Investigating Paragraph Writing Skills among Polytechnic Students: The Case of Kumasi Polytechnic
Paragraphs are the building blocks of essays. A sound knowledge of paragraph structuring leads to well-written and readable essays. On the contrary, a lack of paragraph writing skills culminates into a farrago of ideas scattered haphazardly in the essay, thereby affecting paragraph unity and coherence, which in turn impacts negatively on the packaging of ideas in the essay. This study has been prompted by my observation over the years of paragraph construction difficulties polytechnic students face in their academic writing, and also the paucity of research in polytechnic writing. As a result, this paper set to investigate how students structure their paragraphs in terms of topic sentence use and support sentences. A corpus of 120 essays was collected from four departments in Kumasi Polytechnic, Kumasi, Ghana and using Bain’s paragraph principles as a benchmark to analyse them, the results revealed that 66% of the essays employed definite paragraph format. The study also found numerous one-sentence paragraphs leading to the creation of indentations, with reckless abandon. The results of the study have implications for the teaching of writing skills in polytechnics.
Investigating Paragraph Writing Skills among Polytechnic Students: The Case of Kumasi Polytechnic, International Journal of Language and Linguistics.
Vol. 3, No. 3,
2015, pp. 145-153.
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