International Journal of
English and Literature

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. English Lit.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2626
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEL
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 275

Full Length Research Paper

Assessment of the qualities of academic writing in senior essays of English graduates: The case of Dire Dawa University

Yelay Birhan
  • Yelay Birhan
  • Department of English Language and Literature, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 30 March 2015
  •  Accepted: 01 June 2015
  •  Published: 31 October 2017


The main objective of this study was to assess the qualities of academic writing in senior essays of English graduates, the case of Dire Dawa University. In this study, qualitative method was employed to conduct the research. The participants of the study were all English Language instructors (advisors) who were involved in advising English graduates. The reason for taking merely advisors is that the researcher thought that they are most probably familiar to the students’ writing problems than other instructors who were not involved in advising. Three data collecting instruments were used to carry out this study. Namely, document analysis, focus group discussion and semi-structured interview, and the results were interpreted and analyzed comparatively in order to answer the basic research questions. To do these, 50% (twenty one) senior essay documents out of forty two were interpreted and analyzed. Focus group discussion was performed with eight English advisors as well as to triangulate or to validate, semi-structured interview was employed with eleven instructors together with the participant instructors in the focus group discussion; and results were comparatively discussed and analyzed. As the results showed that almost all of the students’ senior essays have problems when they have been seen in terms of academic writing. Based on the findings, it was suggested that students should learn the basic courses such as advanced and academic writings. Besides, they should take research courses at the university. It was also recommended that instructors should help them for giving feedback and valuable comments.

Key words: Academic writing, qualities, assessment and senior essay.