TEACHING WRITING DESCRIPTIVE TEXT
TO IMPROVE STUDENT’S WRITING SKILL
ENGLISH EDUCATION PROGRAM
FACULTY OF TEACHERS TRAINING AND EDUCATION
BOGOR IBN KHALDUN UNIVERSITY
Teaching English means that teach the students not only how to speak, how to read, how to listen, but also how to write. Also, talking about English means talking about how to communicate in English. Communication not only can be done in spoken but also in written. Most of students consider that writing is the hardest skill to master, because the ability to write in foreign language is more complicated than the ability to speak, read, or listen. It is hard to teach students how to write because it involves many components such as structure, vocabulary, punctuation, and spelling. In writing, we will also find many kinds of texts; one of them is descriptive text. People consider that descriptive text is an easy material, but in contrast, it is difficult because we have to write about the thing that is exist and the thing that does not exist, something that can not be seen, felt, smelt, or even touched.
Communication not only can be done in spoken but also in written. It is not an easy job to do because the writer has to be able to pour the idea as good as possible to what will they write. It is done to convey the message to the reader clearly. That is why writing is considered as the most difficult skill to learn.
In their book entitled “Writer’s Guide and Index to English”, Wilma R. Ebbit and David R. Ebbit stated that “writing is the act of joining words into sentences on paper”. It means that writing is not just exercising the fingers but it is also necessarily the act of finding words to express definite, fully formed ideas. Writing activity is done to find out what are thinking, what is looking, and what it mean.
A paragraph is a group of related sentences that expands a statement by explaining it, illustrating it, or proving it. It is not easy in making a good paragraph because we have to apply many components into the paragraph we make.
Barnet & Stubbs’s in their book entitled Practical Guide to Writing stated that it is commonly said that a paragraph has components itself:
Unity makes one point or it indicates where one unit of a topic begins and ends. The idea developed in each paragraph often appears,
briefly stated as a topic sentence. Topic sentences are most useful and are therefore especially common in essays that offer arguments. They are much less common because they are less useful in narrative and descriptive essays.
Organization means that the point or unit is developed according to some patterns. A paragraph needs more than a unified point. It needs a reasonable organization or sequence. Exactly how the parts of a paragraph will fit together depends on what the paragraph is doing. If it is describing a place, it may move from general view to significant details or from some immediately striking details to some less obvious but perhaps more important one. If a paragraph is classifying (dividing a subject into its parts) it may begin by enumerating the parts and go on to study each in climactic order.
Among the common methods of organizing a paragraph are:
1. General to particular (topic sentence usually at the beginning)
2. Particular to general (topic sentence usually at the end)
3. Enumeration of parts or details (in climactic order)
4. Question and answer
5. Cause and effect
It is not enough to write unified and organized paragraphs. The unity and organization must be coherent. That is sufficiently clear so that the reader can follow the train of thought. Coherence is achieved largely by means of transitions and repetition.
C. The study of Descriptive Paragraph
Descriptive paragraph is a paragraph which consists of three important qualities such as dominant impression, mood, and logical development. It is used to give vivid details of an object either it is person, place, or thing. Descriptive paragraphs include details that appeal to the five senses: sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing. In a descriptive paragraph, the writer must convey information that appeals to all the senses, in order to give the best possible description to the reader. There are five ways to create possible description:
a. Start with what the reader can see. Since sight is the most helpful sense, any good descriptive paragraph must first discuss what the writer wants the reader to visualize. Using strong adjectives to illustrate your scene, moment, experience or item to the reader will help provide a visual picture in your reader's mind.
b. Describe smells and tastes. Think about how you can describe the topic, scene, or moment to the reader in terms of how it smells and tastes. The best descriptive paragraphs use a whole slew of adjectives that make the reader feel as if they were actually experiencing the thing you're describing, and not just
reading about it. Include a sentence or two about how your topic smells and use a few poignant adjectives to relay the smell of it to the reader. "It tastes good" is not going to provide a specific experience for your reader. However, "It tastes like Grandma's apple pie when it's fresh and still bubbling around the edges - crunchy, flavorful and sweet" helps describe the distinct flavor of your item. Smell and taste should provide the most helpful descriptions about your item, so try to make these most effective.
c. Say how the moment or item feels. As you continue writing your paragraph, write a sentence or two about how the experience feels. What does it remind you of as you imagine yourself running your hand along its surface, or the tingling feeling you feel run down your back? How are you reacting to the moment? Again, use descriptive adjectives to describe how the moment feels. Avoid using general statements like "it feels nice", which isn't descriptive at all. Opt for specific, definitive examples that relay the feeling of something to the reader.
d. Mention the sounds of the moment. What can you hear? Is there a deafening silence? If there is a buzzing sound, avoid simply saying "All of a sudden I heard a loud buzzing sound", rather "I jerked as all of the sudden I heard an indefinable buzzing sound, so loud I put my hands over my ears. I assumed it was the deafening fire alarm..." and the reader would be able to relate with the "fire alarm" description, as most people have experienced the startling noise of a fire alarm.
e. Include some other literary components. Using other effective writing techniques to top off your paragraph will make it all that more professional. If you include all these elements in your paragraph, your reader will be able to fully experience and appreciate your writing.
In a descriptive paragraph, the writer must convey information that appeals to all the senses - touch, taste, sight, smell and sound - in order to give the best possible description to the reader. This is easily accomplished by following these descriptive paragraph writing tips. Descriptive writing paints a picture in words that shows – not tells – what a person, place or thing is like. The purpose of descriptive writing is to paint a picture with words for the reader.
The basic of all good description is close observation. It needs a store of particulars to draw on. If the purpose is to picture an object, place, or person as any careful observer would see it, the details we choose will supply specific information about size, shape, weight, and color. If the purpose is to have audience experience the subject as we have experienced it, we might select different details or we might use the same details but treat them differently, emphasizing some, subordinating others, and choosing modifying words and phrases that convey mood, attitude, or judgment.
D. Definition of Weblog
In a teaching process, teacher needs such thing to support fluency of the teaching learning process itself. Teaching is not only how to transfer knowledge but also how to make the students more understand. So, any media such as weblog is very helpful to support the teaching learning process in a class. According to http://searchsoa.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid26_gci213547,00.html, a weblog, sometimes written as web log or Weblog is a web site that consists of a series of entries arranged in reverse chronological order, often updated on frequently with new information about particular topics. The information can be written by the site owner, gleaned from other Web sites or other sources, or contributed by users.
A weblog often has the quality of being a kind of "log of our times" from a particular point-of-view. Generally, weblogs are devoted to one or several subjects or themes, usually of topical interest, and, in general, can be thought of as developing commentaries, individual or collective on their particular themes. A weblog may consist of the recorded ideas of an individual (a sort of diary) or be a complex collaboration open to anyone. Most of the latter are moderated discussions.
Since there are a number of variations on this idea and new variations can easily be invented, the meaning of this term is apt to gather additional connotations with time. A popular weblog is Slashdot.org, the product of programmer and graphic artist Rob Malden and several colleagues. Slashdot.org carries discussion threads on many subjects including: Money, Quake (the game),
Netscape, Sun Microsystems, Hardware, and Linux. Slashdot.org solicits and posts interesting stories reported by contributors, includes a link to the story, and manages the threads of the ensuing discussion by other users. Another well-known weblog is Jorn Barger's Robot Wisdom Log, which is more of collection of daily highlights from other Web sites. Jessamyn West's librarian.net is a daily log of items interesting to librarians and possibly others, too.
As a format and content approach for a Web site, the weblog seems popular because the viewer knows that something changes every day, there is a personal point-of-view, and, on some sites, there is an opportunity to collaborate or respond with the Web site and its participants.
Now, the point is that weblog can be very helpful in a teaching learning process because it supports the material that teacher give. It also enables the teacher to teach the material to the students.
E. The using of Blog in Writing a Descriptive Text
Information and communications technology services, or in this paper emphasizes the using of the Internet providing an infinite ease. One of the latest service programs that made use various companies, businesses and individuals are making a web site is very easy and free. These service providers are at various sites such as www.Geociteies.com , www.blogger.com, www.freehost.com, which allows the students have a personal web page free. This personal web page can be filled with everything quickly, easily accessed, and can be read and accessed by everyone around the world.
Weblog is the using of the services offered by technological advances in Information and Communication Technology in this case is the Internet. Weblog of www.Blogger.com , provide facilities to create a personal web very easily. Students can create one in minutes.
Each student makes a personal weblog written and filled with the their written text. Students can write their works in English to fill in the weblog. Students also can post photos and drawings to support the appearance of a weblog. Utilization of weblogs is the use of instructional media utilization. Naturally, meaning that the media are not intentionally designed for learning but the media can be found, applied and used for learning purposes. Utilization of Various learning resources weblog will contribute greatly to the effectiveness of the learning objectives. Weblog provides unlimited space for students to practice writing and optimizing learning writing competence.
Several reasons why weblog is used to improved student’s writing skill in writing descriptive text:
1. Students have a place to publish the results of writings descriptive text that can be read by people around the world, thus encouraging students to think globally in this global era.
2. Students in the learning process in accordance with the principle of learning the true writing and in accordance with the principle of portfolio learning is to obtain the final result until the issue must go through stages of phases like inventing, discovering ideas, planning, plan type text, text structure and linguistic features, revising namely revise the draft, edit error correcting
grammar, spelling and diction as well as publishing the results of the final showcase. Home weblog accommodate a stage in the learning process and the writing is right because the work that has been posted or uploaded or displayed on web pages can be edited.
3. Students can improve their English skills on vocabulary, grammar, text types as well as spelling, diction and the process of writing itself. Students have a greater motivation for his work read by other people
4. Students can enhance love learning because students will learn about IT as a learning resource.
Descriptive paragraph paints a picture in words that shows not tells what a person, place or thing is like. The purpose of descriptive paragraph is to paint a picture with words for the reader. Teacher will use a variety of strategies to describe the elements of descriptive paragraph. It is best for all strategies to be modeled a few times and for the information to be displayed in the class.
Each student makes a personal weblog written and filled with their written text. Students can write their works in English to fill in the weblog. Students also can post photos and drawings to support the appearance of a weblog. Utilization of weblogs is the use of instructional media utilization. Naturally, meaning that the media are not intentionally designed for learning but the media can be found, applied and used for learning purposes. Utilization of Various learning resources weblog will contribute greatly to the effectiveness of the learning objectives. Weblog provides unlimited space for students to practice writing and optimizing learning writing competence. After the visualization process, teacher will begin a discussion about descriptive paragraph and how a good description allows readers to visualize a picture in their heads. Teacher will compare the different and show how the less descriptive passage did not give the students enough details to create a good picture in their minds, while the other passage did allow them to create a vivid picture in their minds.
The data were gained from some sources like book and internet. The sources gained are absolutely related to the topic or themes. The data then were explored and discussed as good as possible.
Descriptive paragraph is thus a culmination of the process of creating a visual image with the help of words and senses. It is not easy create a picture in mind by using words. We need such kind of pictures to enable in making a descriptive paragraph. Descriptive text is to give the brief explanation from the object clearly about person, place or things as if the reader can visualize and feel it. It usually uses the present tense. Descriptive text has two generic structures, they are identification and description. Identification is to identify phenomenon to be describe. Meanwhile description is to describe parts, qualities and characteristic.
There are three kinds of descriptive writing according to George and Julia (1980: 379), there are three kinds of descriptive writing. They are describing people, place and units of time. People
It usually describes people who are interesting to read. Their appearance is interesting especially when describes personality. Character may be described directly or indirectly. In direct description, the writer tells how the person looks like and what the person is like. In indirect description, the character is revealed through what he or she does, thinks, or says in certain situations. The text below is one of the examples from describing people.
Agnes Monica is an Indonesian pop music singer, dancer, and actress. She is a beautiful and attractive girl. She has straight and long hair. She is tall and slim girl. Beside that she also has sharp nose and skin white. She has a beautiful smile and friendly to everyone. Most people like her, because she has a good characteristic of voice when she is singing. She always looks good performance when she is on the stage. Therefore, she becomes a trendsetter for young people. Place
Moreover, for describing places; how places look, smell and sound is important. The text below is an example from describing place.
My school is located in a suburban area near Mahakam Street. It is near the greatest landmark. It is one of the best schools in our town. My school is not small at all. The library is in front of the school building. It has a cozy playground at the back and 27 large classrooms to study. There is a large basketball field in the middle. There are two toilets, one for male and the other for females. And of course, it has 3 laboratories for chemistry, biology, and physics. The school building consists of two-stair-classroom, upper classrooms and lower classrooms. The canteen is the students’ most favorite place. Units of time
Description of units of time is often used to determine mood. It is full of descriptions of seasons, days, or times of day. The description of units of time set a certain mood, or emotional characteristic. The text below is an example from describing units of time.
It was a fine autumnal day, the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tendered kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of oranges, purple, and scarlet. Streaming files of wild ducks began to make their appearance high in the air; the bark of the squirrel might be heard from the groves of beech and hickory nuts, and the pensive whistle of the quail at intervals from neighboring stubble – field.
Based on the data finding and analysis, it can be concluded that the using of weblog in writing a descriptive paragraph is very useful. It can also improve student’s ability in writing a descriptive paragraph. Using weblog can create an interesting atmosphere in the language learning process because students can write any text on their own blog as good as possible. In every language learning process the teacher is supposed to be able to choose an appropriate learning media so that it can create an active, creative, effective, interesting, and exciting atmosphere in the teaching learning process. Weblog is one of the media which can be found everywhere. It is easy to find is out on the cyber world. It can be used or even can be created by the students.
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