Investigating Students’ Writing Skills in Generating Descriptive Texts: Experiences Learned from English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Contexts in Privates Universities


  • Sopian Saori AMM Mataram
  • Sugianto Sugianto Universitas Pendidikan Mandalika
  • Kim Christian Badilo The University of Waterloo



Writing skills, Descriptive texts, Generic structures


Writing occupies a paramount role in the conveyance of ideas, demanding a profound comprehension of the nuances integral to crafting impeccable written compositions. The research under consideration was undertaken with the objective of delving into the writing skills of students and discerning the challenges they encounter in composing descriptive texts. Employing a mixed-method approach, the study engaged English learners at STIE AMM Mataram, constituting a cohort of 28 students. To attain a comprehensive understanding of their writing abilities and difficulties, the research employed writing tests and interviews as research instruments. The research outcomes revealed a mean score of 69.92 for the students, indicative of a concerning trend of inadequate proficiency in writing descriptive texts, essentially categorizing their abilities as 'poor.' A closer examination of the data delineated specific performance distributions among the students: 12% garnered scores below 60, designating them as 'poor,' while 40% fell within the 61-70 score range, also categorized as 'poor.' Moreover, 36% secured scores in the 71-80 range, positioning them in the 'average' category, and a mere 12% earned scores designated as 'very good. Vocabulary and organization stood out with ratings categorized as 'good to average,' showcasing relative strengths. Conversely, content, grammar, and mechanics were characterized by a 'fair to poor' categorization, underscoring significant areas of difficulty. In particular, students grappled with challenges concerning grammar, content development, and mechanical aspects of writing. In light of these findings, it is evident that students encounter multifaceted difficulties, particularly in the realms of grammar, content creation, and mechanics. As a viable solution, it is recommended that English teachers prioritize providing students with ample opportunities for writing practice. These opportunities should be designed to specifically enhance content development and grammar proficiency in writing descriptive texts.


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Author Biographies

Sugianto Sugianto, Universitas Pendidikan Mandalika

English Education Department, Faculty of Culture Management Business, Mandalika University of Education, Jalan Pemuda No 59 A Mataram, Postal code. 83126, Indonesia

Kim Christian Badilo, The University of Waterloo

English Language and Literature, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West Waterloo, Canada  N2L 3G1, Canada


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How to Cite

Saori, S., Sugianto, S., & Christian Badilo, K. (2023). Investigating Students’ Writing Skills in Generating Descriptive Texts: Experiences Learned from English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Contexts in Privates Universities. Journal of Language and Literature Studies, 3(2), 148–171.