Investigation of University Students’ Writing Problems: Two Public Universities in South West Ethiopia in Focus

  • Mandefro Fenta Department of English Language and Literature, Jimma University, Ethiopia
  • Asnakech Demissie Department of English Language and Literature, Jimma University, Ethiopia
  • Alemayehu Negash Department of English Language and Literature, Jimma University, Ethiopia
Keywords: Writing skill, writing error, error types in writing.


Communication through writing demands various skills and sub-skills. However, it appears that university students in the Ethiopian context do not have various major writing skills and sub-skills as it is required. As a result, they face different problems when they write in English. Thus, the main objective of this study was to assess the writing problems of university students who learned at Jimma and Mizan-Tepi universities in 2015/16 academic year. The participants of the study were first year students who learned at the two universities. The necessary data for the study were gathered through writing tests at sentence and paragraph levels. The collected data were analyzed using textual analysis. The study showed that the students could not identify the basic elements of a sentence like the verb, complement and object. The majority of them could not identify and correct various sentence errors as well. The study also showed that nearly no student could pinpoint his/her writing problems and suggest possible solutions to his/her writing problems. Finally, recommendations have been suggested based on the major findings of the study.


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