Academic English- Hedging & Quoting Sources

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Topic: Profession, work or study

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Lesson Plan Text

Academic English- Hedging and Quoting Sources

Change the statements below to make them softer/ more accurate, hedging/ generalising 
or being precise about the information quoted. All can be changed just by adding words, 
but you can also change or cut out words. Many different answers are possible. Start with 
the easiest ones below. 

1

…is thought to be…

2

According to experts,…

3

All the results match the assumption that…

4

47% of Japanese people believe that…

5

I would agree with Hutton’s conclusion that…

6

Baxter et al. support Smith’s statement that…

7

Dean and Deluca have a different point of view, namely…

8

It was thought that…

9

Jones provides evidence that…

10 Lawrence’s view is that…
11 Looking at the data on this topic, it can be said that…
12 The evidence suggests that…
13 The authority on this matter is Josephs, who says…
14 The best translation of that quotation is...
15 Smith and Wesson prove that…
16 The consensus among experts in the field is that…
17 The theory developed in this paper owes a debt to that of Drew. 
18 The papers on the same topic reveal that…
19 This paper draws on the work of Underwood 
20 This paper takes its figures from…
21 Those responses are consistent with the theories of Justin which are outlined in…
22 To summarise Grant's views on the matter,…
23 We can dismiss Johnson’s idea that…

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014

Looked at the gapped versions below if you need some help.Gapped sentences version
 
1

…is ______________________ thought ____________________________ to be…

2

According to _______________________ experts _______________________…

3

All the results ______________________________ match the assumption that…

4

____________________47% of Japanese people ______________ believe that…

5

__________________________ I would ____________________________ agree 
with Hutton’s _____________________________ conclusion that…

6

Baxter et al. _________________________________ support Smith’s statement 
that…

7

Dean and Deluca ____________________________ have a ____________________
different point of view, namely…

8

It was thought _____________________________________________________ 
that…

9

Jones provides ___________________________________________ evidence that…

10 Lawrence’s ________________________ view ________________________ is 

that…

11 Looking at the __________________ data on this topic, it can _____________ be said

________________________ that…

12 __________________________ the _____________________________ evidence 

__________________________ suggests that…

13 ___________________________ the ______________________________ authority 

on this matter is Josephs, who says…

14 ______________________________________ the best translation of that quotation 

is...

15 Smith and Wesson _____________________________________________ prove 

that…

16 The _____________________ consensus among experts in the field is that…
17 The ____________________________________ theory developed in this paper owes

a ______________________________________________________ debt to that of 
Drew. 

18 The ______________________________________ papers on the same topic 

_____________________________________ reveal that…

19 This paper ______________________ draws ___________________________ on 

the _______________________ work of Underwood __________________________

20 This paper takes __________________________ its 

___________________________ figures from…

21 Those responses are _______________________________________ consistent with

the theories of Justin which are outlined in…

22 To ___________________________ summarise Grant's ______________________ 

views on the matter __________________________

23 We can ________________________________________ dismiss Johnson’s idea 

that…

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014

Split up and mixed up answers
Pick one at random and see if you can fit it in somewhere
a substantial amount of 
according to Edwards
according to her recent work 
almost certainly
almost complete 
almost completely 
although other surveys give different results
answered that they 
apparent
apparently
appear to 
at this point
attempt to
available
by a substantial minority of experts in the field 
by many
by most of the general public
by previous generations that…
by some
by some non-experts
certainly
claim to be able to
classic 
clear
clearly
completely
considerable
convincing
could be said to prove that…
despite some reservations,
especially…
fairly convincing
fully
generally
good
in her book…
in her paper…
in the last twelve months 
in the paper…
in the sample group of 1000 people
including…
large 
largely
main 
many

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014

more or less
most
most important 
most of
most recent
most relevant 
most reliable 
most well-known
most widely quoted 
most widely recognised
much of
obviously 
often 
original 
overall 
overwhelming
overwhelmingly
perhaps
present
primarily
probably 
provisional 
publically available/ readily available
published
rather convincingly
reasonable
recent
relevant
roughly 
safely
seem to
so far
some
some important
some of 
some well-respected 
somewhat
state that they 
substantial
such as…
tentatively
that we looked at
the (vast) majority of
until comparatively recently
which we took into consideration 
who were surveyed
with a reasonable level of certainty 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014

Mixed up answersSome can be used in more than one place

(publically/ readily) available/ most relevant/ most well-known/ most reliable 

Almost certainly/ Perhaps/ Probably 

Although other surveys give different results, according to Edwards

apparent/ present/ almost complete 

At this point/ Despite some reservations,

attempt to/ roughly 

available/ relevant/ most relevant 

by many/ by most of the general public/ by some non-experts/ by a substantial minority
of experts in the field 

claim to be able to/ apparently/ could be said to prove that…

clearly/ obviously 

considerable/ substantial/ large 

especially…

generally/ often 

in her book/ in her paper…

in the book…/ in the paper…/ according to her recent work 

main 

more or less 

more or less/ probably/ almost certainly 

most important 

Most of/ The majority of/ The vast majority of 

most recent/ published/ most widely quoted 

most widely recognised

much of/ most of/ some of 

overall 

perhaps/ probably 

primarily/ overwhelmingly/ largely/ somewhat 

provisional 

recent/ classic 

recent/ original 

safely/ probably/ certainly

seem to/ appear to 

seem to/ appear to/ fully/ almost completely

seem to/ appear to/ state that they 

so far/ that we looked at/ in the last twelve months 

some/ reasonable/ fairly convincing/ good/ rather convincingly/ convincing/ clear/ 
overwhelming/ a substantial amount of 

somewhat/ completely/ almost completely 

such as/ including…

tentatively/ generally/ almost completely 

the vast majority of/ the majority of/ most/ many/ some/ some important/ some well-
respected 

until comparatively recently/ by some/ by previous generations that…

which we took into consideration 

who were surveyed/ in the sample group of 1000 people/ answered that they 

with a reasonable level of certainty 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014

Suggested answers
Note: It is often too much to have hedging phrases in all the positions given.
1

…is generally/ often thought by many/ by most of the general public/ by some 
non-experts/ by a substantial minority of experts in the field
 to be…

2

According to the vast majority of/ the majority of/ most/ many/ somesome 
important
some well-respected experts such as/ including…

3

All the results so far/ that we looked at/ in the last twelve months + seem to/ 
appear to
 + more or less match the assumption that…

4

Although other surveys give different results, according to Edwards, 47% of 
Japanese people who were surveyed/ in the sample group of 1000 people/ 
answered that they
 believe that…

5

At this point/ Despite some reservations, I would tentatively/ generally/ almost 
completely
 agree with Hutton’s provisional conclusion that…

6

Baxter et al. seem to/ appear to/ fully/ almost completely support Smith’s statement
that…

7

Dean and Deluca seem to/ appear to/ state that they have a somewhat/ 
completely/ almost completely
 different point of view, namely…

8

It was thought until comparatively recently/ by some/ by previous generations 
that…

9

Jones provides some/ reasonable/ fairly convincing/ good/ rather convincingly/ 
convincing/ clear/ overwhelming/ a substantial amount of
 evidence that…

10 Lawrence’s overall view in the book…/ in the paper…/ according to her recent 

work is that…

11 Looking at the available/ publically available/ readily available/ most relevant/ 

most well-known/ most reliable data on this topic, it can perhaps/ probably be said 
with a reasonable level of certainty that…

12 Most of/ The majority of/ The vast majority of the available/ relevant/ most 

relevant evidence which we took into consideration suggests that…

13 Almost certainly/ Perhaps/ Probably the most widely recognised authority on this 

matter is Josephs, who says…

14 Almost certainly/ Perhaps/ Probably the best translation of that quotation is...
15 Smith and Wesson claim to be able to/ apparently/ could be said to prove that…
16 The apparent/ present/ almost complete consensus among experts in the field is 

that…

17 The main theory developed in this paper owes a considerable/ substantial/ large 

debt to that of Drew. 

18 The most recent/ published/ most widely quoted papers on the same topic seem 

to/ appear to reveal that…

19 This paper clearly/ obviously draws primarily/ overwhelmingly/ largely/ somewhat

on the recent/ classic work of Underwood especially…

20 This paper takes much of/ most of/ some of its most important figures from…
21 Those responses are more or less/ probably/ almost certainly consistent with the 

theories of Justin which are outlined in…

22 To attempt to/ roughly summarise Grant's recent/ original views on the matter in 

her book/ in her paper…,…

23

We can safely/ probably/ certainly dismiss Johnson’s idea that…

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014