First Year Fijian Undergraduate University Students Academic Essay Writing Error Analysis

Prashneel Ravisan Goundar, Lia J. K. D. Bogitini


The assessment of English essay writing errors at university undergraduate level has been achieved in several countries but a study using error analysis is the first to be conducted in the Pacific Island nation of Fiji. The purpose of the present study was to examine errors of written academic essays of Fijian undergraduate pre-service and in-service students at the Fiji National University Lautoka campus. This paper analyzes pre-service and in-service undergraduate students’ essay writing papers which is a new dimension and knowledge to existing literature. The study mainly focused on eighteen errors as classified and adapted from Darus & Ching (2009) with the top six errors discussed in this paper. Twenty writing samples were analyzed with the top errors for pre-service students being mechanics, subject verb agreement, redundancy, prepositions, tense and vocabulary choice while in-service students had errors in mechanics, redundancy, tense, articles, incomplete structures, word form and clarity. The authors found that carelessness and failure to recognize important words in the sentences as the main reasons for the errors. The paper recommends that remedial lessons on usage of articles, word formation and preposition are required in the course curriculum to improve upon the errors mentioned.


Academic Writing, English Essay, Undergraduate Students, Grammatical Errors, Error Analysis

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