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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337

S. Afr. j. occup. ther. vol.39 n.3 Pretoria Dec. 2009




Hedges in occupational therapy research texts



Ms Amanda Coetzer

(MA Linguistics; BA Hons Applied Linguistics; B Ed; HED, UNISA); Lecturer, English Language Department, University of Limpopo, Medunsa campus





The study examined an aspect of research writing, namely hedging. The aim was to establish the nature of the relation between the quality of the article and report writing in occupational therapy and the density of hedges in such writing. The texts comprised undergraduate reports, which were divided into two achievement groups, namely high and low achievers and journal articles by occupational therapists. Articles were included because it was assumed that they exemplified good writing, and accordingly, would be appropriately hedged, and would provide a reliable basis for comparing the student groups. Hyland's (1998) analytical framework was used. While statistical tests revealed no differences between the student groups, overall, the tests revealed significant differences in the use of hedges between the professional and student writers. In the light of these findings, it is suggested that hedging in research writing be studied and taught to students in order to assist them in their studies and careers.

Key words: research writing; scientific writing; academic writing; hedging; occupational therapy report writing



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Ms Amanda Coetzer
English Language Department, University of Limpopo
Medunsa campus
PO Box 144

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