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ERIC Number: ED173805
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Use of Tests of Writing and Skills Related to Writing.
Lloyd-Jones, Richard
There are two modes for testing writing: atomistic and holistic. Atomistic tests depend on isolating a form, emphasizing the recognition of the form rather than the creation of it. Holistic tests require the generation of writing, so that the forms are seen in a particular context. The atomistic tests have great danger of leading to false inferences; their appropriate uses are limited, though valuable; and misuse is fairly common. Holistic tests come in two varieties, each of which focuses on the network which joins the separate elements of the writing: the Educational Testing Service's (ETS) test, which is designed to rank samples of writing in broad quality categories by means of tacit judgments, and the Primary Trait (PT) system, which describes papers in broad categories explicitly described in relation to purposes implied in the writing task. Problems exist in both systems in generating a sample of writing that is truly representative of the quality of writing done by the person being tested. As opposed to atomistic tests, holistic tests have difficulty in controlling the scoring for a large number of samples. The ETS system is probably more effective in ranking individual students, while PT provides more information for assessment and research. (DF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (30th, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 5-7, 1979)