Use of Metadiscourse in the Persuasive Writing of Nigerian Undergraduates

  •  Shehu Muhammad Korau    
  •  Muhammad Mukhtar Aliyu    


Persuasive writing is a very important prerequisite for undergraduates in their academic life endeavour. For the students to effectively compose good persuasive writing, they need to understand and employ metadiscourse appropriately in their writing. However, a large number of Nigerian undergraduates face lots of challenges in using metadiscourse in their writing. Therefore, this study investigated the use of metadiscourse in the persuasive writing of Nigerian undergraduates, by examining the relationship between the frequency of metadiscourse used and the persuasive writing quality. The participants of the study are second-year students of English in one of the Nigerian Universities. The data used in the study were collected through the participants’ written persuasive essays. The essays were analyzed by highlighting all the metadiscourse used in the texts. The findings indicate that the participants’ persuasive essays have a low deployment of metadiscourse which also correlates with their persuasive writing quality. It was observed that almost all the metadiscourse markers were underutilized by the participants such as endophoric markers, evidential, code glosses, hedges and self-mention. Some other metadiscourse were left out in some of the participants' persuasive essays. The study highlights some benefits of the use of metadiscourse and some implications that would improve the teaching and learning of metadiscourse, particularly in the Nigerian setting.

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