Scoring Essay Items

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.It is this total impression that is sought in holistic scoring.

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Bearing in mind all of the writing traits to be considered, a reader first decides whether the essay shows, overall, some kind of mastery or some kind of non-mastery. Then, having made that decision, the evaluator decides whether the level of mastery or non-mastery is high, medium, or low.

If the reader decides that the test shows low mastery (or just barely "yes"), he or she gives it an overall score of 4.

In order for students to achieve focus in their writing, they must do the following: a) they must address the specific topic presented by the test question, and b) they must present a main point or clear purpose for communicating.

The writing proficiency test contains two specific questions.

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.

(This sentence is usually called the topic sentence.) Without stating their main ideas, these paragraphs are likely to lack organization, and more often than not, they become simply a collection of unsupported major ideas that lead nowhere.

The supporting material in these paragraphs must be specific or concrete details that support the writer's point of view or main idea.

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.


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