In academic writing, it is important to be careful in how you present information,so that the reader understands the status of the knowledge you arecommunicating. If you overstate information (e.g.
smoking is the most serious problem in the world
), or suggest that it applies to more people than it does inreality (e.g
all Emirati families own a farm
), or state something you don’t have
proof for (e.g.
), you may mislead the reader, or he/she may think that your information is unreliable, or non-academic.To avoid overstating or over-generalizing
information, we use ‘hedging’.
Overstatement/Overgeneralization/Not enough proof Hedging (being careful about how wepresent information)
All English people live in England
English people live in England.Americans eat hamburgers
A large number of
Americans eat hamburgersEmiratis travel to Germany insummer
Emiratis travel to Germany insummer.Some houses are haunted.
It may be true
There is a small amount of evidence tosuggest
that haunted houses
this is controversial.Humans are able to read minds.
It is possible that
able to read minds,
proving this in acontrolled scientific setting is very difficult.There is more than one universe.
A number of
physicists have developed
more than oneuniverse.Women enjoy shopping more thanmen do.
that women enjoy shopping morethan men do,
enjoy shopping more thanmen do,
this may depend
on what kind of item is being shopped for.