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ERIC Number: EJ788137
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 20
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0147-1635
Assessing Student Writing: The Self-Revised Essay
Graziano-King, Janine
Journal of Basic Writing (CUNY), v26 n2 p75-94 Fall 2007
In an effort to assess student writing in a way that reflects current views of writing (i.e., as a social process supported by the interaction of a number of cognitive sub-processes), and yet still seeks to determine what students can do independently, it has become a common practice to include timed essays in student portfolios. However, this practice adds to the already heavy cognitive load, identified by Hamp-Lyons and Condon, that the assessment of portfolios places on readers. Here, I suggest an alternative method of assessment--the self-revised essay. The self-revised essay requires that students, at the beginning of the semester, write an essay in response to a prompt that reflects a theme that runs through course texts and discussions. Then, throughout the semester, students revisit, reflect on, and revise their essays three more times, with all reflections and revisions taking place in class. The result is a multi-drafted essay, written independently, but informed by course texts, class discussions, and instructor and peer feedback on other essays written for the class. As an assessment tool, it offers the best of both worlds--like the portfolio, it reflects current views of writing, and, like the timed essay, it allows readers to have full confidence that students are the sole authors of their work. Further, it does both without placing on readers an overwhelming cognitive load that might compromise the assessment process.
Kingsborough Community College City University of New York. Available from: Boyd Printing Company, Inc. 49 Sheridan Avenue, Albany, NY 12210. Tel: 800-877-2693; Tel: 518-436-9686; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A