Understanding Proficiency: Analyzing the Characteristics of Secondary Studentsâ€™ On-Demand Analytical Essay Writing
This study investigated the different characteristics of not-pass (n = 174), adequate-pass (n = 173), and strong-pass (n = 114) text-based, analytical essays written by middle and high school students. Essays were drawn from the 2015-2016 Pathway writing and reading intervention pretests and posttests. Results revealed the use of relevant summary was an important difference between not-pass and adequate-pass essays where significantly more adequate-pass essays used summary in a purposeful rather than general way. In contrast, major characteristics that set apart strong-pass essays from adequate-pass essays involved providing analysis and including a clear conclusion or end. Factors that affected these characteristics such as whether the writer made claims and comments about the text are discussed, and some instructional strategies are suggested.
Keywords: writing proficiency, writing instruction, adolescent literacy, text-based analytical writing, on-demand writing assessment