This study is designed to investigate the present situations of Kuwaiti undergraduate students of English, and their attitudes towards the writing process. Specifically, the study aimed to address the following research questions: (1) What are the characteristics of the texts produced by Kuwaiti undergraduate students in terms of cohesion and quality? (2) Is there a relationship between cohesive devices’ measures and text evaluation scores? The main objective of the researcher was to concentrate on dealing with the macro level cohesive devices in students’ descriptive English writing. The participants in this study were 128 Kuwaiti college students of English in the first and second year of study at Kuwait University, College of Arts. A mixed methods design of both qualitative and quantitative research methodology was utilized to analyze the participants’ written texts. In addition, the framework of Halliday and Hasan’s (1976) theory of cohesion was used to analyze the written products of the participants. The findings revealed that there was a notable difference in the students’ use of cohesive devices in terms of frequency. Students overused certain types of cohesive devices (reference, conjunction, and lexical) while neglecting to use the others (substitution and ellipsis). The analysis also revealed that the correlation coefficient between writing scores and reference cohesive device is positive and statistically significant, since only the reference cohesive device was highly correlated with score.
Keywords: EFL writing, cohesion, descriptive writing, writing quality
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