Lexical and Syntactic Complexities in Undergraduate Students’ Research Articles and Their Correlations to Their Quality

Ratna Dewi


Abstract: This study aims to find out the employment of lexical and syntactic complexities in the undergraduate students’ research articles and their correlations to their quality. It employes a quantitative design through corpus based analysis and correlation analysis using Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient. The results show that lexical density, lexical sophistication, and lexical variation are high except for verb variation, noun variation, adjective variation, adverb variation and modifier variation and the sentence complexity is also high. The quality of the udergraduate students’ research articles is categorized as above good or it is only a half point needed to achieve the criteria of great research article. This research find that there is no correlation between lexical and syntactic complexities with the quality of artiles. It is expected that this article could provide information about the lexical and syntacti complexities which are needed to be improved in the undergraduate students’ research articles.
Key Words: lexical complexity, syntactic complexity, article quality

Abstrak: Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengetahui penggunaan kompleksitas leksikal dan sintaksis pada artikel penelitian mahasiswa dan korelasinya terhadap kualitasnya. Penelitian ini menggunakan desain kuantitatif melalui analisis berbasis korpus dan analisis korelasi menggunakan koefisien korelasi momen produk Pearson. Hasil penelitian ini menunjukkan bahwa kepadatan leksikal, kecanggihan leksikal, dan variasi leksikal tinggi kecuali pada variasi verba, variasi kata benda, variasi kata sifat, variasi adverbia dan variasi pengubah dan kompleksitas kalimat juga tinggi. Kualitas artikel penelitian mahasiswa tingkat sarjana dikategorikan sangat baik atau hanya setengah poin yang dibutuhkan untuk mencapai kriteria penelitian besar. Penelitian ini menemukan bahwa tidak ada korelasi antara kompleksitas leksikal dan sintaksis dengan kualitas artikel. Diharapkan artikel ini dapat memberikan informasi tentang leksikal dan kompleksitas sintaksis yang perlu ditingkatkan dalam artikel penelitian mahasiswa.
Kata kunci: kompleksitas leksikal, kompleksitas sintaksis, kualitas artikel


lexical complexity; syntactic complexity; article quality

Full Text:



Afini & Cahyono, B.Y. (2012). The Lexical Richness in Narrative Texts of XI Graders of MAN 3 Malang. English Language Education, 1(1). Retrieved from http://journal-online.um.ac.id.

Ai, H. & Lu, X. (2010). A Web-based System for Automatic Measurement of Lexical Complexity. Paper pres-ented at 27th Annual Symposium of the Computer Assisted Language Concortium (CALICO-10). Re-trieved from http://www.personal.psu.edu/hua126/papers/calico10_ai_lu.pdf.

Ai, H. & Lu, X. (2013). A corpus-based comparison of syn-tactic complexity in NNS and NS university students writing. In Nicolas Ballier, Ana Díaz-Negrillo, and Paul Thompson (Eds.). Automatic Treatment and Analysis of Learner Corpus Data (pp. 249–264). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Basthomi, Y. (2006). The Rethoric of Research Article Introductions Written in English by Indonesians (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Pascasarjana Universitas Negeri Malang: Malang.

Basthomi, Y. (2009). Examining Research Spaces in Doctoral Prospectus. TEFLIN Journal, 20(2), 140–157. Re-trieved from http://journal-online.um.ac.id.

Brown, H.D. (2007)(3rd ed.). Teaching by Principles: an Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy. New York: San Fransisco State University. Retrieved from http://moodle.adaptland.it/pluginfile.php/4930/mod_resource/content/1/329WP_08_71.pdf.

Francis, W.S., Romo, L.F. & Gelman, R. (2002). Syntactic Structure, Grammatical Accuracy, and Content in Second-Language Writing: An Analysis of Skill Learning and On-line Processing. Bilingual Sen-tence Processing. Retrieved from academics.utep. edu/Portals/321/.../Francis/FrancisRomoGelman02. pdf.

Hinkel, E. (2003). Simplicity without Elegance: Features of Sentences in L2 and L1 Academic Texts. TESOL Quarterly, 37, 275–301. Retrieved from http://www. elihinkel.org/dowloads.htm.

Hinkel, E. (2005). Analyses of second language (L2) Texts and What can be Learnt from them. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning, Lawrence Erlbaum Associ-ates, 615_628. Retrieved from http://www.elihinkel. org/dowloads.htm.

Hinkel, E. (2011). What Research on Second Language Writing Tells us and What it doesn’t. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning, 2, 523–538. New York: Routlege. Retrieved from http://www.elihinkel.org/dowloads.htm.

Larsen-Freeman, D. (2006). The Emergence of Complexity, Fluency, and Accuracy in the Oral and Written Production of Five Chinese Learners of English. Ap-plied Linguistics, 27(4), 590–619. Retrieved from www.pebc.org/.../Larsen-Freeman-Complxty-Fluncy-Accrcy-in-Oral-Wt...

Laufer, B. (1994). The Lexical Profile of Second Language Writing: Does it Chang over Time?. RELC Journal, 25, 21–33.

Laufer, B & Nation, P. (1995).Vocabulary Size and Use: Lexical Richness in L2 Written Production. Applied Linguistics, 16(3): 307–322.

Lu, X. (2010). Automatic Analysis of Syntatic Complexity in Second Language Learners. International Jour-nal of Corpus Linguistics, 15(4), 474–496. doi: 10.1075/ijcl.15.4.02lu I.

Lu, X. (2011). A corpus-based Evaluation of Syntactic Com-plexity Measures as Indices of College-level ESL Writers’ Language Development. TESOL Quarterly, 45(1), 36–62.

Lu, X. 2012. The Relationship of Lexical Richness to the Quality of ESL Learners’ Oral Narratives. The Mod-ern Language Journal, 96(2), 190–208.

Mukminatin, N. (1997). The Differences of Students’ Writing Achievements across Different Course Level (Un-published doctoral dissertation). Pascasarjana Uni-versitas Negeri Malang: Malang.

Nation, I.S.P. (2001). Learning Vocabulary in Another Lan-guage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Naves, T. (2007). Analytical Measurers of Learners’ Written Language. Barcelona: University of Barcelona, Eng-lish Department. Retrieved from www.ub.edu/GRAL /pubs/Celaya&Naves2009Writing.pdf.

Šišková, Z. (2012). Lexical Richness in EFL Students’ Narra-tives. University of Reading: Language Studies Working Papers. Retrieved from http://www. readingconnect.net/web/files/english-language-and-literature/elal_lswp_vol_4_siskova.pdf.

Wolfe-Quintero, K., Inagaki, S., & Kim, H.Y. (1998). Second Language Development in Writing: Measurers of Fluency, Accuracy, & Complexity. Honolulu: Uni-versity of Hawaii Press.

Yau, M.S.S. & Belanger, J. (1984). The Influence of Mode on the Syntactic Complexiity of EFL Students at Three Grade Levels. TESL Canada Journal, 2(1), 65–77. Retrieved from http://teslcanadajournal.ca/index.php/tesl/article.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17977/um030v5i32017p123

Copyright (c) 2017 Jurnal Pendidikan Humaniora

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Jurnal Pendidikan Humaniora

Education Journal Of Social Sciences

Graduate School Of Universitas Negeri Malang

Lisensi Creative Commons

JPH is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License