句型

General Function 1. Being cautious

2022-03-28 07:53:08 simyang 8

Being cautious


One of the most noticeable stylistic aspects of academic communication is the tendency for writers to avoid expressing absolute certainty, where there may be a small degree of uncertainty, and to avoid making over-generalisations, where a small number of exceptions might exist. This means that there are many instances where the epistemological strength (strength of knowledge) of a statement or claim is mitigated (weakened) in some way. In the field of linguistics, devices for lessening the strength of a statement or claim are known as hedging devices.Analysis of research reports have shown that discussion sections tend to be particularly rich in hedging devices, particularly where writers are offering explanations for findings.

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      Devices that distance the author from a proposition

It is thought that …
It is believed that …
It has been reported that …
It is a widely held view that …
It has commonly been assumed that …

According to Smith (2002), …
According to recent reports, …
According to many in the field …
Many scholars hold the view that …
Smith (2001) holds the view that …
Recent research has suggested that …
There is some evidence to suggest that …
If Smith’s (2001) findings are accurate, …

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      Being cautious when giving explanations
These frequent stormsmay be
could be
might be
are almost certainly
due to climate change.
It may be
It is likely
It could be
It is possible
It is probable
It is almost certain
the more extreme weatheris a result of climate change.
A likely explanation
A probable explanation
A possible explanation
is thatthese frequent stormsare a result of climate change.


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      Being cautious when explaining results

This inconsistency may be due to …
This discrepancy could be attributed to …
A possible explanation for this might be that …
This rather contradictory result may be due to …
It seems possible that these results are due to …
The observed increase in X could be attributed to …
The possible interference of X cannot be ruled out …
There are several possible explanations for this result.
There are two likely causes for the differences between …
A possible explanation for these results may be the lack of adequate …
Since this difference has not been found elsewhere it is probably not due to …

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      Advising cautious interpretation of results

(Also refer to Discussing Findings)

These findings cannot be extrapolated to all patients.
These data must be interpreted with caution because …
These results therefore need to be interpreted with caution.
These results do not rule out the influence of other factors in …
This account must be approached with some caution because …
It is important to bear in mind the possible bias in these responses.
Although exclusion of X did not …, these results should be interpreted with caution.
However, with a small sample size, caution must be applied, as the findings might not be …

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    Being cautious when discussing implications

The findings of this study suggest that …
One possible implication of this is that …
Taken together, these results suggest that …
The evidence from this study suggests that …
Initial observations suggest that there may be a link between …
The data reported here appear to support the assumption that …
The findings from these studies suggest that X can have an effect on …

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      Being cautious when discussing recommendations

Strategies to enhance X might involve …
Other types of response could include: a), b). …
These results would seem to suggest that the …
There would therefore seem to be a definite need for …
A reasonable approach to tackle this issue could be to …
Another possible area of future research would be to investigate why …

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      Being cautious when writing about the future
Severe weathermay
could
might
is likely to
will probably
will almost certainly
become more common in the future.
It is likely
It is possible
It is almost certain
There is a possibility
There is a small chance
There is a strong possibility
(that) the situation will improve in the long term.

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      Devices for avoiding over-generalisation

In general, this requires …
In general terms, this means …
Xs use generally accepted principles to …
X is generally assumed to play a role in …
Authors generally place an emphasis on …
Generally accepted methods for X include: …
Studies which show no effect are not generally published.
Research articles generally consist of the following components:
Quantitative research is generally associated with the positivist paradigm.


Ozone levelsoften
generally
frequently
sometimes
occasionally
nearly always
exceed WHO levels in many cities.
Ozone is toxic tomost
almost all
some types of
many types of
the majority of
certain types of
living organisms.


Ozone tends to attack cells and break down tissues.
There is a tendency for ozone to attack cells.




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