KARYA DOSEN Fakultas Sastra UM, 2009

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Collecting Research Data on Students Writing Skills

Mohammad Adnan Latief


Data on students writing skills can be obtained from professional writing teachers who keep good records of students writing progress through authentic writing assessment as well as through formal summative evaluation, or directly from students through the process of writing assessment.  Students writing skills can be assessed indirectly by giving them an objective test to measure the students skill and knowledge of the components of writing. From the scores of the mastery of the writing components, then the students writing skill is predicted. Direct measurement of students writing skills requires the prompt and the scoring scale to be prepared. The prompt which may provide students with one topic or more than one alternative topics for students to write about, must be stated very clearly so that the students are sure of what they have to write. A scoring scale can be developed using holistic, analytic, or primary-trait scoring technique. In holistic scoring, the quality of  each text is graded with one score based the general quality of the text, while in analytic scoring, the quality of each text is graded with a profile of several scores each representing the quality of different components. Primary-trait scoring is in between the holistic and analytic scoring techniques. A long writing scale of many points can differentiate quality levels of students texts but it is difficult to develop the scale and difficult to score the texts. A short scale of few points, on the other hand, is easy to develop and it is easy to score the texts, but it cannot separate different levels among good texts or among poor texts. Good data on students writing skills have to be supported with evidence of construct validity, content validity, empirical validity evidence, as well as good estimate of reliability


Key Words: writing assessment, validity, reliability, error of assessment, correctness, preciseness, holistic, analytic, primary-trait scoring

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