The Effect of the Process-based Writing Approach Effect of the Process-based Writing Approach on Writing

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  • Kamla-Raj 2015 Anthropologist, 22(2): 318-327 (2015)

    The Effect of the Process-based Writing Approach on WritingSuccess and Anxiety of Pre-service Teachers

    Ali Fuat Arici1 and Abdullah Kaldirim2

    1Yildiz Technical University, Faculty of Education, Department of Turkish Language Education,Istanbul, Turkey

    E-mail: afaturkey@hotmail.com2Dumlupinar University, Faculty of Education, Department of Turkish Language Education,

    Kutahya, TurkeyE-mail:

    KEYWORDS Process-based Writing. Pre-service Teachers, Writing Skills. Writing Anxiety

    ABSTRACT The instruction of writing should start from childhood, and students writing should be observed toincrease their writing abilities. Furthermore, revealing writing mistakes and making studies according to thesemistakes can contribute to developing these students writing abilities. In this study, a quasi-experimental studymethod was proffered that tests the impact of the process-based writing approach on the writing skills of pre-service teachers. Therefore, the research was designed with a pretest/post-test control group of quasi-experimentaldesign. For related samples, t-testing for independent samples and ANCOVA analysis were used, and the results wereevaluated. In the results, writing instruction courses, in which Turkish pre-service teachers used activities in thescope of theprocess-based writing approach, were found to have a great impact on the written expression skills ofTurkish pre-service teachers in the experimental group compared to those in the control group.


    Since the first day of mankind, people havetried to understand what was going on aroundthem and have had the need to tell other peoplewhat goes through their minds. In order to meetthis need, the communication tool of languageemerged and through this people transferredtheir feelings, thoughts, and dreams to each oth-er, both verbally and through written expression.Here, the concepts the researchers mention forcomprehension skills are: listening, reading andvisual reading, and for explanation skills: speak-ing, writing and visual presentation. These lan-guage skills are obtained from birth as an indi-vidual tries to develop these skills in his/her ed-ucation advances in life.

    Being able to express oneself orally or in writ-ing depends on the correct and effective use oflanguage skills. Namely, the bases of these twoskills are to understand and to be able to explainand interpret what was read, heard and seen.Writing is an expression skill. The developmentof this skill depends on the development of oth-er language skills. Good reading, listening andspeaking abilities are one of the most importantfactors that facilitate written expression educa-tion. With the development of writing skills, anindividuals opportunities (to transfer informa-tion, to make connections between ones own

    thoughts and information learned, and to pro-vide consistency in the structure of the text) in-crease. However, simply developing languageskills for literacy is not sufficient. The constitu-tion of the writing environment in schools andthe materials that the teacher will use in this fieldmust support the writing skills of the student(Akdal and Sahin, 2014).

    Santangelo et al. (2007) indicate that writingis a highly efficient tool because it connects timeand distance, collects information and protectsit, presents information about new arranged ordeveloped issues, and provides a flexible envi-ronment about artistic, spiritual, political issuesand self-expression. However, they also com-plain about the difficulty and complications ofthe planning, organizing, evaluating and review-ing stages, which are necessary for efficient com-munication. Lane (2006) indicates that studentswithout good writing skills are not only at risk inprimary education but also stand in an awkwardposition in their future academic lives. There-fore, the instruction of writing should start fromchildhood, and their writing should be observedto increase their writing abilities. Furthermore,the realization of writing mistakes and learningfrom these mistakes can contribute to the devel-opment of their writing ability. Thus, effectiveapproaches to writing should be internalized first.There are generally two approaches in writing:


    product-based and process-based. In this con-text, this chapter will discuss the product- andprocess-oriented approaches to writing.

    Product-Based Writing Approach (PRBWA)

    The product-based writing approach focus-es on the results of writing expression, or thewritten product, rather than the process that isfollowed in the study. The aim of this approachis to provide individuals a way to write the ideasthat they have about the issue in a consistentand flawless way (Sun and Feng 2009). Duringthis process, the teachers duties are to identifythe writing topic that students will write about,bring writing types to the class, which studentscan use as examples, and evaluate the writtenproduct. By the end of the writing process, theteachers who evaluate their students writtenproducts as a whole cannot identify at whichstage their students faced difficulties. This meansthat, at the end of the activities made accordingto the product-based writing approach, one can-not evaluate writing expressions strictly. As aresult, students imitate the writing expressionsgiven as examples and their writing skills do notstrictly develop. Shortly, the product-based writ-ing approach is seen as repetitive and simplyimproves the students information about thestructure of language (Badger and White 2000).

    Process-Based Writing Approach (PBWA)

    The process-based writing approach doesnot handle the written expression as a product.Instead, it is a teaching method for writing thathandles it as a process and benefits from thestudents writing expressions. It encourages stu-dents to find what they think, what they do, whatthey take into consideration, and what kind ofcharacteristics their writing contains. The pro-cess-based writing approach aims to arrange thewriting process according to constructivistteaching theory and with the cognitive assis-tance of a teacher. On the basis of this approach,the concepts proximal development zone andcognitive assistance are key points in Vy-gotskys sociocultural learning theory (Thompson2013).

    Students should pay attention to the char-acteristics during the arrangement of componentsin writing in order to be able to explain what theywant to express efficiently. It is also important

    that the writing applies (proceeds) as a process.The reason for this is that a written expressionthat has not been applied through a process can-not provide integrity on its own and thereforecannot express the authors thoughts in an ef-fective way and does not enable the author todeliver his/her exact thoughts to the readingpublic. To eliminate these drawbacks and to re-veal a good written product, the author shouldplan his/her thoughts in the beginning. In otherwords, a writing draft should be constructed andarranged first, and finally, the written expressionsshould be corrected in terms of language andexpression.

    Teachers using the process-based writingapproach engage in the process of writing withtheir students. In addition, these teachers pro-vide evaluations of the students writings by giv-ing directions at every planned stage. EvenWorth-Baker (2004) mentions that teachersshould also write articles (writings) with theirstudents. Through feedback, each student canimprove the quality of his/her writing and inter-nalize the stages of the entire process. Thus, stu-dents writing skills are developed. In more de-tail, the planned writing and evaluation processconsists of the following stages (Tompkins 2010;Karatay 2011; Ministry of National Education[MoNE] 2012).

    Preparing to Write

    This stage is getting ready to write. Here,students bring their prior knowledge to the envi-ronment, and they learn about the process ofwriting. Similar to how important the preparationbefore running is for a runner, preparation be-fore writing is also important for a writer (Tomp-kins 2010). These studies should never be aban-doned, especially for individuals who are new towriting. Additionally, it is suggested that thesestudies have to be transformed to their habits(Arici and Ungan 2012). At this stage, motiva-tion, topic selection, goal setting, identifying theaim and audience, determining the type of writ-ing, identifying thoughts about the issue, andorganizing ones studies can be made.


    In the prewriting stage, students try to drafttheir ideas fluently by considering their goalsand the audience. However, during the creation


    of the first writing draft, writing and rewritingactivities can be completed more than once. Here,the main thing is that the student is able to penhis/her ideas or dreams onto paper.


    In this stage, drafts written by the studentsare changed into text form. It is difficult for manypeople to start writing. For this, it can be neces-sary for teachers to assist students who are hav-ing difficulties with how to start to write. In addi-tion, as mentioned before, writing with the stu-dents can encourage them.


    In the correction phase, the written producttakes its final shape. Studies up to this stagefocus on the content of the text, which was writ-ten by the student. This stage focuses on thestructural components of grammar, word usage,formatting, spelling, and punctuation in the text;these things are controlled in terms of adequacyin the paper (Tompkins 2010). Oz (2001) indicatesthat writing studies of children have a meaning ifthese studies are evaluated, but Hansen (1996)states that evaluation plays an important role fordeveloping the writing of the students.

    Publication and Sharing

    The role of sharing their writing with othersis important for students to be motivated forupcoming writing assignments (MoNE 2012). Atthis stage, the writing draft in its final shape isshared with others in verbal or visual ways.

    Studies were made for improving languageskills since it is known that this is a difficult mat-ter for students. Improving their writing skills issomething they are reluctant to do. A teacherstraditional approach to the writing process, writ-ing topics that students are not interested in, thebelief that writing is a skill special to specificpeople, negative writing experiences that stu-dents have encountered and are now the causefor reluctance, the inadequacy of the feedbackand correction stages, and the intensity of theclass all play a negative role on the writing skillsdevelopment (Karatay 2011; Topuzkanamis 2015).Thus, the problems that the researchers men-tioned above will be solved and the teachers willreach their objectives in writing instruction.

    In the literature, when papers conducted onthe basis of process-based writing were exam-ined, it was revealed that this approach had apositive effect on students writing skills or theirwriting anxiety. Bayat (2014) conducted a re-search study with university students and foundthat the process-based writing approach has asignificant effect on writing success and anxi-ety. Li et al.s (2014) paper explored the effects ofWiki-based Collaborative Process Writing Peda-gogy (WCPWP) on writing ability and writingattitudes among Primary Four students. The re-sults provided a general picture of the studentscollaborative writing process and showed thatWCPWP had a positive, but not very signifi-cant, effect on the students writing abilities.Importantly, the results indicated that WCPWPdid have a significant positive effect on the writ-ing attitudes of the students. Graham and Sand-mel (2011) have conducted a meta-analysis of29 experimental/quasi-experimental studies onthe process-based writing approach. They re-vealed that the process-based writing approachhas a positive effect on the students writingachievements.

    After considering these stated problems, itis accepted that using methods that are shapedaccording to the needs of students is more nec-essary than using applications that do not re-spond to the needs of students. To be able touse methods that meet the needs of students,teacher and teacher candidates should be in-formed about how to provide an instructionalenvironment. In this way, these teacher-basedproblems can be solved and the desired achieve-ments can be reached.

    According to Slavin (2013), anxiety is an inti-mate friend of education. Therefore, all studentsin the education process have anxieties duringspecific periods. In particular, in an environmentwhere the students are obliged to use their lan-guage skills during the process of languageskills training, student anxiety levels can in-crease. For Daly and Wilson (1983: 327), writinganxiety is a situation that emerges when an indi-vidual believes that his/her written expressionwill be evaluated and wants to avoid writing ac-cording to individual differences. This revealedreaction to writing could cause sadness, anger,fear, indifference, or even physical changes, likevarious muscle cramps (Ozbay and Zorbaz 2011).

    One factor that plays a negative role on thedevelopment of writing skill is writing anxiety.


    Among students, this anxiety causes proscrati-nation, fear and tension, reduction in motivationand self-confidence, and interruptions in thethinking process (Yaman 2010). The regular useof writing skills in the learning environment andrequesting students to express their thoughts inblack and white increases the probability of writ-ing anxiety.

    Yaman (2014) examined the relationship be-tween general anxiety, writing anxiety, and atti-tudes toward secondary-level Turkish coursesand found that when the students writing anxi-ety levels increased, their general anxieties alsoincreased. In contrast, a negative correlation wasdetermined between writing anxiety and attitudesabout Turkish courses. Furthermore, as the stu-dents writing anxieties increased, their attitudesabout Turkish courses were affected negatively.These findings indicate that in order to ensurean increase in student writing achievements,teachers have the greatest duty. Pre-serviceteachers are the teachers of the future and mustbe trained with this awareness in order to achievetheir set targets. Researches that have been car-ried out show that if writing incidence increases,writing anxiety will fall (Iseri and Unal 2012). Inthe process of process-based writing, text is re-written through multiple stages of prewriting,drafting and revising. From this perspective, theprocess-based writing approach may be effec-tive in reducing writing anxiety for pre-serviceteachers.

    Research Objectives

    This study involves important research forpre-service teachers, the models for students inthe future, to increase the quality of their writingand to plan their writing instruction process in aqualitative way. In this context, the main objec-tive of this research is to determine the impact ofthe process-based writing approach on the writ-ing skills of pre-service teachers.


    Research Design

    For this study, a quasi-experimental meth-od was utilized in order to test the impact of theprocess-based writing approach on the writingskills of pre-service teachers. The research wasalso designed with pretest/post-test controlgroups of quasi-experimental design.

    It was decided that the assignment of stu-dents to the experimental and control groups of

    the study would, if conducted on students re-ceiving a formal education, cause disruption ofthe educational process already in progress.Therefore, pedagogists often use non-artificial,pre-determined groups and quasi-experimentaldesigns (Fraenkel et al. 2011; Creswell 2012), andthese were what was utilized in this study.

    Study Group

    In the spring semester of 2013-2014, the en-tire study group consisted of third year studentsfrom Dumlupinar Universitys Faculty of Educa-tion, Department of Turkish Language Educa-tion. One subset of students was identified asthe experimental group and the other subset wasidentified as the control group.

    Data Collection Tools and Implementation

    In this research study, writing expression ex-amples, which were taken from the students asdata collection tools, are evaluated through the6+1 Analytical Writing and Assesment Scaleadapted to Turkish by Ozkara (2007) and to levelby Ozdemir (2014). After assessment, the inter-rater reliability coefficient was examined, and thereliability coefficient for each dimension wasfound to be above 0.70. The emergence of over0.70 reliability coefficients indicates that assess-ment is at an acceptable level of reliability (Milesand Huberman 1994). Kayapinars (2014) paper in-dicated that using markings in essay assessmentsis evidently not reliable for assessing essays.

    The Writing Anxiety Scale developed byKarakaya and Ulper (2011) is used to measurewriting anxiety levels of pre-service teachers. TheWriting Anxiety Scale consists of 21 items and isone-dimensional. It is a Likert-type scale and in-dividuals marked using quinary grading. Itemsin the scale were rated as 5 if Always wasmarked and as 1 if Never was marked. The cal-culation for reliabilityan analysis of Cron-bachs alpha internal consistencyis a coeffi-cient of 0.84. According to this, it can be saidthat the reliability of the measurement is reallyhigh. The Cronbachs alpha internal consisten-cy coefficient measured for this study was 0.96.

    Research Application

    Research was carried out in 8 weeks duringthe spring semester of 2013-2014. Before thestudy, a pretest was administered to both groups.Then, experimental activities were started withthe experimental group. In this context, pre-ser-


    vice teachers were informed of prewriting prepa-rations (topic selection, writing, goal setting, anddetermination of the target audience and of writ-ing type), the creation of writing drafts, the actu-al writing of later drafts after being reviewed andrearranged, text corrections, and publishing. Fi-nally, after the writing applications were finished,those related to writing skill and post-test anxi-eties were applied and the differences betweenthe groups were evaluated. In assessing the dif-ferences, the results would be more useful interms of interpretation if not only the pretestbut also the post-tests were compared.

    Data Analysis

    For related samples, t-tests for independentsamples and the ANCOVA analysis were usedand the results were evaluated. In addition, per-centage and frequency analyses were used fordescriptive statistics.


    After the data in Table 1 was examined, greatstatistical differences were found between thepretest scores and the anxiety scales of the Turk-ish pre-service teachers in the experimental groupand in the control group. By reason of differenc-es between the groups, a one-way covarianceanalysis was made to reduce the partiality of thestudy.

    The experimental and control groups writ-ing anxiety scales and post-test scores were re-vised based on the pretest. These are given inTable 2. Accordingly, the average pretest score

    for the experimental group was calculated as80.11; for the control group, it was 102.76. Thefinal test adjustment for average score for theexperimental group was 84.80; for the controlgroup, it was 97.93.

    The ANCOVA results, which are related tothe differences between corrected post-testscores for the groups, are given in Table 3. Ac-cording to these results, it may be stated thatthere was a great difference found between theexperimental and control groups writing anxietyand mean post-test scores that had been revisedbased on pretest scores (F (1, 66)=10.41, p


    cess-based writing education plays an importantrole by reducing the writing anxieties of Turkishpre-service teachers.

    Practices done in the writing educationcourse have not caused a statistically signifi-cant reduction in writing anxiety, t(33)=0.033,p>.05 (Table 5). While the average writing anxietyscore of Turkish pre-service teachers wasX=102.88 before application, it reduced to X=102.76after implementation; however, as a statistic, this isnot a meaningful finding. The resulting interpreta-tion is that applications made in the writing instruc-tion course play an inefficient role on the writinganxieties of Turkish pre-service teachers.

    After the data in Table 6 was examined, nomeaningful differences were seen between thepretest scores of Turkish pre-service teachers inthe experimental group and the pretest scores ofTurkish pre-service teachers in the control group,t(67)=0.34, p>.05. In this case, before applicationimplementation, both groups were equal accord-ing to written expression success.

    To determine whether there is a statistical-ly significant difference between the mean scoresobtained from the achievement tests of the ex-perimental and control groups, t-tests for the in-dependent samples were conducted (Table 7).Accordingly, a significant difference was dis-

    cerned between the achievement scores obtainedfrom process-based writing instruction of theexperimental group (XExperiment=131.48) and thescores of the students in the control group(XControl=108.85), t(67)=5.86, p


    the applications determined by the scope of theCouncil of Higher Education have an unimpor-tant impact on the writing expression success ofTurkish pre-service teachers.

    After the data in Table 10 was examined, nomeaningful difference was seen between thescores of the experimental group and the controlgroup for the 6+1 analytical writing and assess-ment scales ideas dimension, t(67)=0.671,p>.05. After the average scores related to theorganization dimension for the experimentaland control groups were examined, it was againdetermined that there is no meaningful statisti-cal difference between these groups, t(67)=0.850,p>.05.

    In the t-test, a meaningful difference wasfound between the scores that Turkish pre-ser-vice teachers took from voices in favor of thecontrol group, t(67)=2.026, p.05. In addition, there was no mean-ingful difference discovered between the scoresthey took from sentence fluency, t(67)=0.548,p>.05.

    The written expression products of pre-ser-vice teachers were evaluated according to the6+1 analytical writing and assessment scalesconvention dimension, and the difference be-tween the scores of the two groups was testedaccording to the meaningfulness of difference.In the t-test, no difference was seen between thescores of both groups for convention,t(67)=0.810, p>.05. However, it was determinedthat there is a meaningful difference in favor ofthe control related to the presentation dimen-sion, t(67)=2.026, p


    writing and assesment scale, t(67)=5.068, p


    vice teachers pretest and post-test scores lack astatistically significant difference, except for thespelling subscale. Also, Yazar (2004) did not de-termine this difference in his study with 31 stu-dents. It is thought that this difference emergesbecause of personal differences among the pre-service teachers who are included in the study.

    When other studies based on process-basedwriting education are examined, the results ob-tained are consistent with this research.Ozkara (2007), DeJarnette (2008), Ulper (2008),Senturk (2009), and Ozdemir (2014) gained sta-tistically meaningful results in favor of the ex-perimental groups. Ulper did this research witheighth grade students, Ozkara with fifth gradestudents, DeJarnette with 162 fifth grade stu-dents, and Senturk with 70 eighth grade students.Bayats (2014) quasi-experimental research,which was conducted with 74 pre-service teach-ers, show that the process-based writing ap-proach improved the participants success inwritten expression and also found that the pro-cess-based writing approach decreased writinganxiety by a statistically significant extent. Li etal.s (2014) paper showed that WCPWP had apositive, albeit not significant effect, on the stu-dents writing abilities and that a significantlypositive effect was made on the writing attitudesof students.


    This study tried to determine the impact ofthe process-based writing approach on the de-velopment of writing skills of pre-service teach-ers and the reduction of writing anxieties. Fromits results, it may be stated that the process-based writing approach is efficient for reducingwriting anxieties and developing writing skills.This is very important for pre-service teachers,and therefore, it is also important for studentswho will be majoring within the Turkish educa-tion system. Being aware of the variables thatinfluence the writing process and managing thisprocess in a qualitative way allows a pre-serviceteacher to provide students with a qualitativewriting product. Thus, students can expressthemselves better in writing. It is clear that teach-ers should first start with being motivated aboutthis writing issue. In consideration of this, it canbe said that writing studies should be performedwith this approach, not only in primary and mid-dle/high schools but also in higher education

    institutions. That way, the writing process, whichhas been handled as a problem, will no longer becalled a difficult activity after the needed studiesare followed. At this point, it is thought that thisresearch study has made an important contribu-tion to the field.


    The prewriting phase is very important forreducing writing anxiety, and it makes the pro-cess of writing more effective. Therefore, thisstep should be followed meticulously. It will great-ly improve the writing quality of any writer. Forthis reason, the necessary steps should be tak-en at the preparation stage since getting readyfor the introduction part of writing is not easywork. In writing education studies, both the writ-ing process and the evaluation process must bemade a process-based (analytical) system. Thiswill improve the quality of the students writingby providing necessary feedback.


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