A Study of Students’ Academic Writing In Response to Instructors’ Expectations at Aau: Four Departments In Focus

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa University


Key Words Students’ Academic Writing Instructors’ Expectations It is obvious that the English courses (College English and Sophomore) offered in Addis Ababa University are based on the assumption that what is taught and learned in these classes would help students overcome their previous writing problems and write well in their subject area courses. However, what may not be clear is how well students are able to use what they have learned from writing courses into their content courses writing tasks or what exactly subject area teachers expect of their students. This being the case, it will become necessary to examine the academic writing practices, features, and expectations of the Addis Ababa University subject matter instructors and their students to obtain the features of academic writing instructors require and expect. The purpose of the study reported in this thesis, therefore, was to investigate the students’ academic writing in relation to the instructors’ expectations in the context of AAU. Focusing on four departments of the university and adopting a descriptive approach, the study set out specifically to (a) determine the features of good academic papers instructors expect from their students and in this regard whether the students' writing reflect the instructors’ expectations, (b) whether the students’ awareness of what constitute good academic writing approximate (match with) their instructors’ expectations, (c) if the instructors help the students meet the writing requirements and (d) to see the extent to which instructors actually look beyond content to language errors in the students' writing. In addition, the study attempted to look at the order of the seriousness of the problems, if any, in terms of content, writing skills, and language as noticed by the instructors and experienced by the students. Two techniques of data gathering were employed in order to obtain the data required for the study. One was a questionnaire, which was designed and distributed to both subject area instructors and their students in the selected departments. The other was interview by which information was gathered from the instructors and the students. The data gathered from the instructors and their students were then analyzed The results of the study tend to indicate that the students were actually less successful in meeting or reflecting their instructors’ expectations of good academic papers in their writing. The results also appear to show that what the students perceived as elements of a good academic paper in most cases, agree with their instructors’ expectations. However, even though, the students were aware of the qualities their papers should satisfy, both the instructors and the students themselves witnessed that they had serious problems in fulfilling or demonstrating these features in their papers.



Students, Academic Writing Instructors, Expectations