The present study investigated the relationship between Japanese students' English L2 expository writing and several factors that might influence the quality of the writing product. Nineteen Japanese university students provided both quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative analysis showed that the students' L2 proficiency and L1 writing ability accounted for a large proportion of variances in L2 writing quality. The finding that L1 writing ability was highly correlated with L2 writing ability is important because it suggests the existence of composing competence across L1 and L2 even for EFL students. There was also a significant interaction between this composing competence and L2 proficiency. Qualitative analysis suggested that the students' composing competence was related to: (a) use of several good writers' strategies, (b) writing fluency, and (c) confidence in writing. Furthermore, probably due to the input-poor EFL environment, the amount of self-initiated L2 writing experiences seemed to ploy an important role in determining students' L2 writing quality.
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