The Theory of Writing (Concept)

The Theory of Writing (Concept)

Writing is one of the language skills that should be learnt and mastered by the learner in language learning especially English. Writing is the activity of producing a sequence of sentences which are arranged in particular order and linked in certain ways. Fulwiler (2002:16) states that writing is the thinker’s way of exploring the world, inside and out. The activity of expressing an opinion with the support of evidence is considered as writing (Graham and Perin, 2007:9). Writing is the final product of several separate acts that are hugely challenging to learn simultaneously, among these separate acts are note taking, identifying the central idea, outlining, drafting and editing (Wallace at al., 2004:15).

Through writing, the students are expected to be able to convey meaning of ideas and deliver those ideas in written form. As stated by Taylor (2009:2) in writing we bring knowledge into being, we record and preserve it. Here the writers must be able to describe their ideas in form of well-organized paragraph; therefore, the readers can easily understand what the writers really intend to tell. To write a well writing, we have to know what we are going to write.

When we are writing we need to be able to arrange our statements, argumentation or comments into well-organized paragraph in order to make the messages are clearly understood. It is important to use understandable words to convey the meaning or the ideas. However, formulating the ideas and organizing those ideas into a good written form is not an easy task. As stated by Persky in Graham and Perin (2007:7) seventy percent of students in grade 4-12 in United States are low-achieving writers. When the writers provide the readers a written form of ideas, it cannot be taken back. Since written form is a concrete way to deliver an idea, there will not be chance to add clarification or further explanation when the readers comment on it; hence, the writers need to be careful in the writing process to make sure there is no misunderstanding of the readers.

            Harmer (2007:4) states that writing process is the stages which go through in order to produce something in its written form. He also argues that the process of writing has four main elements namely planning, drafting, editing and final version. Writing process involves the encoding of massage in which we translate our thoughts to the audiences into language in written form. The writing process is a thinking process during writing. According to Zemach and Rumisek, (2005:3) the process of writing itself can be categorized into four steps namely pre-writing, drafting, reviewing and revising and rewriting.

            The pre-writing stage is the stage before we write something. This stage is divided into three parts namely step one, step two and step three. In step one, the writers begin to choose the topic that they are going to develop into a good writing. Step two is considered of gathering the ideas which are appropriate with the topic that they are going to be developed and step three is organizing, here the writers organize the ideas that they are going to use in their writing and where they put the idea, which idea should be appropriate to put at first of the paragraph, second and at last of a paragraph. Galko (2001:21) states that pre-writing is writing your thought as they come to you; furthermore, you let your sentences flow freely without thinking whether your ideas are appropriate with the topic of your paragraph or the grammar is really perfect.

            Drafting is the second step of writing, in this step the writers begin to write the ideas into their writing; moreover, the writers start writing from beginning to finish. Commonly the writers will use their notes of the idea and organization which in turn to be developed into a good writing. In drafting, the writers make some headlines of the topic of their writing and connect it into a full discourse. Fulwiler (2002:17) states that in drafting the writers establish direction, the main form of the argument or story and some senses of the beginning, middle and end. According to Kane (2000:34) drafting is an early version of a piece of writing; in addition, the main purpose is to develop the ideas and work out the structure.

            Reviewing and revising is the next step, the writers review or check their writing. The writers commonly check their writing in order to find out whether there is place which can be added with more detail information or there is unnecessary information which can be deleted. This phase is also used to check the grammatical features of their writing. Taylor (2009:222) states that revising is an activity of adding and developing some arguments.

                    The last step is rewriting in which the writers make sure that everything is ok in their writing before they launch it. The writers will rewrite their writing and correct the mistakes that have been found in the steps previously and add some information of their ideas. Here, the structure and grammar, spelling, content and layout will be fixed. Hartley (2008:13) states that rewriting is the process when you are writing and changing what you want to say which lead to better writing.

To make a good writing, the teacher should pay more attention on the process of students’ writing. Broughton et al. (2003:117) state that should be a program to develop writing skill which works all the way through the educational system. The best way to encourage students to become practiced writers is to have them write more frequently and experience the phases of the writing processes. Here, the teachers have a very important role in assisting and giving their students such of the guidelines of a good writing. Because the writing has wide field to be learnt, the researcher intends to do his study only in the field of writing a paragraph, in this case, descriptive paragraph.


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