Capstone/Dissertation Title

Measuring high school writing against college-level expectations





Degree Name



A high school English teacher asks how best to assess the degree to which his students are writing at a college-level. The researcher engages with several underlying questions: what is a college-level writing task? What categories do college professors emphasize when evaluating writing? How do they define those categories? The researcher conducted one-to-one interviews with English professors about the types of writing they assign and the criteria they use to assess that writing. In addition, each participant assessed an identical sample essay. Findings suggest professors focus primarily on the following when assessing student writing: (1) ideas or content (2) organization or structure and (3) grammar and mechanics. However, participants defined and applied these terms idiosyncratically. In addition, voice or rhetoric constituted a possible fourth emphasized category and appears to be an area of current debate within the field

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