A comparative study on the use of hedging devices across ELT MA and PhD theses
A growing body of literature is concerned with how L2 writers in English make their claims in academic discourse when compared with L1 writers. However, there is not enough research that compares writers with different levels of academic achievement in the same discipline. This study aims to fill this gap by focusing on the distribution of hedging devices and possible variations in how hedging devices were employed by MA and Ph.D. graduates in English Language Teaching Discipline in their theses. To this end, a corpus with a 93725-word count from discussion sections of 24 MA theses and a parallel corpus with a 145498-word count from 14 Ph.D. theses were compiled, and the data were carefully analyzed via the AntConc software program. The results were reported with tables and interpreted in detail, revealing that MA theses tend to include significantly more hedging devices, which can be attributed to the MA students' need to make the 'writer's stance' relatively less obvious in their theses when compared to their Ph.D. counterparts.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Sevcan Bayraktar-Cepni, Emel Kulaksiz
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