Nominalization has been identified as a key feature of academic writing for its high frequency and the cohesive and rhetorical functions it serves in text. The present study examined the instances of nominalization and related linguistic features in a corpus of Korean EFL college students argumentative essays and compared the data with those from a corresponding corpus of native speakers. Results showed that the Korean EFL writers nominalization use was almost as frequent as that of their NS counterparts. Despite the similar frequency, however, the Korean EFL writers nominalizations were overall simpler in their syntactic patterns, less elaborated and less effective in terms of cohesive and rhetorical functions than those used by the native speaker university students. The paper concludes by discussing the pedagogical implications of the findings.