. doi:10.31703/glr.2020(v-i).06

Batool, S. F., Majeed, H., & Zahra, T. (2019). An Investigation of Hedges and Boosters in Pakistani Opinion Articles: A Corpus-based Study. Corporum: Journal of Corpus Linguistics–CJCL, 2(1), 1-12.

Falahati, R. (2004). A contrastive study of hedging in English and Farsi academic discourse. An unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Victoria.

Hyland, K. (1995). The author in the text: Hedging scientific writing. Hong Kong Papers in Linguistics and Language Teaching, (18), 33-42.

Hyland, K. (1996). Writing without conviction? Hedging in science research articles. Applied Linguistics, 17(4), 433-454.

Hyland, K. (1998). Hedging in scientific research articles. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Hyland, K. (2004). Disciplinary interactions: metadiscourse in L2 postgraduate writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 13(2), 133-151.

Hyland, K. (2005). Stance and engagement: a model of interaction in academic discourse, Discourse Studies, 7(2), 173-92.

Lakoff, G. (1972). Hedges: A study in meaning criteria and the logic of fuzzy concepts. Chicago Linguistic Society Papers, 8, 183-228.

Mauranen, A. (1993). Contrastive ESP rhetoric: Metatext in Finnish-English economics texts. English for Specific Purposes, 12(1), 3-22.

Mauranen, A. (1997). Hedging in language revisers’ hands. In R. Markkanen & H. Schroder (Eds.), Hedging and discourse: Approaches to the analysis of a pragmatic phenomenon in academic texts (pp. 115-133). Berlin, Germany: Walter de Gruyter

Musa, Adamu. 2014. Hedging in Academic Writing: A Pragmatic Analysis of English and Chemistry Masters’ Theses in A Ghanaian University. English for Specific Purposes 42(15), 1-26.

Perkins, M. (1983). Modal expressions in English. London: Frances Pinter.

Salager-Meyer, F., Defives, G. & Hamelynck, M. (1996). Epistemic modality in 19th and 20th century medical English written discourse: A principal component analysis, interface. Journal of Applied Linguistics, 10(2), 163-199.

Shafqat, A., Memon, R. A., & Akhtar, H. (2019). Cross-Cultural Analysis of the Use of Hedges in European and Pakistani English Newspaper: A Corpus-Based Study. International Journal of English Linguistics, 9(5), 126. doi:10.5539/ijel. v9n5p126

Takimoto, M. (2015). A corpus-based analysis of hedges and boosters in English academic Articles. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 5(1), 95–105. doi: 10.17509/ijal. v5i1.836

Vande Kopple, W. J. (1985). Some exploratory discourse on metadiscourse. College Composition and Communication, 36(1), 82. doi:10.2307/3576.

Varttala, T. (1999) Remarks on the communicative functions of hedging in popular scientific and specialist research articles on medicine. English for Specific Purposes (18)2, 177–200.

Varttala, T. (2001). Hedging in scientifically oriented discourse exploring variation according to discipline and intended audience. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Tampere.

Wang, S., & Tatiana, K. (2016). Corpus Research on Hedges in Linguistics and EFL Journal Papers. International Journal of Education, 9(1), 44. doi:10.17509/ije. v9i1.3717

Yang, H. (2006). A comparative study of scientific hedging by Chinese writers and English writers. Language Education papers, 3(3), 58-62.




How to Cite

Yasmin, T. ., Mahmood, M. A. ., Jabeen, S. ., & Siddiqui, G. K. . (2020). Hedging as a Marker of Variation in Pakistani Research Dissertations of Sciences and Social Sciences. Review of Applied Management and Social Sciences, 3(3), 361-368. https://doi.org/10.47067/ramss.v3i3.70