Graduate Students’ Perceptions of the Problems in Writing Research Articles in English in Higher Education: A Taiwan-Based Study


Writing research articles in English has become one of the most common currencies in higher education. In Taiwan, nowadays issues related to writing research articles in English have attracted considerable attention from the Taiwanese government authorities, particularly Ministry of Education, National Science Council, as well as universities, teachers and students. The present study seeks to explore Taiwanese graduate students�� perceptions of the problems in writing research articles in English. Through semi-structured in-depth interviews with 30 students, the findings reveal that the students�� perceived difficulties can be in general categorized into two types. The first type is the subject knowledge in their own field, such as not good at selecting an appropriate topic and reviewing literature well. The second type is related to English language use, such as inadequate command of academic written English and lack of writing skills to develop their articles at levels of lexis, syntax and discourse. Their writing processes are largely influenced by their first language and thus they may write their papers in ��Chinese English��. Despite such disadvantages, they are motivated to remedy the situation as English plays an important role in research writing. In terms of helping graduate students in writing research articles in English, the students in this study suggest that the school should offer more opportunities for them to write academic English. Writing training through a series of related writing courses, workshops and individualized guidance could be beneficial to them. Implications in light of the findings of this study are discussed and concluded.

Author Information
Shih-Chieh Chien, National Taipei University of Business, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2015
Stream: Languages education and applied linguistics (ESL/TESL/TEFL)

This paper is part of the ACEID2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon