Authors: Nuru Mohammed-Tahir
This paper presents the results of an exploratory study that sought to identify possible gaps in students’ competence in writing. More specifically, the study focuses on the problems experienced by students in organizing and presenting materials to achieve a certain communicative purpose. The study is based on a few cases selected for an in-depth analysis of the problem. Five senior essays written by students in the teaching stream in the Department of Foreign languages and Literature of Addis Ababa University served as the source of data for the study. The basic procedure used for data collection involved conducting an inventory of the problematic parts in the sample students’ written work. The results suggest that the work of students suffered from a range of errors. While some of the errors committed tend to suggest lack of mastery of the basic skill of writing, others appear to be caused by lack of familiarity with the conventions of research report writing. The paper concludes by identifying some of the implications of the findings.