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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Theory of Ethics for Writing Assessment

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This paper proposes a theory of ethics for writing assessment. Based on a definition of fairness as the identification of opportunity structures created through maximum construct representation under conditions of constraint--and the toleration of constraint only to the extent to which benefits are realized for the least advantaged--the theory is expressed in terms of its tradition, boundary, order, and foundation. To examine the force of the theory, a thought experiment demonstrating action based on the theory is offered so that its weaknesses and strengths are identified. Intended for the research specialization of writing assessment, the theory has generalization implications for the field of writing studies.

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