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Grammatical Cohesion in SHS Students’ Research Introductions

College of Education – Graduate Studies, Polytechnic University of the Philippines,
Manila, Philippines



Of the four language macro language skills, writing is considered the hardest to master (Berowa, 2017). For ESL (English as Second Language) users, writing needs a good command of the target language and strategic rhetorical techniques like the use of cohesive devices (Hyland, 2003). Using Halliday and Hasan’s (1976) cohesion taxonomy, 15 research introductions from Senior High School students were investigated using a mixed-method approach. This study identified the grammatical cohesive devices (GCDs) found in the research introductions its implications to the students’ challenges in establishing and maintaining cohesion in their writing. Results revealed that reference, conjunction, and substitution devices appeared in the analysis of the corpus, but reference devices comprised the majority of the GCDs. The excerpts taken from the corpus and the rigid content analysis found traces of overusing it by using certain devices repeatedly, misusing it because of the wrong application of certain cohesive devices, and underusing as when needed, these GCDs are not present in the sentence. This inappropriate use of devices can reduce the quality of students’ writing. Hence, further research is needed to identify the best teaching practices to improve students’ cohesion in writing

Keywords: cohesion, grammatical cohesive devices, research introductions, writing, challenges

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