Friday, 27 March 2015

objective essay assessment

Teachers often argue that it is impossible to objectively assess an essay and that it is a subjective exercise.

I venture that this is false, and provide a rubric.

1. Give 30% for structure. If the essay has an introduction, that outlines what will be done, e.g. listing the headings of the essay and a short summary of each heading, that is 5%. The main body: give 20%: they must give the facts of a position accurately in a sensible, readable order (exposition section). Then they must give the facts of a position which opposes the first position in a sensible, readable order (criticism section) (10% each). Then they must give a summary or conclusion (10%) which more or less repeats the introduction and says what was achieved in the same order. 

2. Tick (checkmark) everything that is a correct factual statement or a good argument. Arguments with more than one step must get more than one tick.

3. Remove marks for bad grammar, spelling, misquoting or plagiarism: I suggest 1 mark for each spelling, grammar error, and 2 marks for each misquote or failure to put quotemarks. 

4. Give up to 10% for good referencing: 5% if the student regularly references their paragraphs accurately, and 5% for a good bibliography.

If you add these up, you’ll see that structure and form is 40%, meaning that you can give at most 60 tickmarks.