Research Proposals

INCORRECT PUNCTUATION MARKS AND AMBIGUITY IN WRITTEN ENGLISH OF STUDENTS

INCORRECT PUNCTUATION MARKS AND AMBIGUITY IN WRITTEN ENGLISH OF STUDENTS

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background to the Study

Over the years, studies have shown that many students lack the knowledge of inserting correct punctuation marks in their writings, this makes their writings inappropriate. In the same vein, Punctuation is an essential part of good writing that we all have a duty to master: without it, we cannot make our meanings clear, with it; we can enhance our use of language.

It is also an important aspect of writing that cannot be over emphasised because; it is one of the major ingredients that contributes to meaning of any written discourse. This implies that, the correct use of punctuations in written English enhances meaning and facilitates comprehension and effective communication.

 

INCORRECT PUNCTUATION MARKS AND AMBIGUITY IN WRITTEN ENGLISH OF STUDENTS

Punctuations include full stop, comma, colon; semi-colon, hyphens, apostrophe, question marks, exclamation marks, and brackets among others.

Ambiguity is an idea that may be understood in more than one sense or interpreted differently by speaker and hearer. Incorrect use of punctuation in written English alters meanings and creates ambiguity in written discourse which leads to ineffective written communication.

 

Therefore, it is important for educational planners, scholars, lecturers, students and teachers to know the functions of punctuation marks, their meanings and when to use them in order to provide a good piece of comprehensible written discourse.

An error in punctuations intended, makes written words ungrammatical, incomprehensible and ambiguous. Therefore, it is important in any written English for students to know the functions of punctuation marks, their meaning and when to use them properly.

With the introduction of a standard system of punctuation, the rules of punctuations are strictly considered as the basic part of meaning of any narrative writing.  It is on the above point this research project aims at analysing the incorrect punctuation and ambiguity in written English of students of English, in Akwa Ibom State College of Education, Afaha Nsit in order to explicate how incorrect punctuation marks creates ambiguity in their written discourse and hinder their effective narrative writings.

 

1.2 Statement of the Problem

It is obvious that majority of Students of the Department of English, College of Education, Afaha Nsit, wrongly punctuate words in their written English causing many inconsistencies of meaning in some selected scripts and writings on the notice boards of the students.

Many at times words and phrases carry double meaning as a result of inappropriate use of punctuation marks. These therefore become worrisome for students as they are unable to graduate at the appropriate time.

The above problem motivates the researcher to ask if the incorrect punctuations lead to ambiguity in written English of students of the Department of English, College of Education, Afaha Nsit?  The quest to answer this question motivates the present research on incorrect punctuation as a cause of Ambiguity in written English of students of the Department of English, College of Education, Afaha Nsit.

 

1.3 Objectives of the Study

This research aims at analysing the incorrect punctuation marks and ambiguity in written English of Students of English, in Akwa Ibom State College of Education, Afaha Nsit.

Specifically, the objectives are set to:

  1. examine the relationship between punctuation and precision in written communication of students of the Department of English, College of Education, Afaha Nsit;
  2. examine how incorrect punctuation results into ambiguity in written English of students of the Department of English, College of Education, Afaha Nsit; and
  3. Make recommendations where necessary.

 

1.4   Significance of the Study

This research will appeal particularly to students, lecturers, teachers in secondary schools, public speakers and text book writers with a sketchy knowledge of the guidelines on punctuation marks.

This study will also serves as a reference materials to researchers on the important of punctuation marks and the effects of ambiguity in narrative writings.

The work will also be of value to editors and typesetters who might need a reminder on some of the less common aspects of their subject and particularly to students to punctuate properly in their written English without tempering with the meaning of the original sentence.

The findings will help applicants who write for employment, letter to friends or to the bank manager and technical manual.

 

1.5 Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  1. What is the relationship between punctuation and precision in written communication?
  2. How does incorrect punctuation result into ambiguity in written English of students of the Department of English, College of Education, Afaha Nsit?

 

1.6 Limitation of the Study

The limitation of this study was time factor where the researcher had to use a lot of time to get the research respondents.  The research being an academic assignment has a time limit and lack of enough time for the researcher due to the duration of the project defence.

Another limitation was the research faces a lot of challenges regarding accessibility of the students’ examination scripts and those of test because most at times the papers are not given out by the lectures. At times, students misplace their papers and some do not give out the papers due to their poor performance.

 

Conclusion

From the findings of this research work, it clearly shows that the use of punctuation marks makes written communication effective and shows its   ambiguity where the punctuation marks are used improperly. The inappropriate use of periods, comma, semi-colons, question marks, exclamation marks, brackets, quotation marks, parentheses and apostrophes as punctuation marks during written English can make the sentence ambiguous in written English of students of English Department in Akwa Ibom State of Education, Afaha Nsit. Also that the use of punctuation marks help in showing what goes with what in a sentence in students’ written English.

Furthermore, punctuation marks help to strengthen arguments that are made in written English. Also, punctuation marks separate or show interruptions with specific marks and this affects the written English among English students. In addition, punctuation marks used help in separating words into phrases, clauses and sentences in students’ written English and the use of punctuation marks make text easier to read.

It is concluded that incorrect punctuation leads to ambiguity in written English among students of the Department of English, Akwa Ibom State College of Education, Afaha Nsit.

 

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Joselyn Nya

My Name is Joselyn Nya A Publisher in Project Boss Team. I'm a Nigerian I'm a graduate/Educational Researcher. Project Boss Team. We are the best for Project materials and project writing services. Email: admin@projectboss.com.ng

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