Challenges in English Academic Writing From the perspective of Postgraduate Students at Duhok Polytechnic University

    Sardar Akrei
    Keywords: Academic writing, challenges, postgraduate students, DPU, grammar, vocabulary, punctuation ,

    Abstract

    Abstract
    Proficiency in academic writing in English is one of the significant requirements for postgraduate students,
    especially if they are from non-English background. The main purpose of this study is to identify the
    challenges encounter by students at postgraduate level in English academic writing skill at Duhok
    Polytechnic University (DPU), which is one of the technical universities in Kurdistan region of Iraq. This study
    dealt with collecting data in the field part, since it depended on the questionnaire form as a primary data
    source. To achieve the objective of this study, (50) forms were distributed among a sample of post
    graduate students enrolled on mainstream programs at (DPU) during the academic year 2020-2021 to
    collect their perceptions of difficulties and challenges in English academic writing skill, however, (41)
    students responded to the questionnaire. Also, semi-structured interviews were conducted with (5)
    supervisors to obtain their reflections and views on the student’s academic writing skills. Descriptive
    research approach has been employed to collect and analyze the data. Hence, the study problem
    diagnosed with the following question; What are the challenges that postgraduate students encounter
    when they write their assignments and dissertations in English at DPU? To answer this question, it is
    hypothesized that there were various challenges encountered by the postgraduate students. The data
    was analyzed according to the variables of our own, including grammar, punctuation, vocabulary,
    spelling, using formal language, the interference of language1etc. The outcomes of the analysis showed
    that postgraduate students faced many difficulties in their academic writing, such as inappropriate use
    of vocabulary, grammatical problems, subject/verb agreement, punctuation, spelling, problems in
    writing sentences and paragraphs, difficulties in paraphrasing and summarizing also the results showed
    that the students were very much influenced by their mother language (language1). The study
    developed a set of recommendations within the suggestions section that can be used by different
    educational institutions including DPU.

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