ERIC Number: ED207071
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Syntactic Maturity and Grading: A Correlational Study.
Roos, Michael E.
A study was conducted to determine whether a significant correlation existed between an essay's letter grade and five important factors of syntactic maturity (clause length, t-unit length, sentence length, clauses per t-unit, and t-units per sentence). A total of 45 essays--15 A, 15 B, and 15 C papers as graded by five junior college English teachers--were assigned a point value and analyzed for a correlation between the grade and each of the five syntactic maturity factors. The results indicated a slight correlation between the grades and the number of clauses per t-unit and the number of t-units per sentence, suggesting that the teachers were influenced somewhat in their grading by the writer's ability to build compound sentences. The second portion of the study was an analysis of the difference between each of the three grade groups. Here, the number of words per sentence was found to be the most significant factor. The significant difference between the A and the C papers was possibly due to the fact that the A students connected independent clauses with semicolons more frequently than did the other students and thus produced much longer sentences and more t-units per sentence. While the results infer that sentence combining exercises may help increase the quality of a student's writing, factors of syntactic maturity overall had only a low correlation with the quality of writing. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Clauses; Syntactic Maturity; T Units
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Wyoming Conference on Freshman and Sophomore English (10th, Laramie, WY, July 6-10, 1981).