What is the TONE of a text? <br />It’s the kind of emotion the writer conveys.<br />In an academic essay, the tone must be believable, balanced and sensible. <br />
The writer of an academic essay should not sound overconfident about his/her claims. To accomplish this, academic writers often resort to formal hedging markers when they present new ideas. This is how they can protect themselves from sounding too assertive.<br />
“In written text, hedging represents the employment of lexical and syntactical means of decreasing the writer’s responsibility for the extent and the truth-value of propositions and claims, displaying hesitation, uncertainty, indirectness and/or politeness to reduce the imposition on the reader. (…) In Anglo-American academic prose, hedges are considered to be requisite with the general purpose of projecting ‘honesty, modesty, proper caution’ and diplomacy.” (Hinkel, 2005)<br />
In other words, hedging markers are words or phrases that help soften a claim or statement, to reduce its impact. <br />The objective of an academic writer is to inform and even persuade the reader, not to sound like a know-it-all.<br />
Look at these examples:<br /><ul><li>Small amounts of caffeine are beneficial to a person’s health.
It appears that small amounts of caffeine are beneficial to a person’s health.
Small amounts of caffeine may bebeneficial to a person’s health.</li></ul>The second and third statements use hedging markers, and they sound carefuland sensible, since there is always a possibility that the assertion is not true. This may invite readers to question it and even conduct further research to engage in academic dialogue.<br />