English Writing Errors Committed by Saudi Students: A Study of Two Female University Groups

  •  Islam Ababneh    


The main aim of this study is to highlight the writing errors made by Saudi students majoring in English. The study selected a sample of two groups of female Saudi students residing in two Saudi regions: Tabuk and Hafr Al Batin. The students were requested to write approximately three to four paragraphs about one of three topics related to Saudi Arabia: social media and its effects on Saudi social life, marriage customs in Saudi Arabia, or the economy of Saudi Arabia. In analyzing the collected writing data, the students’ writing errors were identified and classified into four categories: grammar type, syntax type, mechanics type, and lexical type errors. Then, the frequency and error percentages of each subcategory were calculated for both groups. The findings show that both groups produced most errors in the subcategory of spelling followed by tenses subcategory even though the students from the University of Hafr Al Batin made overall higher percentages of errors than the errors’ percentages made by the students from the University of Tabuk. Further investigation reveals that all students in both regions hardly practice English writing and that Arabic interference contributes to the students’ English writing errors. The findings also imply that the curricula specialists at the Saudi ministry of education might consider including more educational material to improve the English writing skills of Saudi university students.

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