Improving Writing Ability From
Word, Sentence to Paragraph
Submitted for UAS in subject
Writing for Academic Purpose
Shaeful Irpanul Karim
English Education Program
Faculty of Teachers Training and Education
Bogor Ibn Khaldun University
Praise the author turning to the presence of Allah Subhanahu Wataala, because thanks to his grace, so I can complete the task this paper. The task was created to fulfill a course assignment “Writing for Academic Purpose”. I express our gratitude to all those who have helped so this summary task can be completed on time.
Summary task is still far from perfect; therefore I expect criticism and suggestions that are constructive. I’m hopefully this task of giving information to reader and useful for the development and improvement of scientific knowledge for us all.
Bogor, June 2010
Table of Content
Preface ………………………………………………………………… i
Table of content ……………………………………………………….. ii
1. Introduction ……………………………………………………….. 1
2. Theoretical Background …………………………………………… 2
A. Writing Ability ………………………………………………… 2
1. The definition of Writing ………………………………….. 2
2. The purpose of Writing ……………………………………. 4
3. The process of Writing …………………………………….. 4
B. Paragraph ………………………………………………………. 5
C. Word …………………………………………………………… 5
D. Sentence ……………………………………………………….. 5
E. Using the Internet in ESL Writing …………………………….. 6
3. Research Finding ………………………………………………….. 10
4. Data Analysis ……………………………………………………… 13
5. Conclusion ………………………………………………………… 14
6. Reference ………………………………………………………….. 15
There are two forms of language, spoken, and written that should be learned by the student. Spoken language is used to improve the student’s speaking ability, whereas a written language is used for improvement of the students writing ability. A lot of students have difficulties in writing because they are still confused in doing it. It may be true, because writing skill need such integrated abilities that involved many aspects such as structure, vocabulary, meaning, etc. Writing is also a process. It should be learned by stages, from simple to complex, from a sentence to a composition. The very basic of writing ability is making sentence, because a sentences is the smallest unit to express thought, idea, opinion, and feeling. For someone who wants to be a good writer, he or she must master kinds of forms of sentences first. The paragraph is the group of sentence; sentence is the group of words is the group of letter, which has meaning. Writing from word, sentence to paragraph through internet is one of the techniques to guide the students to write simple sentences that is structured and controlled, beside that the student feel more interested in learning writing sentence through internet. Teaching writing from teacher conveys the material and student will easily elaborate the concrete information or example then, as a result of this technique; the students are able to follow and to pay attention clearly to the process and procedure that are describe.
2. Theoretical Background
A. Writing Ability
Language is often interpreted as an instrument of communication. People need it to interact and communicate each other because they are social human being. The people need the other person to help in any condition and situation, to share thought, idea, concept, and feeling, to extend massage, to explain anything and problem, to invite the other to do or do not do something and so on. In this chase, languages related someone’s messages and feeling to other people. They communicate using two main ways: spoken language or written language.
From the statement above, the writer argues that function of language in communication takes in spoken or written form. The most typical difference of written from has “distance”. It means that a person (writer) who extends a massage doesn’t need face to face with the reader. Written communication can be done anywhere and anytime because it will be eternal as long as that written is not broken.
1. The definition of Writing
Writing in this case is an aspect of language skill not writing used to know before that is only copy sentences which had been written by the other people. Writing is the means of expressive activity as productive written aspect in language skills. So writing is gathering of idea and performing it into written in a piece of a paper. When we write, we use graphic symbols that are letters of composition of letters (words) which are related with the sounds we make when we speak. In addition, writing is the act of sound production because it same as speaking when producing the sound in the organ of speech.
In the statement above, writer thinks that writing is not only to put or to produce graphic symbol into a piece of paper but it can express writer thoughts, fact, opinions, and ideas to another which has certain purpose. In other words, writing is a thinking process. If we view in activity field, writing is a physical act. It means that writing needs
materials and energy. When we start to write, we use parts of our body especially hand and brain. Hand is used to write down the letters in a piece of paper and brain is used to think and to get ideas.
Writing is a means for communication. In particular conditions, we usually need to communicate by writing, like sending our letter to our teacher if we are sick and not possible to go to school or business’s needed. If it is activity that needs physical act, thought and energy. As we know, English include the four skills; they are listening and reading. Other skills are speaking and writing is the kind of English production. All people may have different and difficulties. In writing, as kind of English production, we need to express our thought by writing something that people can understand. Because of that our knowledge is very needed in order to be able to express our thought into writing. When we want write something but we do not know some vocabularies, it means that we have obstruction to write. In another case, if we make a mistake in choosing a word in our writing, the meaning will be different. Besides that, grammar is also considered as a big problem in writing activity. In this activity, we cannot use our gesture; it is because we do communication indirectly. In this communications we normally do not know reaction of the reader. Besides the difficulties explained above, actually, writing has advantages for us. In this case, time to think what we will say and what we will explain. We can anticipate the reader’s reaction by finding some question and try to answer it.
From all statement above, the writer can conclude that writing is an expressive activity of thought, ideas, opinions, and feeling into written language which is like graphic symbols (letters or words) to be convoyed to one another. In another words, writing is means of communication. It can give people sources of information about everything. Nevertheless, procedurally writing is a thinking process. It means that writing is the process to break out ideas in mind into a piece of paper, and then organizing them in outline as writer’s planning in his
composition. In this case, there is an effort of intellectual how to get idea. Therefore, in this study writer points out in writing is thinking process, especially breaking out the ideas in mind. The reason is the students lack of ideas in mind so they difficult how to begin their writing.
2. The purpose of Writing
The purpose of writing is a mean to extend suggestion or ideas in order to be understood by other people. There are four purposes why people write: The first purpose in writing is “to inform” anything such as fact, data, event, suggestion, and so on. By those are hopped that reader gets new knowledge and competency about all in this word. The second is “to persuade” the reader. By writing, writer hopes that the reader can establish his/her attitude whether he/she agrees or support the writer’s persuasion. The third is “to educate” the reader. To educate is one of purpose in writing because by writing, someone knowledge will be added. Finally is “to entertain” the reader. There are many writing which can entertain someone when she/he reads them, such as: anecdote, short story, and funny experience.
3. The process of Writing
The writer had stated at the background that writing is a “process” not a “product”. When writing, we have to think about the fact, ideas, suggestions, or opinions. Those have to organize them into a piece of paper to certain purpose. Besides that in writing, it is not only the matter of putting letter into piece of paper. We have to arrange those letters into words, sentences to sentence, paragraph to paragraph must be interrelated each other.
A paragraph is a group of sentences containing one idea. Sentences in the paragraph develop or contribute to that idea. There are three kinds of paragraph: Descriptive paragraph
Descriptive paragraph is to create an image of person, place, or thing to write picture making details in descriptive paragraph. Narrative Paragraph
Narrative paragraph is tells about events that have happened over a period of time and writing about a series of events in the order in which they happened. Persuasive Paragraph
Persuasive writing appears in many forms including advertisement books review and letters to the editor of a newspaper.
A word is the smallest free form (an item that may be uttered in isolation with semantic or pragmatic content) in a language, in contrast to a morpheme, which is the smallest unit of meaning. A word may consist of only one morpheme (e.g. wolf), but a single morpheme may not be able to exist as a free form (e.g. the English plural morpheme -s). Typically, a word will consist of a root or stem, and zero or more affixes. Words can be combined to create other units of language, such as phrases, clauses, and/or sentences. A word consisting of two or more stems joined together form a compound. A word combined with an already existing word or parts of a word form a portmanteau.
The basic element of writing is a sentence. Paragraph is made of a group sentences. So, good sentences will produce good paragraph too. A sentence
is group of words that contains a subject and sentences that has compel thought.
Based on the forms of sentences there are three kinds of sentences Simple sentences
Simple sentence has only one with full prediction in the form of an independent clause. Compound sentences
Compound sentence also has two more full predictions in the form independent clause. Complex sentences
Complex sentences also has two or more predication one of these is independent clause (main clause) that is similar to the form of simple sentence and one or more of these are dependent clause (subordinate clause).
E. Using the Internet in ESL Writing
The advent of the Internet and the wide spread of technology in our life create new opportunities for language learning. Since most of the Internet content is in English, the teachers of English gain access to the enormous variety of authentic materials relating to all spheres of life at almost no cost. Especially in non-English speaking countries, such as Poland, where it is not always easy to obtain reality, the Web is the invaluable source of information, both for teachers to create classroom materials and for their classes to explore the whole world just by clicking the mouse. The present paper will try to explore the issue of the use of the Internet as a teaching aid, or as a teaching medium, through which students are taught how to write different writing genres. After some preliminary remarks concerning the nature of on-line lessons, the resources needed and the roles of the teacher and students, I will try to analyze the most basic writing genres, such as a letter to a friend, a formal letter, a biography, a description of a person, a for-and-against essay, a notice and an advertisement, a description of a
festival/ceremony, a description of a book/film/play, a newspaper report, an opinion essay and a description of a place. My purpose here will be to consider teaching each of these genres in the context of an on-line classroom, and I will attempt to demonstrate how, with the help of selected websites or other on-line techniques, writing instruction can be made more interesting, appealing, motivating and authentic. My purpose is to propose some suggestions on how to use the Internet in the classroom to enhance learning and achieve some teaching goals, and not just play and have fun. Most of the solutions proposed in the present paper have actually been tried out in my classroom; therefore these techniques do work in real learning environment.
The three basic elements, proposed in the present paper to help to teach writing, namely web pages, e-mail connection and creating class websites, have received a lot of attention from CALL researchers in the past. I will not try to summaries here all the papers dealing with this matter, since this is beyond the scope and purpose of the present work. Instead, I would like to refer to a few articles on the topic.
Comparisons of classes with and without writing components have confirmed that students who wrote to learn retained concepts better than students who did not write as part of their course. Writing can stimulate the development of links between concepts. Newell, in a study concluded that analytic essay writing encouraged learners to integrate new information with relevant prior knowledge. Another tool -concept maps - is diagrams that make links between concept words explicit using lines that represent relationships. It found them to be useful in a variety of applications, including facilitation of meaningful learning, design of instructional materials, identification of misconceptions or alternative conceptions, evaluation of learning, facilitation of cooperative learning, and encouragement of teachers and learners to understand the constructed nature of knowledge. Less graphical but more common forms of the concept map are the hierarchical outline (indented listings) and menus (lists where each
item leads to another list). These are common tools in many word processors and on web sites, and they help to create and reorganize structure between concepts and communicate that structure to others.
The use of word processors pervades almost all writing on the Internet. Modern word processors contain a wide variety of tools that help with layout and construction of all types of texts. In using them, authors can look at the text they have just written, and rewrite, reorganize, and redraft it with very little effort. Redrafting is viewed as a valuable way to clarify the writer's developing purpose and understanding. A feedback loop is set up where what is just written inspires reflection, which inspires rewriting until satisfied. It discusses in the context of constructivism how a teacher's metaphors of instruction are similarly revised over time. With a word processor, we are "thinking on the screen", in partnership with technology. In doing so, we can develop our own knowledge in a lasting way. However note that to realize the long term cognitive effects of such a partnership (what they call "cognitive residue"), it needs to take place within appropriate surrounds that foster mindfulness. These include the technology, activity, goal, setting, teacher's role and the classroom culture - each of which can dramatically influence the type of learning within a student. An example is the use of word processors only to correct spelling, versus using one to reorganize and redraft whole documents. This suggests that guidance and feedback from an educator is important when writing is used for learning.
To be successful, writing tasks must be authentic. They should have a real audience and try to communicate to that audience. Writing activities, even in subjects like mathematics, can include journal writing, explanatory essays, newspaper accounts, journal articles, bulletin board messages and email to mailing lists. In the case of a journal, the audience may simply be the writer at a later date, or perhaps a teacher. Through the process of writing a journal, a person can be encouraged to express and reflect on their feelings, knowledge and beliefs about their subject, and consequently grow in each of these dimensions. Review and reflection on a journal over a time
of change can promote the development of skills in met cognition. Journals can also provide a new form of dialogue between the teacher and each student, allowing for more individualized instruction and a supportive classroom atmosphere.
Appropriate writing activities can give students access to their own thinking processes and can be a powerful aid to learning. By bringing writing skills and process skills such as met cognition, idea construction, idea relation, text production and revision to bear on an activity, students construct new understandings that have the advantage of being meaningful and applicable. Writing activities can be powerful tools for discovering, organizing, summarizing and communicating knowledge. It is often at the very point of writing that an idea is given form. Writing can also encourage greater precision than speaking. However, writing does not necessarily improve with practice - it should be a "frequent, guided experience".
3. Research Finding
The written response promotes construction of links between concepts in the student and guided construction of new understandings. The writing activity can be any one of an at least five types, and is chosen by the teacher from a list when editing each page.
The types of activity include:
1. Writing an answer to a question
The student writes directly onto the web page, into a form text field. For the student, this text will stay there for the duration of the course, but will not be editable again. Each student will see their own text embedded on the page, and not that of other students. This activity is similar to a test, or a survey, or might be used to capture an opinion at the beginning of the course to compare with one at the end, aiding the development of met cognitive skills. The exact activity is directed by the teacher. It might require a summary of a text, restricted to a limited number of words, which promotes development of idea relation and revision. It might require an answer to an open-ended question such as “From this. In this case, the student is required to confront their own learning and organize their thoughts. Teachers, when looking at the page, don't see the text field. Instead, they see a button that displays the texts from all students, on one page. In this way they can easily read the responses from the whole class and learn of misunderstandings, problems, or trends in the class. This may prompt the teacher to rewrite parts of the course.
2. Writing a reflective response into a journal
This is similar to the previous activity, except the text remains editable throughout the duration of the class. When prompted by the content, the student has a space on the page to reflectively write about their reaction to the content. Doing so can help them to form their understanding of the topic, and to give feedback to the teacher. Reflection on a text also explicitly promotes the reflection skill of SQ4R. The permanence of the text in that page can be useful to the student when reading it later to compare the change
of their own understanding over time. To help this, all journal entries in the course can be displayed for a student on a single page, by pressing a button. These texts remain private between the individual and the teacher, to encourage authenticity that might not be present in comments visible to peers. As before, the teacher can view all responses to this page on one page to gain a cross-section of the class. They may be assessed, by checking boxes next to each one. The writing of the content for these questions can be especially useful for the teacher to focus on outcomes.
3. Answering multiple choice questions
In this case, the student answers a multiple choice question by clicking a button. If the teacher has specified a "right" answer, then the system provides immediate feedback, otherwise it simply stores the response. The teacher can choose to make it re-editable or not. For results, a bar graph is produced, listing names of students next to each answer, again encouraging the teacher to reflect on the state of the class.
4. Constructing and discussing an opinion
In response to a question within the content, the student is asked to construct a statement of their opinion on a topic, to be read by their class. The text is sent to a bulletin board (discussion area) where it forms the basis of threaded discussion among the class. In each thread, students may alternate in the roles of actively teaching and learning with their peers, promoting active engagement with the concepts. Threaded discussions visually indicate the links between separate postings in a conversation, for reading, which forms a type of concept map. This makes the relationships between texts more explicit. Everything is recorded and labeled, and participation can be assessed either informally in a glance, or formally by assigning marks to each posting. The teacher can provide instructions or participate to help guide the nature of the discourse that is expected. When a student knows they are writing for a peer audience in an authentic task, responsibility may be felt by each student to write the initial statement as well as possible. This may involve some redrafting, some research and a
consideration of the audience. The discussion can be used to stimulate a number of different styles of debate or information sharing which can facilitate learning. Discussions may center on comparing different opinions of texts, for example, to help the participants refine their own opinions. Participants also have an opportunity to "test" statements or frame questions. This active social engagement with a topic encourages more effective learning, as the discussion texts are co-constructed.
5. Co-constructing a document
This activity is similar to the discussion board above, except in this case the groups may be smaller than the whole class, and the discussions can be more structured. For example, three students may be given the task to create a web page for a specific purpose. The discussion board becomes a place to pass the growing document around, comment on it, add to it, delete from it, vote on changes and so on, until a consensus is reached and the document published as a group web page. This process is intended to stimulate met cognitive learning by frequent revision of the document, the need to accommodate multiple opinions, and by the collaboration with peers.
6. Other options can be added
As other types of response arise, they can easily be added to the system in a modular way, allowing the software to adapt to the needs of the courses it implements and the development of the teacher. In this way the construction of the system itself is revisable and promotes constructivist ideals.
4. Data Analysis
The content and the activities initiate a lot of written discourse between students and the teacher, both private and public; promoting text production that is both meaningful and active. There are disadvantages and advantages of conducting so much discourse this way, and a teacher needs to remember to provide guidance in order to promote effective learning. The obvious difference with textual discourse is the medium of reading and writing, rather than speaking, listening, moving and watching. The main advantage of Internet-based discourse is the reduced dependence for participants to be in the same place at the same time. Another advantage is that contextual factors such as physical appearance, body language, accent and emotion do not distract from the text, giving greater equity among communicators. However, a disadvantage is that losing these "side-channels" of communication can also increase the probability that ambiguous text will be misunderstood. Discourse in this case, as anywhere else, is very much improved by increasing the context as much as possible, by explicitly providing cues as to the cultures and orientation of the writer and the reader. These can be developed by: Having occasional real-life meetings, to develop a better mental image of the writer. Stating relevant inferences and assumptions as much as possible. Having long discussions so that multiple reflective viewpoints are presented from each side, fostering better understanding. Using "emoticons", also known as "smiles", to indicate emotion with small text-pictures.
Writing can be a powerful way to learn, if conducted in an environment that supports it. Writing is skills that can be developed. Writing well requires critical literacy, met cognition, and writing can be a powerful way to develop knowledge in the writer while constructing texts for others. An Internet environment that fosters writing can encourage the participant to be a reflective, active learner, by prompting written responses of various kinds. By mixing constructivist classroom approaches writing there are potentially many powerful benefits to be realized for both students and teachers. The writing of text can be taken for granted as an educational tool on the Internet. It is ubiquitous as a means of communication, but there are different ways it can be applied to promote learning, and it can be difficult for a teacher to focus on what sort of thinking they are trying to stimulate in their students. This paper concentrates on the practical application of educational theories of reading and writing, particularly in science education, in order to help the practitioner using the Internet for education. In conclusion, it could be said that writing instruction should be enriched with the Internet component, in order to provide students with choice, variety, authenticity, and regency and to give them a real purpose for writing, to allow them to experience the authentic written interaction with other people, to motivate them additionally through using computers and the Web, and to give them the feeling of self-confidence when seeing their works published on the class website.
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