Hedging and Boosting the Rhetorical Structure of English Newspaper Editorials
To present the official position of newspapers effectively to the public, the editors’ awareness of the rhetorical structure and linguistic elements employed in editorials is essential. Yet, no studies have explored the use of hedges and boosters in each rhetorical move of the editorials. To realize the objectives, 240 editorials published in the New York Times (NYT) and New Straits Times (NST) were analyzed at both macro and micro levels. The results revealed that both types of newspapers prefer the use of hedges to boosters in editorials. Furthermore, it was revealed that hedges in the NYT editorials were less frequent than their Malaysian counterpart, while boosters in the NYT were more frequently used than in the NST. This reveals that it is a convention in editorials to be tentative in expressing their view point, while in comparison NYT seems to be more bold, and certain in expressing its stance than NST that is more tentative. In addition, in the NYT hedges and boosters were predominantly found in the third move (Justifying or refuting events) while in the NST they were found in the last move (Articulating position). This distribution could be due to the communicative purpose of each move.
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