Assessing writing: A critical sourcebook

Singh, Praveen (2014) Assessing writing: A critical sourcebook. Language and Language Teaching, 3 (2). pp. 52-53. ISSN 2277-307X

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This is a collection of already published papers (twenty-four) aimed at researchers and teachers of composition/writing and (writing) assessment. The editors discuss the need for and the challenges of writing assessment. They notice that even though no one denies that assessment is a critical component of teaching writing/composition, there exists a paradox. While on the one hand it is important that an effective writing teacher knows the writing assessment needs of the students, faculty and institutions, on the other hand some view it as a “punitive force”. The papers in this book aim at helping the audience “understand the theory and practice Language and Language Teaching of writing assessment” (p.1). The contributions range from scholars who are part of the academic setup to those who bring fresh insights as administrators or executors of the findings within the field. This volume, however, does not concern itself with the “assessment [that] writers do as they write” and even “the responses and classroom evaluation” have [also] been left out (p.1). The book is divided into three sections, Foundations, Models and Issues. Here I discuss some of the papers. The first three articles in the “Foundations” may be seen as a dialogue on some of the common goals. The first paper discusses the “differences between holistic, analytic and primary trait scoring”, helping one to understand and compare common writing assessment procedures. The second paper offers a strong argument for holistic scoring and the third paper discusses the “reliability issues in holistic assessment”. Therefore, these help the reader understand at least one of the major approaches in writing assessment.

Item Type: Articles in APF Magazines
Authors: Singh, Praveen
Document Language:
Uncontrolled Keywords: researchers and teachers,composition/writing and (writing) assessment
Subjects: Language
Divisions: Azim Premji University > University Publications > Language and Language Teaching
Full Text Status: Public
Publisher URL:

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