Common Errors in Composing An Academic Writing: A Descriptive Qualitative Study in Higher Education Setting


  • Wulandari Putri Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia


academic writing, coherence, connectors, errors in writing, problems in writing


This study was aimed at examining frequent errors found in
student academic writing, namely the abstract for proposal, as well as their
knowledge and problems they faced in composing an academic writing.
The study was conducted in a descriptive qualitative method framework,
involving students in an academic writing class. The participants of the
study were seven students in the writing class. The instruments used in
this study were student works, focus group discussion, and a quiz. The
results showed that the frequent errors found in student works included
the use and selection of connectors, mechanical errors, redundancy,
incorrect complex sentence structures, sentence structures (subject and
predicate agreement), and incomplete and/or inacurrate content. The main
problems involved difficulties in arranging coherent writing, ordering the
word correctly, choosing and selecting connectors, choosing formal words,
and acknowledging the mistakes. Meanwhile, the data on student
knowledge showed that students had been aware of the structure of an
abstract and all elements needed in an abstract. The findings imply that
interventions for improving the student ability in evaluating their own
work is vital, such as corrective feedback, the use of language tools, and
extensive writing programs containing repetitive editing.