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  1 Writing is an essential but challenging skill, especially in a language that is not your own. Learning how to write well can be a daunting process for foreign learners. There are many students of English as a   Foreign Language (EFL) who write well in their native language, but struggle terribly with obstacles, such as  poor grammatical usage or a lack of vocabulary. This can lead to less motivation towards writing. With the omnipresence of technology however, researchers and educators have been exploring how to combine social media and internet tools in EFL educational programs to improve foreign students’ writing abilities and encourage their willingness to write.   This paper investigates whether a specific social media (blogging) can improve students’ writing abilities and learning attitudes. Abudlaziz (2011) asserts that there is a clear correlation between blogging and effective development of writing skills , as well as an improvement of attitudes towards English learning in a college EFL environment. Similarly, Lin (2015) carried out a parallel experiment in a Chinese EFL university writing class and his result concurs with the conclusion from Abudlaziz. However, Lin also points out some unexpected  problems faced by the student bloggers. My analysis will offer a critical evaluation on the basis of methods and conclusions of each study. Finally, this  paper will provide a recommendation for future studies which builds on the limitations of the two studies.   In Abudlaziz’s article, in order to examine the effects of blogging use in a  2 college writing class upon EFL learners and their attitudes, he carried out research on a sample of 50 college EFL learners (25 in an experimental group, 25 in a control group) to test two hypotheses. He tested a control group using traditional teaching methods and then had an experimental group use active blogging. Abudlaziz’s first hypothesis is that writing ability can be enhanced by active  blogging use. The second hypothesis is that the motivation towards writing can  be improved by active participation in blogs. All participants were required to take a pre-test to make sure that both groups had the same writing ability before the experiment. Afterwards, the experimental group participants received a writing course with blogging while the control group members received a traditional oral-instructed method over sixteen weeks. Students in the experimental group were asked to carry out various writing tasks through the use of blogs. The same writing test was given to both group members and the result indicated that students in the experimental group had an overall better score than control group students. To quantify the attitudes, questionnaires were given to experimental learners at the end of the experiment to explore their attitudes towards the writing course and the result showed that most students felt positive about the use of blogs. Abudlaziz concluded that both hypotheses were proved correct.   Exploring the same hypotheses, Lin replicated Abudlaziz’s experiment in 2015. In his study, he completed a similar experiment in a 16-week blog writing project  3 with a smaller sample of 18 Chinese EFL writing learners. However, there were no controls placed on experimental groups. Only two tests (pre-test and post-test) were conducted to analyze EFL learners’ progress after the experiment. The same questionnaires were adopted to check leaners’ motivation towards blog using. To achieve qualitative data, in-depth interviews were also completed with 5 voluntary learners after the experiment. The volunteers could use Mandarin Chinese in the interviews to make sure that they could have a clear expression. The disparity between pre-test and post-test results suggested that learners had improvements in writing abilities by blogging experience. Interviewees used expressions such as ‘fun’ or ‘interesting’ to describe their blog writing learning experience. However, according to the author, the positive evaluation from the interviewees failed to result in actual blog activities. As reported by a further tracking study, none of the EFL learners continued to use blogs or any other web tools in their writing after the project. The purposes of both papers are to inquire about the development of writing skills and change of motivation towards using blogs in writing class. The experiment methods were similar: both experiment participants were required to take both a pre-test and post-test. Both used questionnaires to explore the learners’ attitudes towards using blogs after the experiment. However, a common deficit is the small sample size of the participates in two studies. Abudlaziz tested 50 EFL learners altogether, while Lin had 18. In a quantitative research, a much large sample would be necessary. The two papers would have more credibility if a  4 much larger sample size was included. The second shortcoming is that there is no control group to compare in Lin’s experiment. He used only one group to carry out the experiment and the same group still took other courses during the 16-week  period. There is a reason to believe that the improvements in students’ writing tests are not necessarily due to the writing blogs. There is no in-depth interview in Abudalziz’s study and the result of the attitude scales in the questionnaires may subject to many factors, like teacher’s pressure or language barrier. In addition, in Lin’s study, he mentioned a tracking study which suggested that the writing  progress and motivation related to blog use are only confined to experimental settings. However, he didn’t give a detailed description about how the tracking study carried out and what the data analysis is. This impacts the conclusion on the study.   This paper has compared two articles to measure the influence of blogging on the development of writing skills and motivation among EFL students. Both explored congruent hypotheses and their study results match the assumptions: motivation and writing abilities can be improved by blogging. However, as stated above, the issues related to the sampling and research methods lead to invalid results. Overall, based on the two studies, further experiments are recommended to achieve more reliable results about blogging method into writing class in an EFL context and its influence beyond classroom.   References:    5 Abudlaziz Ibrahim Fageeh (2011) EFL learners’ use of blogging for developing writing skills and enhancing attitudes towards English learning: an exploratory study.   Ming Huei Lin (2015) Learner-Centered Blogging: A Preliminary Investigation of EFL Student Writers’ Experience.   
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