### Improving the Tenth-year Students’ Writing Ability at MA Mambaus Sholihin Gresik through Mind Mapping. (Thesis)

*M. Zaini Miftah*

#### Abstrak

This study was conducted on the basis of the problems faced by the researcher in English teaching in the classroom. His experience as an English teacher of the tenth-year students at *Madrasah Aliyah* (MA) Mambaus Sholihin Gresik shows that the students' ability in writing English is still low. Based on the preliminary study, the fact that the average score obtained from the students' writing task was 50.5. This result is considered to be insufficient since it did not yet achieve the target of the study at the school. It must be at least 65 for minimum standard of writing success at the school. It is also found that there are some problems to solve. The main problem is that the students did not know how to generate and organize ideas for writing a topic.

In response to the causes of the problem, this study is focused on solving the problem related to how the students generate and organize ideas to write for the topic. This study proposes mind mapping with the proper model to improve the tenth-year students' ability in writing a descriptive text. The research problem is, "How can mind mapping strategy improve the tenth-year students' writing ability at MA Mambaus Sholihin Gresik?"

The design of the study is collaborative classroom action research. Both the researcher and his collaborator work together in cyclic activities - planning, implementing, observing, and reflecting on the data gained from the teaching and learning process - which runs into three cycles, each of which covers four meetings. The subjects of the study are the students of class X-6 of the second semester in the 2008/2009 academic year which consists of thirty-eight male students. The instruments used are the writing tasks, observation checklist, field notes, and questionnaire. The reflection is based on the findings during the observation and compared to the criteria of success including: (1) by using the writing tasks, the students' writing achievement improves (≥75% students of the class achieve the score greater than or equal to 65 of the range that lies from 0-100), and (2) by using observation checklist, the students are actively involved in the writing activities. The result of the reflection is used to determine the planning for the next cycle.

After implementing the model of mind mapping in the writing class, it is found that the procedures of a proper model developed in implementing mind mapping are as follows: (1) tell the students about the objectives of the lesson, (2) show the picture that will be described and ask the students to observe it, (3) write the object (topic or key word) in a circle and elicit the students' ideas, (4) guide the students to develop each supporting idea, (5) guide the students to make sentences to develop each supporting idea, (6) distribute a model of descriptive text, and ask the students to read and understand it, (7) arrange the students to become groups of four, (8) distribute the other different pictures or (in other ways) assign the students to observe the real object, (9) distribute larger papers (A4), equip the students with vocabulary guides and dictionaries, and then train them, (10) ask the students to generate and organize ideas through mind mapping, (11) guide the students to do drafting, (12) assign the students to write the first drafts based on their mapped ideas, (13) ask the students to place a greater emphasis on content and organization than on mechanics, (14) guide the students to revise the draft, (15) ask the students to revise their own drafts using revising guidelines and to use their mapped ideas to develop the content of their first draft, (16) assign the students to proofread their friends' rough drafts and to share them, (17) ask the students to make substantive changes, (18) guide the students to do editing, (19) ask the students to edit their own drafts using editing guidelines and to use their mapped ideas to check/revise the content, organization, grammar, and mechanics of their second draft, (20) assign the students to proofread again, (21) assign the students to share their final writings, and (22) ask the students to submit their final writings to assess.

The research findings indicate that the students are active during the writing activities and the students' writing ability improves after the implementation of the action. The improvement is shown by the increase of the percentage of the students' achievement in writing a descriptive text. The percentage of the students achieving the score greater than or equal to 65 in Cycle I is 36.11% (13 students of the class). It increases into 52.78% (19 students of the class) in Cycle II. In Cycle III, the percentage of the students achieving the score greater than or equal to 65 reaches 82.86% (29 students of the class).

Based on the research findings, three suggestions are provided. First, the English teachers are recommended to employ the proper model procedure of mind mapping as one of the alternative strategies in their writing class and to develop their way of teaching for the more appropriate in their writing class. Second, the principal as a policy maker is suggested to provide special lesson time for students to practice the continuous English writing. Third, future researchers are recommended to conduct such kinds of research concerned with the implementation of mind mapping in English teaching for the other skills - listening, speaking, and reading - and for the other levels such as elementary school, junior high school, and university by considering the strength of mind mapping as a strategy in English teaching.