Indirect exposure to argumentative genre: a methodological approach to improving thesis statements (The case of Kosovo first semester undergraduate students)
Donika Elezkurtaj Bërveniku – Lindita Sejdiu-Rugova
The purpose of this study was threefold: (a) to create an original student corpus of the argumentative writings of first-year undergraduate students; (b) to describe the differences among student writing (with a focus on thesis statements) at two stages of the first semester, based on essays obtained at two different times; (c) to investigate the effectiveness of indirect instruction of argumentative writing during the first semester. The results of the study indicate that there were slight differences in the effectiveness of the indirect instruction, which included introducing argumentative essay samples, free-writing activities and discussions. The results further indicate that the writings of stage one and stage two, respectively, were not notably different when it came to composing a thesis statement. Relatively few students included a sentence to resemble the structure and function of a thesis statement. The findings of this study reveal that students are not aware of certain linguistic patterns present in written argumentation. It is obvious from the study that in order for students to create thesis statements, which is an inevitable argumentative writing skill in academia, Needs-based Learning should be integrated across the implemented methods of teaching. The results have implications for the syllabus and course materials.
Key words: argumentation, thesis statement, writing, methodology, instruction, learner corpora