Malaysian ESL Students’ Perception of Metadiscourse in Essay Writing 

Hadi Kashiha 1 *

More Detail


This study investigated the use of metadiscourse markers and highlighted the problems that Malaysian ESL students face in writing essays. An action research approach using both quantitative and qualitative analyses were used to explore metadiscoure usage. The subjects of this study were diploma students who had enrolled in an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course in a private college in Malaysia. A total of 143 scripts of the essays written in the essay writing section of the final examination were assessed and analyzed using Hyland’s (2005a) interpersonal model of metadiscourse. Results revealed that transitions were the most frequently used interactive metadiscourse, making up 54% of the total interactive markers, while evidentials were the least frequently occurring with only 2 occurrences. Under the interactional resources, engagement markers were found to be the most favored, accounting for 40.7% of the interactional markers, while attitude markers appeared the least with only 3 occurrences. The findings of this study suggest that metadiscourse practices play a crucial role in creating a cohesive and a coherent piece of writing. In addition, ESL students need to be explicitly instructed on the communicative function of metadiscourse markers in academic writing.


Essay writing ESL students interactive interactional metadiscourse markers


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 8, Issue 3, July 2018, pp. 193-201

Published Online: 15 Jul 2018

Article Views: 1562

Article Downloads: 1125

Open Access References How to Cite This Article