Hedging and boosting are significant communicative resources to construe and attain persuasion in different fields and particular genres of academic writing. They are both two sides of the same coin in the sense that they both contribute to the persuasive import of academic communication. Although boosting is a much less researched phenomenon than hedging, it is a key aspect of rhetorical persuasion in academic writing. This paper is devoted to the analysis of the use of boosters in a corpus of articles from three different disciplines (Marketing, Biology and Mechanical Engineering), and in this sense it is complementary to our previous article (Vázquez and Giner, 2008) in which we explored the use of epistemic markers used as hedges in the same corpus of RAs. Based on computer readable data, and combining quantitative and qualitative methods, the article argues that boosting deserves particular attention if we want to fully interpret the phenomenon of academic persuasion.
Discourse analysis; Academic discourse; Persuasion; Boosters; Research articles