Difficulties in writing academic english

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Difficulties in writing academic english

Handoyo Puji Widodo Discipline of Linguistics, University of Adelaide Introduction Academic writing is a complicated task that involves cognitive process mind interaction and social activity interpersonal interaction.

One form of an academic writing task is writing scholarly articles in English, which has recently been a passport to being accepted as a member into a particular academic community of practice CoP or getting promoted a job promotion.

Writing scholarly articles in English has been a global issue because English has played a leading role as a global lingua franca, and consequently, most of the scholarly publications are written in English. It has also recently been a national issue on a tertiary institution level in Indonesia.

This national issue challenges Indonesian faculty members to help undergraduate and postgraduate students write publishable scholarly articles. Needless to say, Indonesian students unfamiliar with this task are socio-cognitively and psychologically burdened by the task.

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For this reason, this article highlights five key issues in academic writing that faculty members need to incorporate into their academic writing program whose goal is to help students write scholarly articles. These key issues include 1 critical thinking, 2 authorial voice—self voice and expert voice, 3 plagiarism, 4 linguistic resources, and 5 feedback—role of a critical peer or partner.

It also shapes how writers articulate ideas that demonstrate difficulties in writing academic english or novelty. I define critical thinking as the capability of grasping, analyzing, and evaluating arguments or ideas.

Critical thinking is also defined as the ability to present, synthesize, and develop these ideas cogently and coherently. Thus, critical thinking is seen as a socio-cognitive practice involving intrapersonal between a reader and her or his own mind and interpersonal between a reader and text.

The ability to critically think helps students unpack and make meaning of text; in a way, they can construct and deconstruct ideas to make intended meaning clear to their audience. Students can capitalize on their critical thinking ability through 1 critical reading and 2 annotated reading.

Critical reading activity involves synthesizing, challenging or problematizing, and evaluating ideas or arguments in text. These two reading tasks assist students to tap into their critical thinking ability. This ability assists students to take an authorial stance toward a particular argument or view.

Self Voice and Expert Voice The second key issue in academic writing is authorial voice that can be categorized into self voice and expert voice. Self voice refers to ideas that writers articulate based on their own knowledge and experience, but expert voice is concerned with arguments presented by well regarded authors.

Authorial voice involves three tones of positioning: Firstly, the ideational positioning corresponds to what point of reference and values writers hold. Secondly, the interpersonal positioning deals with how a writer becomes aware of her or his relationship with the reader.

Finally, the textual positioning pertains to how writers articulate their ideas through different linguistic resources e. These tones of positioning are the key to building writerly voice or identity.

When composing scholarly articles, students need to strike a balance between self voice and expert voice in order to take a solid authorial stance toward a certain line of arguments articulated by well regarded authors.

Solid authorial voice can be achieved by the use of varied linguistic resources and critically grounded writing. The use of wide-ranging linguistic resources includes varieties of words and sentence patterns grammarand critically grounded writing is activity that expresses critical ideas supported by a line of expert voice grounded voice.

difficulties in writing academic english

I argue that a wide range of linguistic resources as well as critically grounded writing facilitate critical thinking and authorial voice. Without a sufficient critical thinking skill, students cannot express grounded authorial voice. Thus, both critical thinking and authorial voice are inextricably intertwined.

Plagiarism Thirdly, plagiarism has been of major concern in academic writing. To help students avoid plagiarizing, faculty members should provide sufficient academic writing training and guidelines detailing the nature of plagiarism as well as equipping students with sufficient language training e.

Linguistic Resources The fourth key issue in academic writing is linguistic resources defined as language realizations through the manipulation or use of lexis words and syntax grammar in context.

In academic writing, lexical and syntactic resources are bound to context. At the lexical level, students need to know word choices and collocations—certain words collocate. For this reason, they can make use of different corpora e.

difficulties in writing academic english

At the syntactic level, students need to know how particular grammatical patterns are used in an appropriate context; student can use corpora that can show how words are syntactically constructed in context. If students have a wide spectrum of linguistic resources, they can articulate ideas or arguments cogently and coherently.

Assuredly, students can voice their own ideas, strike a balance between self voice and expert voice, articulate ideas critically, and be able to avoid plagiarizing. The best ways to enrich linguistic resources are doing extensive reading, carrying out a corpus oriented survey, and looking unknown words up in a reliable dictionary.

Role of a Critical Peer or Partner Finally, feedback in academic writing is a mediating means of providing critical support to students. Feedback is also a way to build a supportive academic community of practice CoP in which writers scaffold one another.

Therefore, faculty members should play a role as a critical peer or partner. Generally, there are two types of feedback:Academic writing in English at advanced levels is a challenge even for most native English speakers.

Common Challenges in Academic Writing | UCW Blog

However, it is particularly difficult for English as a second language (ESL) graduate students, who come from non-Anglicized. writing that is employed by native writers where ‘ordinarily pre-writing, writing, and re- writing frequently seem to be going on simultaneously’ (Smith, ).

Tribble () explains the process-based approach in teaching academic writing. Challenges of Teaching Academic Writing Skills to Students With Limited Exposure to English (South Africa) Felix Banda Issue South Africa is one of a few countries in Africa with a sizeable number of tradi-.

So there are many difficulties in writing academic essays in English. Firstly, the most difficult part of writing an essay is the start.

It is very hard to . Due to the requirements that academic writing demands to students when delivering an English composition at the Foreign Language Department, it was necessary to carry out an Do writing skill difficulties of English Composition I students depend on the strategies they apply when writing?

Academic writing in English at advanced levels is a challenge even for most native English speakers. However, it is particularly difficult for English as a second language (ESL) graduate students, who come from non-Anglicized.

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