Academic writing seems to be a huge challenge for most international students. Students usually suffer from many problems such as grammar, vocabulary, organization and so on. According to Harris’s(2010) study of argumentative essay writing, he found that there are many differences between native and non-native students in academic writing, while some people claim that writing styles and conventions are the biggest problem (Sondek,2008 cited in Linn, 2009). This text began with analysing some arguments from the studies by Linn and Harris, and then combines some opinions by myself.
After that suggests that grammar, vocabulary and different writing styles are significant problems for overseas students. It then claims that writing styles with conventions are much harder than others. Nowadays with an increasing numbers of international students, majority of them suffer from the problem about writing an academic essay in English, more and more people study about it. Some scholars note that international students usually have problems to write essays in a new language because of the lack of grammar and vocabulary. Holopainen(1997,p. 19 cited in Harris, 2010) claimed that “grammar and lexical inappropriateness” is an important reason in international students who often failed in writing. What’s more, Harris’s(2010,P. 67) research between domestic and non-native students had found that English native speakers rarely make mistakes in grammar, but to overseas students, the moment of reversing different form order and even missing subjects together is fairly easy to be seen. In contrast, Linn(2009,P. 1) explored the reasons why overseas students who failed to writing are the different request of academic readers than making mistakes in grammar.
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As for me, it is my first time to go aboard for studying. I will pay more attention to the language including vocabulary and so on, which I believe that I can do well with it in the future, however, the different culture and diverse writing styles cannot completely learn from the books. Consequently, grammar and vocabulary is hard for me, but may not the most serious rub. To examine the other aspect of the international students, Schneider and Fujishima (1995, cited in Linn, 2009) putted forward that “Academic writing involves more than grammar.
It involves familiarity with the writing conventions of university culture and the conventions of a particular field”. Subsequently Linn(2009,P. 1) noted that non-native students may be considered about their own language patterns, which are much different from an English way. Similarly, students should endeavors to get accustoms to and satisfy academic audiences in the UK (Harris, 2010, P. 66). As far as I am concerned, I written texts in Chinese and also chinese style for many years, hence, it is different for me to change it immediately.
I even did not know how to write the plan about the essay at beginning, because of the completely different from what I usually did in the past. So I think the writing style and convention will take me more time to be familiar with. On the contrary, some other scholars suggested some disparate conclusions by their studies. Harris (2010,P. 68) discovered that not only native students use the standard pattern, but also non-native students master well about the organization, which seems that there is almost no difference between them.
When it comes to PhD students, they also do well on some of the academic conventions such as references, even for international students (Harris, 2010, P. 67). Therefore Harris suggested that we cannot think the reasons why overseas students usually fail to the academic essays just about one aspect such as convention organizational, but consider about the whole aspects. (Harris, 2010, P. 66) This paper has given an account of and the reasons for the widespread discuss of international students who suffer from the problems in writing essay. Further, both language and convention influence it, especially the different writing styles.
Therefore we should pay more attention to the conventions, for instance reading more quality press instead of tabloid papers, practicing more. What’s more, I also want get more help from staff in university such as lectures about academic discourse and modification of my essay. Although this paper is based on both the studies of Linn and Harris, there are also some limitations in it. This paper does not discuss other aspects of international students’ academic writing except language and convention. For example most of international students are too dependent on their tutors and hardly have another idea which belongs to them.
They usually copy the ideas which tutors say and just do what tutors tell them, which make little effect to students’ study. Considerably more work will need to be done which can summarize the problems students have and then put forward some proposals to solve them. References: Harris, C. , 2010. Argumentative Essay Writing: Differences between Domestic and International Students. Journal of Applied Study, 22(3), Pp. 66-69. Linn, C. , 2009. Investigating the Differences in Academic Writing between UK and Non-UK Writers. Journal of Applied Study, 20(2), Pp. 26-28.