ERIC Number: ED343141
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Gender and the Evaluation of Writing.
Haswell, Richard H.; Tedesco, Janis E.
A study examined the effects of gender-linked features of writing upon raters' judgments about writing quality. Sixty-four subjects were interviewed: 32 teachers and 32 freshman composition students. Subjects were asked to evaluate two essays, one written by a woman and one by a man. In interviews, the subjects were asked to: (1) offer suggestions for revision; (2) describe strong and weak features of the essay; (3) identify the one most important piece of advice they would offer to the writer; (4) rank the merit of the essay on a scale of one to five, with one being low and five high; (5) guess the gender of the writer, and identifying clues in the text that suggested gender. The writer's gender had no influence on the success rate in guessing gender, and each group's guesses were often wrong by a ratio of two to one. Both textual and nontextual clues to gender were identified. Male writers offered fewer gender clues in their essays, but tended to offer more textual than nontextual clues. Gender did influence how essays were rated. Results suggest that there is a culturally determined way of looking at gender that students and teachers bring to the evaluation process. (Four figures are included; two appendixes containing students' texts are attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Text Factors
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (81st, Seattle, WA, November 22-27, 1991).