The Effect of General and Specific Topics on Writing Performance of EFL Students
This paper describes a study exploring the effect of topical knowledge on writing performance of EFL students. A total of 58 accounting students of Islamic Azad University of in two levels of proficiency, intermediate and advanced, participated in this study. They were voluntarily participated in an English Learning Program provided by Islamic Azad University. At the end of the program, each student was required to write two essays: one that requires general knowledge of students about their opinion on continuing their education in university and the other that requires them to use their specific knowledge and write about preparing of balance sheet in accounting. After the results were manifested, writing on the specific topic yielded lower scores on accuracy, poor organization, and weak idea development and concluding paragraph. In this research there was an interview with students to figure out about their opinion of these two prompts. 24 students participated in this interview who were all agree that the prompt that required them to use specific knowledge of their major was much more challenging than the general prompt. This research results show the importance of preparing and developing appropriate prompts for EFL writing tests. (original abstract)
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