Exploring the topic selection tendencies of university students in L2 writing

Topic selection tendencies of university students



The purpose of this study was to explore the topic selection tendencies of university students among a given topic list and to reveal what reasons students had in deciding on the topic to write about. The study was designed as a case study. 37 students studying at a state university in Konya Province, Turkey were determined as a study group. The findings obtained from the interviews were analyzed by content analysis method. The students were given six different essay topics each week, three of which were about their field while the rest was related to general writing topics. The obtained findings showed that some of the students preferred writing about general topics while some others preferred to write about a topic that was related to their field. Students stated that prior knowledge, difficulty of the topic, lack of sufficient knowledge on the topic were among the reasons affecting topic selection process. Students stated that writing about self-selected topics were effective in terms of improving English vocabulary knowledge, grammar knowledge, writing skill, developing English thinking skill, affective development, and field knowledge development.