Interactional strategies in L2 writing: An exploration of Hedging and Boosting Strategies in Applied Linguistics research articles


Academic writing has been established as a persuasive endeavor which involves various interactional strategies including hedging and boosting. Nevertheless, there exists variation of hedging and boosting preferences across cultures. The purpose of this study is to explore the use of hedges and boosters, as interactional metadiscourse (MD) strategies, in Yemeni L2 academic writing. Using Hyland (2005), the study was conducted on a text of 34 applied linguistics research articles (RAs) produced by L2 writers. Based on Hyland’s model, a textual soft waretool was employed to search the instances of hedges and boosters in the corpus. The findings demonstrate that interactional MD strategies were utilized in relatively small proportions. Contrary to the assumption in the literature, hedges were used more than booster especially in the conclusion section of RAs. However, the findings suggest that Yemeni L2 writers tend to present argument like an established fact i.e. making assertive and unqualified statements. Given the limited use of hedging and boosting and the tendency to make unhedged statements, limited rhetorical functions were detected. The study has useful implications for academic writing instruction especially in EFL context.


Musa Al-Mudhaffari, Supyan Hussin and Imran HoAbdullah


Genre analysis, academic writing, Hedges, boosters, L2 writers