ERIC Number: ED225188
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Perceptions of Writing Skill. College Board Report No. 82-4.
Breland, Hunter M.; Jones, Robert J.
Research was conducted into the specific characteristics of brief, impromptu essay writing. A random sample of 806 essays was taken from the more than 80,000 written for the College Board's English Composition Achievement Test (ECT) in 1979. Using a special taxonomy of 20 writing characteristics, these essays were subjected to a second reading in fall 1980 to determine which of the characteristics most influenced rater judgments of writing quality. Among other analyses, scores developed for the quality of each of the characteristics were compared to holistic scores on the same essays obtained for the regular ECT administration. The results showed that certain characteristics of discourse, such as organization, transition, use of supporting evidence, and originality, influenced raters' judgments more than did such syntactic and lexical characteristics as subject-verb agreement, punctuation, and pronoun usage. The results suggest that English composition courses should emphasize discourse skills. (Appendixes contain copies of the ECT, essay evaluation forms and instructions used by raters, a questionnaire given to the raters before the evaluation, extensive tables of data, and a list of the names of the raters.) (Author/FL)
Descriptors: Educational Assessment, Essay Tests, Evaluation Criteria, Holistic Evaluation, National Surveys, Secondary Education, Writing Evaluation, Writing Exercises, Writing Research, Writing Skills
College Board Publications, Box 886, New York, NY 10101 ($4.00).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: College Entrance Examination Board, New York, NY.
Identifiers: College Board Achievement Tests