Grading and Critiquing Evaluating Writing Assignments Time4Writing provides these teachers materials to teachers and parents at no cost. More presentations, handouts, interactive online exercises, and video lessons are freely available at Time4Writing.com. Consider linking to these resources from your school, teacher, or homeschool educational site. The rules: These materials must maintain the visibility of the Time4Writing trademark and copyright information. They can be copied and used for educational purposes. They are not for resale. Want to give us feedback? We'd like to hear your views: [email protected] Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
Is judgment of a written essay or story just personal opinion? Is there an objective way to critique and apply grades to written work? There are two parts to producing a useful standard for grading: 1) Create a rubric that allows you to judge the writing based on several objective criteria. 2) Explain to your students what those standards are, and how to meet them. Then develop a way to critique their writing, showing them what works, and what still needs attention. Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
Grading: 1) Create a Rubric Decide what the main emphases are for the assignment, and how you'll mix and weigh them. You might judge on such aspects as: mechanics, spelling, and punctuation structure of paragraphs structure of the essay interesting word choice logic of the argument creativity of the development Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
Different Weights for Different Elements What are students meant to learn with this assignment? 1) how to structure a paragraph? 2) how to use interesting, dynamic words? 3) how to make a claim and support it with facts? 4) how to write complete, correct, and interesting sentences? The answer determines to which elements you give more weight. Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 Assigning Values to Different Elements If the students already know the mechanics quite well, you
might break down the values like this: content and idea development - 65% mechanics - 35% If they are still learning the mechanics, you might do this: mechanics - 65% content - 35% Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 You will then further break down the weights of the elements. Example: if Essay Structure is your emphasis, weighing 65%
clear, precise thesis statement - 10% introductory paragraph structure - 10% supporting paragraphs structure - 15% clarity of sentences - 10% logic of argument - 10% concluding paragraph structure and closure -10% Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 Another Way to Break Down the Weights of the Elements Example: if Writing Mechanics is your emphasis, for 65%
proper sentence structure - 15% spelling - 10% punctuation - 10% subject-verb agreement - 10% capitalization - 10% word choice, parts of speech, etc. -10% Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 You may judge by other criteria entirely. If this essay's emphasis is on the argument itself, you may use such criteria as: interesting topic
organization of the information effective word choice supporting sources Whatever the primary emphasis in the assignment, break it down into a rubric that allows you to assign consistent weights and points. Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 Grading: 2) Prepare students. If students don't know how their writing is being judged, they may not concentrate on the things you want them to learn. Once you have your rubric developed, they may not need to see your grading chart, but they need to know what is most
important for this essay or story. Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 Help the students in advance. Suggestions for ways to do this: Copy a good essay from past years, go through it with the students, and show them what you're looking for. Let them do some preliminary writing on their topic, which you can talk to them about, and make suggestions for improvement or recommend a direction
they might take. Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 Be systematic! A rubric will make it easier to grade for very specific things. This prevents random grades and promotes consistency of grades between papers. Each of the main elements can be broken down further, as you decide how many points are included in the 10% (or other percentage), and how much weight a single mistake would carry. Copyright 2012
www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 Critiquing Written Work Critiquing is not the same as Grading. When you critique, you: 1) analyze the finished product 2) give a general impression 3) judge how well everything works together 4) determine whether the writer's goal was achieved 5) make suggestions for improvement Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources
Copyright 2012 Questions You Might Ask in a Critique 1) Does the essay properly address the stated topic or issue? 2) Did the author make the essay interesting? 3) Was the writer's argument convincing? objective? supported by facts or good explanations? 4) Did the student leave something out? Why -- because of length, lack of information, or because he/she didn't want to deal with possible objections or exceptions? 5) Did the essay show bias or use stereotypes? Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012
Develop standards for both grading and critiquing. If students know what standards they are expected to meet, they can examine their own work before submitting it, and make corrections if they notice where they've made mistakes. If they receive good critiques, they will also have ideas for how to improve their use of information, as well as their style and voice, when writing future essays. Copyright 2012 www.time4writing.com/free-writing-resources Copyright 2012 The end.
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