Main Article Content
Writing essays is an important element of the second language learning process and the most difficult one to acquire as it necessitates both effort and constant practice. While it is essential for the students to develop their writing skills and enhance them so as to become successful in their academic life and further academic career, research shows that they face difficulties in terms of both essay organization and language use. This study investigates Albanian high school students’ attitudes towards essay writing, the challenges and difficulties they encounter, and the types of mistakes they make. It also explores strategies teachers suggest for students to overcome these difficulties. The data were collected through a questionnaire administered to 141 high school students in a non-public school in Albania. 12 randomly selected student essays were also analyzed to identify students’ common errors. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 EFL teachers to explore strategies suggested to overcome challenges and difficulties. The data analyses revealed that students have negative attitudes towards essay writing and face difficulties in essay organization, grammar and vocabulary. Some of the strategies teachers recommend and employ in order to help EFL learners overcome them are reading, brainstorming, and practising group writing. These findings suggest future research could focus on the reasons behind students’ negative attitudes and types of errors and the investigation of strategies to overcome each of them.