Estimation of Doubt and Certainty in the Academic Writings of Management Students with a Focus on Gender Differences

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Sanjay Shrivastava


Using specific ways writers distinguish their opinions from facts and they evaluate the certainty of their assertions which ultimately becomes central to the meaning of academic texts. Still, the second language students often find it difficult and problematic to meet this academic writing capacity. The objective of the present study was to investigate the frequency at which management students use doubt (hedges) and certainty (boosters) to express in their academic writings. The aim was also to find out if there were gender related differences. Further, the objective was also to investigate how these modifiers were structurally distributed in the dissertations according to the IMRAD model. A comparative analysis of 20 randomly selected dissertations written by the students of NMIMS is used in the research. It was noted that both male and female students displayed a substantial use of hedges and boosters. Further, it was noted that in Introduction & Discussion sections, the occurrence of boosters and hedges were more often as compared to other sections of the dissertations analyzed.

Keywords: Hedges, boosters, gender, claims, researchers


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Author Biography

Sanjay Shrivastava

Sanjay Shrivastava is Associate Professor in Communications at NMIMS University, Shirpur Campus, Maharashtra, India. He has 18 years of experience in teaching and training management students on multidimensional aspects of managerial communication. He has a number of research papers on communication published in the journals of international repute.