Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name



The interest for this study developed out of reviewing Chinese international ESL students' writing samples from an ESL pre-assessment exam administered at a private, Midwestern university. The writing samples did not seem as developed as they should have been for their respective English proficiencies. I wondered if the individualistic nature of the writing prompt conflicted with Chinese collectivist thought. A pilot study was conducted with a different group of Chinese ESL students to test this speculation, and the results indicated that culture may have influenced argument writing. This qualitative study uses Chinese ESL students' ITP TOEFL scores, analytic writing rubric scores, and self-assessment responses to find what influences their recount and argument writing on the writing section of a pre-assessment exam. This study was able to find that lower English proficiency contributed to low argument scores.