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Document Details :
Title: Writing Processes of EFL Students in Argumentative Essays
Subtitle: A Case Study
Author(s): MAHFOUDHI, Abdessatar
Journal: ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Volume: 139 Date: 2003
The paper reports on a case study of the writing processes and products of Tunisian EFL university students in an argumentative essay. The data came from (i) audio-taped think-aloud protocols followed by immediate retrospective comments, (ii) experts' comments and grades on the subjects' products, and (iii) a questionnaire administered to the students. Results of the process analysis, using an adapted version of the coding scheme used by A. Raimes (1985; 1987), corroborated by the questionnaire findings, showed that students wrote fluently and concerned themselves more with meaning than with grammatical correctness. However, they planned very little, rarely made notes before writing, and rarely rewrote. They faced difficulties especially in finding the appropriate word and in organizing their ideas. At the local level, products showed inaccurate use of mechanics and grammar. At a more global level, most essays lacked clear thesis statement, substantial support of claims, adequate transitions, and hedged statements. The product problems were partially attributed to little planning, note-making, and revising. The process strategies were themselves related to writing habits for which the classroom and the exam settings are partly responsible.