Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Writing Quality: Assessing the Existing Situation among Secondary Level Students

Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Writing Quality: Assessing the Existing Situation among Secondary Level Students

Article excerpt

Introduction

Language is a special gift of God to mankind. It is present everywhere, not only in our thoughts and dreams but also in our prayers, mediations, relations and communications. It is the ability of human beings to communicate through words that distinguish them from animals. Camey (1990) defined language as a set of specified local symbols that help human beings to communicate with one others, this indicates that different nations and cultures may have varied symbols. Language may be considered as the expression of thought uttered by means of speech and sounds (Sweet, 1900). According to Hadely (2001), Language is a set of sounds by which feelings, thoughts, and sentiments are conveyed to other human beings.

Every nation and country has its own language which depicts the culture, feeling, tone and the ways of expression. In Pakistan, now the official language is considered as Urdu, but for the communication with the external world, education, commerce, science and technology English is importance. English has a significant position in Pakistan and is taught from primary class to higher level. Moreover, many important researches are conducted in this language. A person, who cannot understand and speak it properly, faces difficulty and may be labeled as uneducated.

Languages of the world are based on four basic skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. A Person having mastery on various elements of language skills may easily convey thoughts, wishes, intentions, feelings and information to others, in written and verbal form (Pamela, 1991). The basic language skills are divided into two categories: receptive and productive skills. Listening and reading are receptive traits whereas spoken and writing is productive abilities. Written expression is a relatively complicated task as compare to other components. According to Braine & Yorozu (1998), the writing competency requires a structured pattern of thoughts planned in an organized way. In writing symbols, such as letters of alphabets, punctuation and space are used to communicate thoughts and ideas in a readable form. Writing is an intellectual form of communication students use to show their feelings and ideas on paper, to organize their knowledge and beliefs into convincing arguments. This may also be used to convey meaningful through and well-constructed text using rules of grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and vocabulary.

Background of the Study

The question may arises, why to conduct this study? The answer is simple and interesting; being a faculty member in one of the higher education institution the researcher has recorded certain observation. After completion of doctoral studies, investigator rejoined the department and the midterm examination brought shocking results, about seventy percent students of a master class secured below average marks and the panic started among disciple, whereas among rest of the subjects they obtained good score. The researcher started to think on various aspects and formulated different types of hypothesis like, paper was difficult and it was unable to discriminate among students, second the course content was sufficiently long, the students were habitual to solve an easy paper etc. All the formulated hypotheses were tested during the marking and it was noted that students have the problem in written expression and they were unable to write a single line without committing an error. After showing transcript to students, this researcher decided to conduct another litmus test. The next day when they came to class, a blank paper was distributed among students and they were asked to write an application for an urgent piece of work at home. It was interesting to share that two out of forty students wrote it correctly and the rest of class have errors ranging from single to multiple. Even they were unable to express what they want to communicate. This factor forced the researcher to investigate whether the same problem also exist on the grass root level i. …

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