Inappropriate Use of Transitions by National University of Lesotho Students
The concept of metadiscourse is based on the view that, when people communicate, they do so on two levels. On one level, they provide information, and on another level, which is the level of metadiscourse, they actively intrude into their texts to guide readers through the texts or simply to build relationships with them. Using the interpersonal model of metadiscourse which was first introduced by Hyland and Tse (2004) and further developed by Hyland (2005), this paper focuses on one subcategory of interactive (or organizational) metadiscourse, transitions. Transitions, typically conjunctions and conjunctive adverbs, are devices that the writer uses to explicitly indicate how arguments are linked. Through them, the writer specifies the inferences that he/she wants the reader to make so that the reader can interpret the text in ways that the writer intends. This paper seeks to find out how the National University of Lesotho students inappropriately used transitions in their academic writing and the extent to which such inappropriate uses affected text comprehensibility. Findings indicate that the errors ranged from minor errors that did not affect text comprehensibility to very serious ones. As regards the errors that did not affect text comprehensibility, it was observed that these were mainly grammatical. Some errors were, however, more serious and concerned cases where it was difficult for the reader to interpret what the writer was trying to say even though he/she had used transitions. In these cases, the use of transitions did not at all make the text easily accessible to the reader.
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