Academic Writing in an ODL Context: Perceptions and Experiences of First Year University Students

Jack M. Chokwe


The study aimed to examine first year students’ conceptions of writing and the extent to which these conceptions influence their academic writing and suggest guidelines that can inform effective teaching and learning of writing in ESL contexts. The study is underpinned by the academic literacies model and adopted a qualitative research methodology and used a case study approach. Participants included ESL first year students and tutors. Questionnaires, focus group interviews and marked student writing samples were employed as data collection instruments. Though students claimed that they subscribed to the ideologies of the academic literacies model, and that the first year level course improved their academic writing, the findings show that, on the contrary, students were underprepared for engaging in the academic writing activities required at university level. Moreover, the findings showed that students categorised their writing skills as average. The findings reveal that tutors found that students still struggle with aspects of writing including, for instance, grammar, spelling, the structuring of essays, coherence and cohesion in paragraphs as well as arguing a point convincingly.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n3p535

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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