Assessing Unity, Coherence and Word Usage in Students’ Writing

Nurul Fajri


This research was done to find out whether unity, coherence, and word usage were used appropriately by students in writing paragraphs in English, the error made most by these students in constructing their paragraphs and the lecturer’s insight in her students’ writing errors. This study uses a qualitative research format, where all the data are described in a systematic way based on the research questions. A number of 21 second year students from the English Department in a university in Banda Aceh were the sample of this research. To obtain the data, the writer used a test. She also interviewed the lecturer to gain more understanding on her students’ writing errors. The findings showed that some students did not use unity, coherence, and word usage appropriately in writing their paragraphs. Most errors were made in word usage (137 errors or 79%). Students made errors in spelling and also omitted words and letters. There were 30 errors of unity (17%) and 9 errors of coherence (5%). It was found that many errors they made were influenced by their mother tongue, and were also caused by their difficulties in learning English. Thus, it can be concluded that many of the students made errors because of interlingual and intralingual transfers. Furthermore, the lecturer believed that her students made errors because they lacked enthusiasm, motivation and rarely did their writing exercises. For that reason, lecturers should know and understand the errors in their students’ writing so that they can provide appropriate remedies to resolve the problems faced by their learners.


Writing; Unity; Coherence; Word Usage

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