Nigerian Undergraduates’ Awareness of Metadiscourse and its Relationship with their Persuasive Writing Quality

Muhammad Mukhtar Aliyu, Shehu Muhammad Korau


Persuasive writing in second (L2) or Foreign Language (FL) is found to be a very challenging task for many undergraduates. Metadiscourse are devices used to help writers to make a connection with the audience and express ideas clearly. However, many Nigerian undergraduates are not fully aware of or do not appropriately utilise these devices in their writing. Also, little attention has been paid to the devices by researchers in the Nigerian context. Therefore, this study investigates undergraduates’ awareness of metadiscourse and its relationship with their persuasive writing performance using a correlational research design. An intact class of 56 third-year undergraduates in a local university in Nigeria was selected for the study. Data for the study were collected through a writing task in English, and a questionnaire. The essays were graded using a validated scale. The questionnaire was analysed using SPSS software. Findings of the study show that the participants have a low awareness of metadiscourse. The findings also reveal that there is a positive relationship between the participants’ awareness of metadiscourse and their persuasive writing quality. The study gives insight to researchers and lecturers, not only in the language field but in other areas, on how to improve the students’ awareness and use of metadiscourse which would eventually develop writing performance. Finally, the study makes some recommendations for further studies.


Awareness, ESL Writing, Metadiscourse, Nigeria, Persuasive Essay

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