IMPROVING WRITING ABILITY FROM WORD, SENTENCE TO PARAGRAPH THROUGH INTERNET
by Citra Laras Ningtias
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. 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”. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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
• Compound sentences
• Complex sentences
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 .
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. 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. Writing a reflective response into a journal. The writing of the content for these questions can be especially useful for the teacher to focus on outcomes.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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. 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.
4. 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 websit
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