The Assessment of Descriptive Paragraph Writing

The Assessment of Descriptive Paragraph Writing

  The use of assessment has purpose to know the students’ achievement in descriptive paragraph writing. Smith (2008:32) states that the primary aim of assessment is to develop an individual sense of authorial voice in their writing. Johnson and Johnson (2002:6) state that assessment is collecting information about the quality or quantity of a change in a student, group, teacher or administrator. The English teachers have to assess what they have already inculcated to their students so that they will know to what extent the previously formulated instructional objectives have been achieved by the students. The assessment is also used as the reflection of the teaching and learning technique used by the teacher.  Pedagogically valid and reliable assessment can contribute to give a lot of informative feedback to the English teacher, in the sense they are well informed concerning the weakness and the strengths of their teaching.

According to Fulcher and Davidson (2007:4) that validity in assessment has been traditionally understood to mean discovering whether a test measures accurately what it is intended to measure. Realizing the drawbacks and the strengths of their instruction they can take more effective attempts and measure in dealing with the unsolved problems faced by the students. Cohen et al. (2005:393) states that the critical factor of needs assessment, like many evaluation studies is the utility of findings in the action research.

One of the most important aspects of teaching writing is to be able to test the students’ writing. Since writing is complex activity, it is maybe hard to evaluate. Brown (2004:218) states that assessment of writing is not simple task as you need to be clear about your objective or criterion. Ideally, the teacher should assess all aspects and skills involved in writing, in this case, descriptive paragraph, but many teachers find it impossible to do so. According to May (2002:88) that the assessment is complex and personalized, it is difficult to assess the efficacy of an investigation or of an investigator because like complex human task. Since the assessment is complex, it is must be effective to measure and reflect the student’s ability. Johnson and Johnson (2002:2) state that the effectiveness of an assessment depends on the use of minimal resources to achieve the goals of the assessment, maintain effective working relationships among assessors, assesses, and all other relevant stakeholders and the last one increase the motivation of all involved parties to participate in future assessments.

In relation to this study, the researcher focuses on assessing students’ ability in composing a good descriptive paragraph; furthermore, the researcher focuses on teaching descriptive paragraph which tells about particular person or thing description. The students are asked to make a descriptive paragraph based on the topic or object already given and they have to submit their works, then the researcher analyzes and gives the score for student’s works with some consideration namely organization which includes the organization of identification and description, content which includes the sentence, creativity, readability and understandability, mechanics which includes correct punctuation and spelling and grammar and structure. The rubric is taken from Johnson and Johnson (2002:90).


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