Original Research

Genre analysis of essays in the Social Sciences: The case of Botswana students

Joel M. Magogwe, Unity M. Nkateng
Reading & Writing | Vol 9, No 1 | a137 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v9i1.137 | © 2018 Joel M. Magogwe, Unity M. Nkateng | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 April 2016 | Published: 22 January 2018

About the author(s)

Joel M. Magogwe, Communication and Study Skills Unit, University of Botswana, Botswana
Unity M. Nkateng, Communication and Study Skills Unit, University of Botswana, Botswana


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Abstract

Writing is a challenging but requisite skill at university and other life situations. At university, essay writing is generally challenging to first-year students across disciplines or faculties. This study therefore describes the writing challenges of the Faculty of Social Sciences students at the University of Botswana. To that end, this study asks the following research questions: (1) What writing tasks are first-year students in the Faculty of Social Sciences given? (2) What problems do the students encounter when writing essays in the Faculty of Social Sciences? (3) What kind of assistance do students receive on writing essays? This article is underpinned by the English for Academic Purposes genre analysis framework. All in all, the findings of this study point to the need for a more intensive writing programme for first-year students at the University of Botswana in which both faculties and the Communication and Study Skills Unit will cooperatively assist students with writing. Students’ responses clearly indicated the need for such collaboration.

Keywords

Writing; Academic; Genre Analysis; Social Sciences; Collaboration

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