Interactional Metadiscourse Markers in Political Science Journal Articles

  • Noor Afifah Binti Nawawi Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
  • Su-Hie Ting Faculty of Language and Communication, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak,Kota Samarahan,Malaysia
Keywords: Interactional, metadiscourse, political science, low impact, journal articles


Interactional metadiscourse markers allow writers to regulate their presence in their writings and engage with their readers through selected resources. Examples of interactional metadiscourse markers are hedges, boosters, attitude markers, engagement markers and self-mentions. Hyland’s (2005) interpersonal metadiscourse model was adapted to analyse 12 political science articles from three refereed journals. The analysis indicates the writers’ common tendencies to feature boosters and hedges as their top two functional categories. The boosters commonly used to emphasize the writers’ claims are “only”, “will”, “even” and “significant”. The hedges commonly used to withhold the writers’ commitment are “would”, “could”, “may” and “likely”. Attitude markers, engagement markers and self-mentions were present in the corpus as well with varying level of distribution. The high-frequency attitude markers are “important”, “simply”, “unfortunately” and “difficult” whereas the high-frequency engagement markers are in the form of questions, “we”, “should” and “see”. In contrast, self-mentions are infrequent in some of the political science journal articles due to the impersonal style of research writing where the researcher identity is not highlighted. However, it had considerable presence in the other half of the articles with markers such as “we”, “our”, “I” and “my”. The findings suggest that while the writers viewed hedges and boosters as equally important for their proposition, not all of them are comfortable with highlighting their presence using self-mentions.