Academic journal article International Journal of English Linguistics

Metadiscourse in Indonesian EFL Learners' Persuasive Texts: A Case Study at English Department, UNISBANK

Academic journal article International Journal of English Linguistics

Metadiscourse in Indonesian EFL Learners' Persuasive Texts: A Case Study at English Department, UNISBANK

Article excerpt


Writing competence facilitates the students' success in their study. In order to produce a coherent text, a writer needs to employ sufficient metadiscourse markers. This study attempted to investigate the use of metadiscourse markers in 7 Indonesian EFL learners' Persuasive writings. The study is descriptive, applying a quantitative method to support a qualitative analysis. The research results reveal that the occurrences of textual marker types in EFL learners' Persuasive texts are overall closely similar to those at considered as standard proficient writing (extract from BAWE corpus), while those of interpersonal marker types are different from the standard proficient writing . Since the occurrences of interpersonal marker types are different from those at BAWE corpus in terms of hedges, boosters, engagement markers, the teacher needs to give more practice in teaching the interpersonal metadiscourse markers. Metadiscourse analysis can be a strategy to make the students aware of the important role of metadiscourse markers.

Keywords: textual metadiscourse marker, interpersonal metadiscourse marker, EFL Persuasive text, BAWE corpus

1. Introduction

Writing activities play a crucial role in college students' learning process. They start writing from the early up to the late stage, e.g., writing summary, research proposal, research report, etc. That is why, Geiser and Studly (2001) in McNamora, Crossley, and McCarthy (2010, p. 58) state that for students, writing ability is among the best predictors for success in course work during their years of study. Rao (2007) explains that EFL writing is useful in two respects, i.e., it encourages students' thinking, organizing ideas, developing their abilities to summarize, analyze, and criticize. And it strengthens their learning and thinking. From the statements above, it is clear that writing is essential for academic survival.

Schleppegrel (2004, pp. 88-89) states that as students move to high school and beyond, they are needed to write Persuasive writings, a genre through which they present a point of view and support it with arguments. The Persuasive writing is symbolic of students' success with language at school where they are expected to provide reasoned, concrete arguments. Syntactic complexity is greater in Persuasive writing than in other genres. When students are writing Persuasive or Argumentative discourse, they are engaging in an activity which inherently requires logical interrelationships among propositions. Consequently, the complex skill in using metadiscourse markers is badly needed. Intaparawat and Steffensen's research "Comparison of metadiscourse use between good and poor ESL undergraduate writers" (1995) as cited by Heng and Tan (2010) discloses that more metadiscourse features are applied in qualified essays. Thus, genre of Persuasive writing and metadiscourse are two things that college students need to master in order to produce qualified writing.

Metadiscourse is a range of devices that writers use to explicitly organize their texts, engage readers, and signal their attitudes to both their material and their audience (Hyland & Tse, 2004, p. 156). It is the set of linguistic resources that every language has as part of the textual metafunction for linking one part of a text to another (Olateju, 2006). So, it is like glue that holds sentences and paragraphs together. It is textual and interpersonal in nature. Vande Kopple (2002) states that metadiscourse satisfies the interpersonal and textual function of language.

Based on the background above, this study attempted to investigate metadiscourse markers in Indonesian EFL learners' Persuasive texts. The problems clarified in this study are as follows: What are textual metadiscourse markers applied by EFL learners? What are interpersonal metadiscourse markers applied by EFL learners? What metadiscourse markers are dominantly applied? How are the occurrences of metadiscourse markers in EFL learners' Persuasive texts compared with those in BAWE corpus? …

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