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ERIC Number: ED411525
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Sep-26
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
An Evaluation of the Effects of a Departmentally Mandated Error Response Procedure on Essay Grades.
Barbier, Stuart
Instructors of Composition I at Lansing Community College (LCC) in Lansing, Michigan, are required by the Department of Communication to grade a paper in four areas: content, structure, style, and mechanics. The policy, in effect in its present form since 1982, places heavy emphasis upon the conventions or "mechanics" of writing Edited American English. The status of the place of grammar in the writing class in American education has had its ups and downs, especially in the last hundred years. Researchers have tried to demonstrate both sides of the question of whether the study of grammar contributes to good writing. The debate of teaching grammar in a composition classroom has devolved into a debate of mechanics. Researchers and composition instructors have also debated the value of and the best procedures for marking students' errors. A first-time freshman composition instructor at LCC examined the effectiveness of the mandated grading procedures over the course of a semester. Results indicated: (1) no significant difference between the students' performance on Essay 1 and Essay 5; (2) students' grade on mechanics did not predict their performance on the essay in general; and (3) some students made fewer of some kinds of errors only to make more of other kinds of errors. Avoiding grammar instruction because some studies suggest its inefficacy seems biased. If a particular student or section of a class needs instruction, it is irresponsible not to provide it. (Contains 35 references and 9 tables of data.) (RS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A