بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Sudan University of Science and Technology
Faculty of Education
A thesis Submitted in Fulfillment for the Requirements of PhD Degree in Applied Linguistics
Assessing Students' Performance in Writing Composition at Tertiary Level
A Case Study of Dalanj University, Dalanj Locality, Sudan
Kabashi Omer Saboon Shareef
1.0. Background of the Research
This study is conducted to examine the students' performance in writing composition at Dalanj University. The objectives of the study are to find out to what extent students use rules and mechanics in writing composition, whether students can express their thoughts and ideas logically and systematically. Develop and manage their composition writing skillfully. The study tries to answer whether students can use transitional words and phrases to connect ideas within and between sentences while writing composition, why students can't construct unified and meaningful sentences in order to write composition, whether students can produce compositions with correct grammar, meaningful punctuations and accurate spelling and to extent they can write a unified, coherent and cohesive composition. The study hypothesizes that students at Dalanj University tend to be poor in using suitable transitional words, their compositions lack coherence, cohesive and unity. There are so many incomprehensive structures and splice sentences in students' compositions. In addition to, students' compositions are full of grammatical errors, incorrect punctuations and inaccurate spelling.
The significance of the study is to assess students' performance in creative writing, specifically, composition writing. Because it will specify what appropriate methods and techniques of teaching will be used in helping students write more creatively. In addition to, supporting students in ongoing development of the abilities needed to monitor and manage their own writing.
1.1. Statement of the Problem
Writing is a highly complex and demanding process, which requires rules and mechanics. It also requires rich source of cognitive process and strategies for text production.
So, the present study attempts to investigate the difficulty that the students of English language teaching at Dalanj University encounter in producing comprehensive, unified and coherent composition.
1.2. Objectives of the research
The study aims at achieving the following:
a- Measuring students' abilities in using rules and mechanics in writing composition.
b- Investigating how far students maintain rich source of cognitive process and strategies for composition production.
c- Whether students can express their thoughts and ideas logically and systematically.
d. Develop and manage their composition writing skillfully.
1.3. Questions of the research
1- Can students use transitional words and phrases to connect ideas within and between sentences while writing composition?
2- Why can't the students construct unified and meaningful sentences in order to write composition?
3- Can the students produce compositions with correct grammar, meaningful punctuations and accurate spelling?
4- Can the students write a unified, coherent and cohesive composition?
The study tries to answer the following hypotheses:
1- Students are unable to use meaningful and appropriate transitional words while writing composition.
2- There are many grammatical errors, misuse of punctuations and inaccurate spelling in students' compositions.
3- Students' compositions lack unity, coherence and cohesive.
4- Incomplete and splice sentences are the prominent features in students' composition.
1.5. The Significance of the research
University students are supposed to be well-equipped with knowledge and skills. Mastering learning skills; especially writing acts as a cornerstone for their success in their university studies.
Conversely, university students are incapable of producing any cognitive writing. Not only this, but also they cannot express their thoughts and feelings in comprehensive meaningful sentences. They cannot convey their message via writing.
For what has been mentioned above, this study is conducted to assess students' performance in creative writing, specifically, composition writing. Knowing the students' performance, will specify what type of methods and techniques of teaching will be appropriate for helping students write more creatively. In addition to, supporting students in ongoing development of the abilities needed to monitor and manage their own writing.
1.6. Delimitation of the study
This study is conducted at University of Dalanj, South Kordofan State from (2013 – 2016). The sample chosen for the study is (100) third-year students who are specialized in English language teaching (ELT). They represent two different colleges, Teachers' college and Faculty of Education. The means of collecting data is a test, by exposing students to write a free composition. This tool is selected, because the researcher thinks that it is more reliable to answer the questions and the hypotheses of the study.