Exploring the Use of Discourse Markers in EFL Students’ Writing through Google Docs

Atef O. AbuSa’aleek


This study aimed to investigate the discourse markers (DMs) used in EFL undergraduates’ writing through Google Docs. It tends to find out whether there are any significant differences in DMs used in the narrative, descriptive, and process essays, and the significant issues arising from the EFL undergraduates’ use of DMs in essay writing. It adopted a qualitative case study to obtain data from 36 narrative, descriptive, and process essays written by 12 pairs of EFL undergraduates. The DMs in written essays are investigated, categorized, and analyzed according to Fraser’s (1988) model of message relationship markers. The findings indicate that (1) there is no relationship between the number of words within the essays and the number of message relationship markers, (2) the EFL undergraduates use the highest number of parallel DMs in the three essays: narrative, descriptive, and process essays, followed by contrastive, inferential, and elaborative DMs, respectively. The thematic analysis of the EFL undergraduates’ written essays (3) showed a range of significant issues such as the overuse of DMs, EFL undergraduates’ misuse and ignorance of DMs, and the multiple uses of DMs. Finally, the study presents pedagogical implications for writing instructors in increasing awareness of EFL undergraduates of DMs, including their varied types, functions, and proper uses in writing courses

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v12n2p124

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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