Tag Archives: Academic Writing

Empowering EFL Learners through a Needs-Based Academic Writing Course Design (Published)

Using needs analysis as a research methodology, this study attempted to design a 20 hour academic writing (AW) course for Level 2 Foundation Year Saudi EFL students. Needs analysis was based on a diagnostic test, structured questionnaires, and researcher’s observation to obtain information on students’ language and skills needs, profile, levels of motivation, and learning styles and preferences. The results showed that the students did not have the writing proficiency for producing longer compositions and, therefore, the course should focus on appropriate language systems and skills to help learners with writing paragraphs based on two rhetorical strategies: cause and effect; and exemplification. The course content provides for the appropriate language systems and skills as voiced by the students and needed for writing these two types of paragraphs. The study also points to a course evaluation strategy that can be used for validation and future use of the proposed course.

Keywords: Academic Writing, Discourse Features, Form, Needs Analysis, Process Approach, Study Skills, function

The Language of Science: A Lexical Study of Academic Writing in Computer Science (Published)

Language is a veritable tool for conveying knowledge and information. In the field of science and technology, it is indispensable in disseminating, concepts and facts. Ideas and novel thoughts cannot be formulated without the use of languages in the sciences. Thus, language is the means of understanding science and technology. In fact, language and science are so inextricably linked that learning science is analogous to studying language. However, some second language learners of English fail to realize the relevance of language in the study of science and technology.  Also scientific language expressing technical facts pose a lot of problems to second language learners in the field of computer science because the texts introduce the learners to many unfamiliar words. Therefore, this study examines and interprets some technical words in the field of computer science and shows its peculiar usage in the academic context. Excerpts culled from academic journals and texts in computer science are analyzed to explore some ordinary and technical words with specialized meanings. It is discovered that there is a significant number of technical jargons in computer science texts. A major implication of this study is that the second language learners of computer science need to understand and interpret the technical words for their studies and skills in professional communication.

Keywords: Academic Writing, Computer Science, Language, Lexical Study

TEACHING RESEARCH WRITING TO FEMALE UNDERGRADUATES IN SAUDI ARABIA (Published)

Female undergraduate students and their teachers in the Department of Science at Najran University, Saudi Arabia face many challenges when it comes to producing high-quality academic writing, such as gaining access to the knowledge-based resources required for academic writing, learning the conventions used in academic writing, and acquiring and applying knowledge and skill sets within different contexts. The results suggest that the primary concerns for addressing the challenges are aligning the views of the students and teachers on the potential problems of essay writing and integrating academic-writing skills and practices into the curriculum through informal activities. To improve the teaching and practice of academic writing at Najran University, short essay assignments and literature reviews could be incorporated into existing courses, and a new intensive course on academic reading and writing could be established. Any strategy should, however, consider the value and impact of the proposed measures and the whole scope of problems faced by the students.

Keywords: Academic Writing, Higher Education, Self-learning, Teaching practices, Undergraduates, Writing essays

TEACHING RESEARCH WRITING TO FEMALE UNDERGRADUATES IN SAUDI ARABIA (Review Completed - Accepted)

Female undergraduate students and their teachers in the Department of Science at Najran University, Saudi Arabia face many challenges when it comes to producing high-quality academic writing, such as gaining access to the knowledge-based resources required for academic writing, learning the conventions used in academic writing, and acquiring and applying knowledge and skill sets within different contexts. The results suggest that the primary concerns for addressing the challenges are aligning the views of the students and teachers on the potential problems of essay writing and integrating academic-writing skills and practices into the curriculum through informal activities. To improve the teaching and practice of academic writing at Najran University, short essay assignments and literature reviews could be incorporated into existing courses, and a new intensive course on academic reading and writing could be established. Any strategy should, however, consider the value and impact of the proposed measures and the whole scope of problems faced by the students

Keywords: Academic Writing, Higher Education, Self-learning, Teaching practices, Undergraduates, Writing essays

An Analysis of Generic Features of Acknowledgments in Academic Writing: Native Speakers of English Vs Non-Native (Iranian) (Review Completed - Accepted)

The literature on the generic structure of acknowledgment has revealed that, beyond the role it plays in academic gift giving and self-presentation, the textualization of gratitude reveals the effect of disciplinary, sociocultural and contextual variations on shaping this genre (Hyland, 2003, Giannoni, 2002, & Yang, 2012). However, there is relatively scant research on the ways that acknowledgements in different genres are characterized by their distinctive communicative purposes. To fill this gap, this study analyzes through two phases the acknowledgment sections of various genres (20 MA & 20 PhD theses, 20 textbooks, and 20 research articles) written by native speakers of English (n=40) and Iranian (n=40) in applied linguistics. The results of move analysis phase which insights was from Swales'(1990) model, showed that genre of acknowledgment was constituted of a main ‘Thanking’ move framed by two optional ‘Reflecting’ and ‘Announcing’ moves in theses, two optional “Framing'” and ” Announcing” moves in textbooks, and one optional “Framing” move in research articles. Despite observing the “Thanking move” in acknowledgment sections of all genres, cross- generic differences were also found in the type and frequency of constituent steps used to realize this move and other optional moves. These differences indicate how the contextual, cultural, and institutional forces influence the production and reception of academic genres

Keywords: Academic Writing, Genre, Move, Systemic Functional linguistics