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ERIC Number: ED170014
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Pages: 67
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Measuring Writing Skills.
Hartnett, Carolyn G.
Measuring student writing skills can be done holistically, by ranking compositions without enumerating their linguistic, rhetorical, or information features, or atomistically, by viewing compositions as collections of these features. A variety of holistic approaches, including primary score testing, exist. Though their reliability has been questioned, they have content validity and can serve placement purposes. Teacher, peer, and self-evaluation techniques can be applied to holistic approaches. At the other end of the holistic/atomistic continuum are the widely used norm-referenced tests of editing skills, such as the General Education Development Writing Skills Test, Cooperative English Test, Missouri College English Test, McGraw-Hill Basic Skills System, Scott-Foreman Test, Mills' Writing Pre-Test, and the Test of Standard Written English. Critics of these tests cite immeasurable factors that lower the correlation of the quality of a whole essay with the quality of its parts. Recently developed procedures focus on the intellectual processes involved in writing, by measuring syntactic complexity, analyzing linguistic structures, and analyzing the degree of focus. Other recent developments exploit the capabilities of the computer in tabulating specific items such as mature word choice, natural language, and fluency. In addition to describing a pilot study of seven measures of writing ability, this paper describes and evaluates each of the methods of measurement discussed. (AYC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Advanced Institutional Development Program Two-Year College Consortium.
Authoring Institution: N/A