Problem-Based Learning: Its Effects on Students’ Ability in Writing Expository Essays


  • Jumariati Universitas Lambung Mangkurat
  • Rizky Amelia Universitas Lambung Mangkurat
  • Eka Puteri Elyani Universitas Lambung Mangkurat
  • Tofan Mahendra Universitas Lambung Mangkurat


problem-based learning, learners’ writing, expository essay


Having the ability to think critically is prominent to aid students in dealing with academic life, filtering any information, and solving problems. This study investigates the effects of Problem-Based Learning on students’ ability in writing expository essays. It employed a quantitative approach with a quasi-experimental design by utilizing intact classes of advanced writing. The study utilized a writing test and a scoring rubric as the instruments to collect the data. The experimental group was taught by using PBL with group works whereas the control group was taught by using individual guided problem-solving. The findings on the t-test conveyed that the null hypothesis is rejected. Hence, there is a significant difference in the mean score of the students in the experimental group and those in the control group. Moreover, the analysis of each component of writing revealed that the implementation of PBL gives a significant effect on the components of content and organization. Hence, small group discussion for problem-solving tasks is recommended to develop students’ critical thinking skills, social skills, and writing skills particularly in writing expository essays of problem-solution.


Metrics Loading ...


Alfares, N. (2017). Benefits and Difficulties of learning in Group Work in EFL Classes in Saudi Arabia. English Language Teaching,

(7), 247–256.

Aliyu, M. M. (2020). Exploring the Nature of Undergarduates’ Peer Collaboration in a PBL Writing Process. International Journal of Language Education, 4(1), 11–23.

Aljohani, M. (2017). Principles of Constructivism in Foreign Language Teaching. Journal of Literature and Art Studies, 7, 97–107.

Burch, K. (2000). A Primer on Problem-Based Learning for International Relation Courses. Internationla Studies Perspectives, 1, 31–44.

Chiou, B. (2019). The Application of Problem-based Learning Approach in English Grammar Instruction: A Pilot Study. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 10(3), 446–453.

Corden, R. (2001). Group Discussion and the Importance of A Shared Perspective: Learning from Collaborative Research. Qualitative Research, 1(3), 347–367.

Dobao, A. F. (2012). Collaborative Writing Tasks in the L2 Classroom: Comparing Group, Pair, and Individual Work. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21, 40–58.

Dole, S., Bloom, L., & Kowalske, K. (2015). Transforming Pedagogy: Changing Perspectives from teacher-Centered to Learner-Centered. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 10(1).

Hallinger, P., & Lu, J. (2011). Implementing Problem-Based Learning in Higher Education in Asia: Challenges, Strategies, and Effect. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 33(3), 267–285.

Hanifah, Z., Suparno, & Supriyadi, S. (2019). Implementing Collaborative Writing to Teach Writing for Non-English Major Students. International Journal of Language Teaching and Education, 3(2), 142–157.

Hmelo-Silver, C. E., & Barrows, H. S. (2006). Goals and Strategies of a Problem-Based Learning Facilitator. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 1(1), 21–39.

Hung, W. (2013). Problem-Based Learning: A Learning Environment for Enhancing Learning Transfer. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 137, 27–38.

Jonassen, D. (2011). Supporting Problem Solving in PBL. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 5(2), 95–119.

Jones, J. M. (2014). Discussion Group Effectiveness is Related to Critical Thinking through Interest and Engagement. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 13(1), 12–24.

Jumariati, J., & Sulistyo, G. H. (2017). Problem-Based Writing Instruction: Its Effects on Students’ Skills in Argumentative Writing. Arab World English Journal, 8(2), 87–100.

Li, Y. (2013). Effects of Problem-Based English Writing Instruction on Thai Upper Secondary School Students’ Critical Thinking Abilities and Argumentative Writing Skills. Online Journal of Education, 8(1), 242–255.

Ng Chin Leong, P. (2009). The Power of problem-based Learning in the EFL Classroom. Polyglossia, 16, 41–48.

Othman, N., & Shah, M. I. A. (2013). Problem-Based Learning in English Language Classroom. English Language Teaching, 6(3), 125–134.

Pluta, W. J., Richards, B. F., & Mutnick, A. (2013). PBL and Beyond: Trends in Collaborative Learning. Teaching and Learning in Medicine: An International Journal, 25(1), 9–16.

Pollock, P. H., Hamann, K., & Wilson, B. M. (2011). Learning through Discussions: Comparing the Benefits of Small Group and Large-Class settings. Journal of Political Science Education, 7(1), 48–64.

Setyowati, L., & Sukmawan, S. (2019). Authentic Materials for Teaching Writing: A Critical Look. International Journal of Language Education, 3(2), 68–77.

Shehadeh, A. (2011). Effects and Student Perceptions of Collaborative Writing in L2. Journal of Second Language Writing, 20, 286–305.

Sockalingam, N., & Schmidt, H. G. (2011). Characteristics of problems for Problem-Based Learning: The Students’ Perspectives. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 5(1).

Yamin, M., Saputra, A., & Deswila, N. (2021). Enhancing Critical Thinking in Analyzing Short Story “The Lazy Jack” Viewed from Identity Theory. Indonesian Journal on Learning and Advanced Education, 3(1), 30–38.



How to Cite

Jumariati, Rizky Amelia, Eka Puteri Elyani, & Tofan Mahendra. (2021). Problem-Based Learning: Its Effects on Students’ Ability in Writing Expository Essays. Linguistic Forum - A Journal of Linguistics, 3(1), 22–27.