Kutay Uzun

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Cohesive devices are important elements in that they contribute to the overall quality of writing in terms of establishing connections, actualizing transitions and linking ideas. Related to this, conjunctions also carry the same importance as cohesive devices since they connect paragraphs, sentences and clauses. In this regard, the present study aims to document the use of conjunctions by upper-intermediate and advanced learners of EFL in their argumentative essays and look for potential relationships between the frequency of the use of conjunctions and argumentative essay performance. The study is of a descriptive nature, utilizing quantitative data to conduct analyses. The corpus for the study is comprised of 160 argumentative essays written by 40 students throughout one semester in an English Literature course. The frequency values regarding the use of conjunctions for each essay in the corpus were formed by the researcher taking Halliday and Hasan’s (1976) taxonomy of conjunctions as a basis. For the scoring of the essays, a holistic rubric developed for the scoring of argumentative essays was preferred. The use of conjunctions in the corpus was reported as frequencies and percentages classfying them under the subtitles of additive, adversative, causal and temporal. Spearman’s Rank Order Correlation Coefficient was computed to see if there was a relationship between argumentative writing performance and the frequency of conjunction use. The findings are discussed in relation to relevant litearture in the conclusion section.

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