DISERTASI dan TESIS Program Pascasarjana UM, 2010

Ukuran Huruf:  Kecil  Sedang  Besar

Using Process Approach to Improve the Ability of Intermediate-Level Students in Writing Argumentative Paragraphs

Maria Hidayati

Abstrak


ABSTRACT

 

Hidayati, Maria. 2009. Using Process Approach to Improve the Ability of Intermediate-Level Students in Writing Argumentative Paragraphs.  Unpublished Thesis. Malang: English Language Education Department, Graduate Program, State University of Malang. Advisor I: A. Effendi Kadarisman, M.A., Ph.D., Advisor II: Dra. Utami Widiati, M.A., Ph.D.

 

 

Key words: process approach, argumentative paragraphs, toulmin’s model of arguments.

 

            Saxenian (1988), Brown (2001), Harmer (2002) and Richard (2002) clearly state that the ability to write effectively is not innate, but it must be learned and practiced. It means that the ability to write is acquired through a learning process as a result of certain characteristics that a written product should have. Nevertheless, despite the problems and difficulties, writing has several benefits and advantages as what the students of Intermediate One responded to the questionnaires given by the teacher-researcher. They could recognize the importance of writing in communicating their ideas, writing a scientific paper, proposal or even a thesis, explaining their opinions and getting good marks.

            The students’ understanding on the importance of writing was quite contrary to their written products during preliminary study, which was intended to find out the students’ problems in writing by assigning them to write three types of writing. After analyzing their written products, the teacher-researcher noticed that the students’ ability in writing was low since their average scores in writing narrative and descriptive paragraphs were 2.8 within the range of 0-5. Meanwhile, the students’ average score in writing argumentative paragraphs was 2.0. These findings were confirmed by the teacher-researcher’s colleague that most of the time, it was very hard for the teachers (her colleagues) to understand the students’ argumentative paragraphs.

            Therefore, the teacher-researcher conducted a collaborative classroom action research to improve the students’ ability at Intermediate-level in writing argumentative paragraphs using Process Approach. In this study, the teacher-researcher worked together with her collaborator through the four stages of action research, namely: planning, implementing, observing and reflecting. The subjects of the study are students at Intermediate One, LBPP LIA Malang, term I from January to May 2009 which comprises 17 students altogether in the class.

            Through the implementation of Process Approach to improve the students’ ability in writing argumentative paragraphs, the teacher-researcher introduced the four elements of Toulmin’s model of arguments (1969), namely: (1) claim: the proposition or assertion an arguer wants another to accept, (2) data: the proof or evidence an arguer offers, (3) warrant: a chain of reasoning that connects the data to the claim, and (4) backing: additional justification for the warrant. The teacher-researcher chose this model of arguments since argumentative modes of writing has certain characteristics than other modes of writing; that is to convince other parties.

            The study was carried out in one cycle following the stages suggested in classroom action research. This study was conducted in four meetings. The data obtained through the students’ three written products, the observation sheets and the questionnaires showed that Process Approach could improve the students’ ability in writing argumentative paragraphs. It was indicated through their average score which was 3.9. (within the range of 0-5). Based on the descriptor provided, the students’ ability in writing argumentative paragraphs was in the level of good. The students were able to improve their ability in writing argumentative paragraphs under the following sequence of procedures: (1) giving claim of the provided topics, (2) generating ideas using clustering based on their claim, (3) planning their writing by making a sentence outline, (4) testing their outline by having peer-editing, (5) writing their first draft based on their sentence outline, (6) having peer-editing and conferencing with the teacher, (7) revising their argumentative paragraphs based on the inputs and suggestions from the peer-editor and the teacher.

            Based on the findings, some suggestions were proposed as follows: (1) students practice writing argumentative paragraphs since this mode of writing would be widely used in their academic life, (2) teachers implement Process Approach in teaching argumentative paragraphs based on Toulmin’s model of arguments, (3) teachers at LBPP LIA Malang not only implement Process Approach in their teaching but also use the writing rubric which was based on Toulmin’s model of arguments, (4) future researchers conduct other researches in different context or in a more homogeneous population.