SKRIPSI Jurusan Sastra Inggris - Fakultas Sastra UM, 2017

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High School Students' Problems in Writing an English Essay

Merina Karolina


Karolina, Merina. 2016. High School Students’ Problems in Writing an English Essay. Thesis, English Department, Faculty of Letters, State University of Malang. Advisor: (I) Prof. Dr. Hj. Nur Mukminatien, M.Pd (II) Dr. Utari Praba Astuti, M.A.

Keywords: writing problem, English essay, and writing.

This study aimed at identifying, categorizing, and describing the type of problems faced by the eleven graders in language class of SMA DIPONEGORO TUMPANG in writing an English essay. The data were taken from the participants’ written production. The participants of this study were 26 students in grade eleven of language class in SMA DIPONEGORO TUMPANG. The students were asked to write three-paragraph essay based on the topic that has been decided by the researcher.

The eleven grader of language class were chosen because this class had the lowest performance in English compared to two other classes. Also, it was found that the students had never been asked to practice their writing. From those issues, the researcher was interested in conducting a study by analyzing the students’ problems in writing an English essay.

After analyzing and classifying the data, it was found that there were 3 major problems in the students’ essays; grammar, vocabulary, and organization. From all those 3 problems, there were 244 errors found in total. As much as 61% or 150 errors were found related to grammar, 33% or 80 errors related to vocabulary, and 6% or 14 errors related to organization. In terms of grammar, as much as 34% or 51 errors were in the use of tenses, 10% or 15 errors were in the use of preposition, 16% or 24 errors were in the use of pronoun, and 40% or 60 errors were in the use of plural. In terms of vocabulary, as much as 33% or 80 errors were found in the essay and it related to spelling and choice of word. In terms of organization, as much as 6% or 14 errors were found in the students’ essay.

According to the result of the findings, it is known that grammatical error was the most occurred error in the students’ essays. It showed that grammar is the most problematic areas for the students in writing an English essay. The students made many errors, especially in the use of plurality, because of their poor competence in grammatical component. Moreover, many of them still did not know about the differences between simple present tense and simple past tense. They used past form in their essay meanwhile the instruction was clearly asked them to use the simple present tense.


Therefore, based on the result, it is suggested that the English teacher should emphasize more on writing activities to help the students improve their writing skill.