Interaction in Research Discourse: A Comparative Study of the Use of Hedges and Boosters in PhD Theses by Australian and Saudi Writers

Publication Name

World Journal of English Language


Like any other discourses, academic discourses are also not completely objective manuscripts and quite often overtly and/or covertly express their writers‟ intended stances. Hedges and boosters are significantly common rhetorical strategies employed frequently by writers to attenuate or reinforce the propositional intensity of the texts to establish an interactional rapport with the readers/receivers. These interactional features are referred to as metadiscourse by Hyland (2018), who systematically categorizes such rhetorical strategies in the form of a taxonomy. Utilizing this taxonomy, the current study focused on the comparative analysis of hedges and boosters in Ph.D. theses written by Saudi and Australian writers at Monash University, Australia. This specialized corpus-based analysis identified the cross-cultural differences in employing hedges and boosters within academic discourse. The findings suggest that there are significant differences in the use of hedges and boosters between native and non-native speakers of English. Non-native speakers tend to use more hedges than boosters, while native speakers use more boosters than hedges. Overall, the natives‟ discourse appears to be more interactional than the non-native writers based on the analysis of the statistical differences that emerged.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access





First Page


Last Page


Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University



Link to publisher version (DOI)