Scoring Essay Items

Scoring Essay Items-46
The Writing Assessment Program uses a holistic scoring method to score all exams and portfolios.Elliot, Plata, & Zelhart offer the following definition of holistic assessment: To view a sample of writing holistically is to attempt to view the writing as more than the mere sum of its elementary parts.This material, which illustrates or explains the broader topic sentence, must be presented in a logical order.

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Generally, the thesis statement occurs in the introductory paragraph.

When writers open their essays with anecdotes, statistics, or other attention-getting material, the thesis statement is often placed at the end of that paragraph or the beginning of the next paragraph.

In considering a sample of writing from a holistic perspective, readers do not judge separately the singular factors--treatment of topic, selection of rhetorical methods, word choice, grammar and mechanics--that constitute a piece of writing.

Rather, raters are asked to consider these factors as elements that work together to make a total impression on the reader.

The middle of an essay will have at least two to three paragraphs, and each of these paragraphs will present one major step in a logical plan.

These middle paragraphs usually open with the main idea to be discussed in the paragraph.

Once writers settle on a main idea, they must think about the most effective way to organize their materials in order to convince their readers that the main idea is a reasonable one.

Thus, the supporting information must be presented in some sort of logical progression.

This limiting of the topic is often called "focusing" because both the writer's attention and the reader's attention are zeroed in on a particular aspect of a broad subject.

This "focusing" often takes the form of a thesis statement, a sentence that states the main idea of an essay.

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