Improving the Students’ Writing Ability Through Mind Mapping Method”

A.      Background
The scope of English teaching in Indonesia based on the curriculum include four skills, i.e. reading, listening, speaking, and writing, and the mastering of English both as receptive and productive skills becomes very important, particularly in international communication. Writing is one of the productive skills. It is also one of the four language skills.
Many people in a variety of occupation are involved in activities requiring to write both formally and informally, writing is very important in communication with other people in the society. Rubin in Kartini (2001:1) said that writing is essential to many aspects of social, practical, and proffesional communication. Research reports, academic papers, or business report must be all in written form, in line with Rubin in Pincas in Kartini (2001) pointed out that writing is used to express our feeling and opinions. Writing is a means of both communication and self expression. From the statements, we can say that writing is the key communicating knowledge and expressing ideas, it is a primary medium for creation and the strange of thought. Therefore, writing is one of the four language skils that are taught in learning English which usually considered as a difficult activity to do for English students.
Occasionally, the English students seemed very confused when they have to start to write. Moreover, most of them cannot write, at least at the first time. This is, of course, caused by some possible factors. The students’ confusion may come if they do not have any ideas, or they could not arrange the vocabulary into good sentences. Even, most English students having no corage to write probably because they are unclear about
 Beside that, most teachers of English often think that the students’ difficulties in writing in English as a foreign language are due to their weakness in grammar and vocabulary. These as tone as stated by Lewwit (1990:2) that pity the EFL learner in his or her first composition course: virtually no experience, may be no ideas, a slender vocabulary, skewed grammar, and probably the vaguest notion of punctuation.
Making a qualifying writing is not easy thing to do,  indeed. It has its own procedures and convention that should be obeyed. Consequently a writer ought to apprehend those convention, such as when the capital letters are used, when the comma, the full stop, the question mark, and the other puntuations are used or not used. Students of English also should have sufficient knowledge about tenses, the use of verbs, adjectives, modals, and so on.
Furthemore, to obtain a good writing with good quality needs some steps or process. One of them is editing. In this steps, we are ready to edit our writing for grammatical and mechanical accuracy in preparation for making the final copy. It is, therefore, said that writing activity certainly takes long time and much energy, because we have to see again and again which eventually leads to a finish composition. Surely, this will bring students into boredom and be discourage to write.
Taking account of those problems, we need to think to find out any solution to run out the problems or at least help both students and teachers to make writing class more effective. Nowadays, there have been a lots of medias provided to assist the proces
of teaching and learning of language.
Recently by the end of 2000, Toni Buzan’s idea on how to think creatively and critically has been introduced in the Internet Journal. The idea called “mind mapping” is employed in note-taking and thought-organizing method by combining right and left brain learning methods to improve memory, comprehension, and creative thinking (Jauhari, 1999).
Mapping is a virtual method of organizing information, which involves drawing diagrams to show how ideas in a writing are related. In mind-mapping method, a note taker employs the left side of brain to do mapping by writing key ideas, and building outward with a series of interconnecting lines and other related ideas, and the right side of the brain to highlight broad cohesive concept with colors. This method is a trademark of Buzan that has been proved by the Bosley group from E-commerce to be very useful not only for engineers but also for all level of society and all fields of work.
Since writing ability is the interaction between thought and language and the process of writing undoubtedly involves brain. it is possible to apply the mind mapping-method to improve the writing ability. This possibility had motivated the writer to conduct  a research under the title “Improving the Students’ Writing Ability of the First Year Students of SMA Negeri 10 Makassar Through Mind Mapping Method”
B.       Problem Statement
The problem will be investigated in this research is formulated as follows:
“Is the mind-mapping method effective in improving the students’ writing ability of the first year students of SMA Negeri 10 Makassar?”
C.      Objective of the Reserach
The objective of this research is to find out whether or not the mind mapping is effective in improving the students’ writing ability of the first year students of SMA Negeri 10 Makassar.
D.      Significance of the Research

The result of this research is expected to be useful information for students  in order that to motivate them to write by using mind mapping method. Therefore, they can develop their ability in writing, and also hoped to be fruitful information for teachers in improving the quality of the way their teach, especially in teaching the writing subject. and hopefully bring meaningful contribution to the people who concern about writing, where it will be the input in the term of method of generating ideas, and build up their ideas into piece of writing, So that, they can develop their ability in writing.
E.       Scope of the Research
By discipline, this research is under applied linguistics because writing needs more practice. The scope of this research is restricted to the effectiveness of the mind mapping method in improving the students’ writing ability of the first year students of SMA Negeri 10 Makassar. The mind mapping method is a prewriting activity that can help the teacher to present materials, to make lesson plan, to produce handout related to the writing descriptive and narrative paragraph. The activities given to the students were asking them to make mind mapping  and they try to find the related words and then make it into coherent parargraph . This activity will also enable the students to generate main idea, and supporting idea in a coherent paragraph. In writing paragraph by using mind mapping method, it will be concerned to the students writing ability to five components of writing, they are content organization, vocabulary, language use or grammar, and mechanics.


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