A study of selected errors in Arab students' English compositions and an investigation of Arabic rhetoric

Samaa Gamie, University of Rhode Island


The first half of this dissertation study proposes a revision and rethinking of the traditional methodology used in error studies in composition and presents a new approach to the research on error. The dissertation presents an analysis of the frequency of errors in a sample of 756 Arab student essays of Egyptian, Kuwaiti, Lebanese, and Syrian nationalities. The error study of Arab student writing also analyzes the ways in which these Arab students use the English language to present and affirm their individual, national, cultural, and religious discourses and the manifestations of cultural and ideological resistance in these students' written discourses. The latter half of the dissertation study discusses contrastive rhetoric methodology and its uses and proposes another approach to analyze non-English texts and rhetorical traditions. The final chapter in my dissertation presents a rhetorical analysis of four Arabic texts from five different angles: the announcement of a thesis or the paper's central point or argument; the announcement of a topic sentence and the unity of each paragraph; the choice of language and words; the use of punctuation marks; and the explicitness of appeal. The conclusion offers the summation of the findings of my research, presents possible pedagogical approaches for teachers of Arab student writers on how to best assist them in their learning of the English language, and offers a framework within which the study of Arabic rhetoric and of other world rhetorics can be implemented in both writing scholarship and composition classrooms.

Subject Area

English as a Second Language|British and Irish literature|Rhetoric

Recommended Citation

Samaa Gamie, "A study of selected errors in Arab students' English compositions and an investigation of Arabic rhetoric" (2009). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3380530.