Zeitschrift für die Welt der Türken / Journal of World of Turks, Vol 8, No 2 (2016)

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Comparison of Hedges in M.A. Theses and Ph.D. Dissertations in Elt

Çağla ATMACA

Abstract


Writers use some textual devices like hedges and boosters in order to contribute to their textual voice. Differences between M.A. theses and Ph.D. dissertations in English Language Teaching (ELT) Department in terms of hedges in Turkish context seem to be an overlooked area. Thus, this paper aims to find the similarities and differences between M.A. theses and Ph.D. dissertations about English Language Teaching in terms of hedges. For this purpose, 10 M.A. theses and 10 Ph.D. dissertations were randomly chosen. Data were analyzed and categorized on the basis of contextual features with the help of content analysis. Various hedging tools emerged as a result of content analysis and it was found that hedges used in the Ph.D. dissertations nearly double those in the M.A. theses. Moreover, modals -followed by passivization- are the leading form of hedging while nouns have the least frequency of hedging type, which could explain some of the differences between novice and experienced writers. In the light of these findings, important implications are drawn for graduate and postgraduate students to enhance their writing skills and be familiar with the principles of academic writing for their future career.


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