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THE RELEVANCE OF COHESIVE DEVICES ON STUDENTS WRITING

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Students often present their writings with lots of problems especially in the use of cohesive devices which most of the time serves as a barrier to the understanding of the essays written by students especially in academia. They need to be encouraged to ensure text flow through sequence of sentences, as this a criterion in the evaluation of academic writing. Writers should be directed to the ideas they wish to express, as well as the sentences they use to express those ideas (Holloway, 1981&Supong, 2010, Smith, 1988). Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines cohesive as an adjective, connected or related in a reasonable way to form a whole .Akindele (2011), Halliday and Hassan (1976), van Dijk (1992) is of the view that “cohesive devices are concerned with the principles of connectivity which bind a text together and force co-interpretation. Akindele (2011) added that linguistic analysis is interested in analysing sentence sequences in order to understand how meanings reflect mutual dependence in a text. It is generally believed that a text whether written or spoken is only meaningful when the various segments are brought together to make a unified whole.” This research work is aimed at evaluating a second language user’s ability in the use of English language to select appropriate grammatical and lexical devices for effective communication and formation of coherent text. Halliday and Hassan (1976) identified three functions of language. These are ideational, interpersonal and the textual functions. This study focuses on the Use of Cohesive Devices in the writings of tertiary Students. In recent years, researches have given considerable attention to how tertiary institution students actually write and what problems they usually encounter in their writing. The Publication of Halliday and Hassan’s Cohesion in English (1976) has stimulated effect of cohesion in text. Jose (2003:147) looks at cohesion as a means of improving teaching and testing writing, and Witte and Folgly (1960) use cohesion to characterize and rate compositions as high or low. The effects of cohesive devices on text comprehension and recall are investigated by Irwin (1980), while Tierney and Mosenthal (1981) examined causality relations between cohesion and coherence.

Statement of the Problem

The researcher has observed from every day writings of students of Adamu Augie college of Education, Argungu that students appear to be commonly guilty of certain errors emanating from the poor or in proper use of cohesive devices which in turn ends in the formation of in coherent discourse. Crew (1990) in Yina (1992) identified two problems with regards to incoherent writing that most tertiary students have. “One is using numerous connectives without discerning the semantic difference among them such as using “on the contrary” for “however”. Some writers tend to use connectives to maintain surface logicality in their writing. Sentences need to be connected to each other: if Ideas or sentences are simply juxtaposed without being related to one another, it will be difficult or impossible for the reader to understand the sequence of any discourse

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Updated: 21st November 2019 — 4:51 pm

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