International Postgraduate Students’ Perception of Challenges in Academic Writing in Malaysian Public Universities

Sedigheh Shakib Kotamjani, Arshad Abd Samad, Mehrnaz Fahimirad


The purpose of this study is to investigate international postgraduate students’ perceptions of difficulty with academic writing in Malaysian public universities. A survey was used to collect students’ perceptions of difficulties and challenges in general academic writing skills and language-related skills. The results revealed that students perceived greater difficulty in language-related problems than general academic writing skills. In terms of language-related skills, they ranked writing coherent paragraph, summarizing and paraphrasing, applying appropriate lexical phrases, utilizing proper academic language and vocabulary respectively as the most difficult areas in writing. However, with respect to general academic writing skills, they perceived the most difficulties in reviewing and criticizing the literature, writing introduction and research gap. The results of this study implied that international postgraduate students who graduated from non-English medium instruction universities should be supported in terms of English for Academic Purposes (EAP), critical thinking skills and language-related skills to become self-directed in learning to write.


Academic Writing, Difficulty, Challenges, Higher Education

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