Detected Difficulties in Argumentative Writing: The Case of Culturally and Linguistically Saudi Backgrounded Students

Burhan Ozfidan, Connie Mitchell


Argumentative writing is a mode of academic writing and a common writing genre that college-level students use at universities. The purpose of the study is to investigate common difficulties that affect the second language learners’ argumentative wiring. The significance of the study is to explore the struggles that culturally and linguistically Saudi backgrounded students face in writing argumentative essays to provide insights that could be used to improve instruction and student performance. The researchers examined 187 Saudi students’ (100 male and 87 female) argumentative writings to explore the frequency of the common difficulties students might encounter with writing argumentative essays. The second phase of the study included independent-samples t-test to statistically compare differences between male and female students’ difficulties in writing an argumentative essay. Anticipated results of the study lent to the improvement of the writing courses. The findings of the study statistically revealed the common difficulties of writing argumentative essays: organization/structure, thesis statement, integrating academic sources, finding evidence, writing counterclaims, writing refutation paragraph, academic tone, and content and development. The instructors of argumentative writing courses (or closely related courses) may accordingly want to change the structure of the course design, teaching strategies, and course materials to develop their courses efficiently.


Argumentative Essays, English Learners, Language Development, Second Language Writing, Writing Approach.

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