Research Article

Investigating the Persuasive Writing Performance of Moroccan Advanced EFL Students: Is it a problem of “Language” or ‘Reasoning” Acquisition Device?


  • Brahim Khartite Assistant Professor of Engineering/Business English ENSAM, Meknes Moulay Ismail University, Morocco
  • Bendaoud Nadif Ph.D. Candidate, English Department, Moulay Ismail University, Meknes, Morocco
  • Ismail Benfilali Assistant Professor, English Department, Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fez-Sais, Morocco


This study investigates the extent to which the results of rhetorical comparisons of persuasive essays by US English native speakers and others by Moroccan advanced EFL students will provide empirical evidence for Kaplan‘s (1966) contrastive rhetoric hypothesis. This is especially regarding the fact that EFL students-writing problems are a byproduct of the negative transfer of rhetorical strategies from their first language (L1). This hypothesis is tested by comparing 20 EFL and Arabic L1 persuasive essays by the same EFL students to essays in English as L1 by native speakers to identify the extent to which the language of composing and one’s cultural background affects the writing quality of their essays. The study hypothesizes that if Kaplan’s contrastive rhetoric claims were accurate, then Moroccan advanced EFL writers would produce essays that tend to be rhetorically less accurate when judged by standard English rhetorical criteria. Moreno’s (2005) approach to match comparable corpora of persuasive essays from two different cultural and linguistic backgrounds was adopted. As for the study participants, 40 advanced student-writers from two discrepant language and cultural backgrounds were recruited to take part in the study. While the results of a stepwise multiple regression analysis provides further evidence corroborating the validity of the rhetorical measures used in the study, group mean scores comparisons and a Multiple Discriminant analysis of the data indicates that those writers from various cultural backgrounds seem to face far more similar than different rhetorical problems and their writing inadequacies are equally distributed regardless of which language the study participants used to write their essays.

Article information


International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

Volume (Issue)

4 (5)





How to Cite

Khartite, B. ., Nadif , B. ., & Benfilali, I. . (2021). Investigating the Persuasive Writing Performance of Moroccan Advanced EFL Students: Is it a problem of “Language” or ‘Reasoning” Acquisition Device?. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 4(5), 77–82.



Contrastive rhetoric, Moroccan EFL writing transfer, persuasive essays, reasoning strategies, rhetorical patterns