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Interpreting attitude

It is important to interpret an author’s intended meaning as closely as possible, to aid understanding, as well as to assist in writing accurately about a piece. Two common uses of language help us to interpret attitude: reporting verbs and hedging language.

Reporting verbs

In academic writing, authors employ different reporting verbs to convey their attitude and feelings towards a topic. For example, “to claim” is much weaker, and more tentative, than “to assert”. The two verbs convey different attitudes about how an author views a particular topic.

You can find more examples of how authors convey their opinion on our academic writing pages, including how to incorporate them into your own writing.

Hedging language

It is common in academic writing for an author to use hedging language. This involves words and phrases that indicate caution or doubt. In many academic disciplines, especially those in the sciences, which involve hypothesising, hedging language is crucial for a writer to avoid exaggerating their claims.

See our academic writing page on conveying your opinion for further examples of hedging language.