Worried about Essay Marking?Sunday, April 25th, 2010
What you need to know about essay marking
Ok, so after a long, long time, you have finished your essay, you have read it a thousand times until you can mouth the words in your sleep. You know the comma positions by heart and you could quote any paragraph from it without making a mistake. And you think you are ready to hand it in. But, aren’t you a little concerned about the essay marking? Wouldn’t you like to know in advance if it is truly a good essay?
You should be aware that grammar mistakes or misspelling can cost you a valuable mark. Formatting mistakes are also an issue to some educational institutions. What exactly is in an essay marking?
Establishing criteria for marking
Not every teacher or institution uses the same assessment criteria, since they may vary on their conventions. That is why it would be wise to talk beforehand to your tutor or lecturer about any particular conventions that your discipline takes into account as well as their personal expectations of your written assignment. For examples, while some disciplines require you to only use the active voice rather than the passive voice, others would appreciate the sentence structure variation.
Some common marking criteria
In general, these are some of the things most of the examiners take into account for the essay marking:
– Use of source material: Did you select relevant material? Did you discard the secondary sources of information? Do you quote appropriately? Did you refer only to the main bibliography read and discussed in class, or did you do your own research as well? Is the essay free of plagiarism?
– Academic writing style: Could you maintain a formal academic register all through the essay? Did you use accurate technical vocabulary specific to the discipline? Is your language clear? Do you keep an objective language all the time, even in examples? Do you manage to sustain your own opinions through logical arguments?
– Grammatical correctness: Are your sentences grammatically correct? Did you use the tenses consistently? How about your punctuation? Are there any spelling mistakes the word processor could have missed?
– Essay structure: How did you organize the essay? Did you write an introduction, some body paragraphs and finished with a proper conclusion? Is the information displayed gradually? Are the arguments logically structured?
If, reading this, you feel that doesn’t sound like your essay at all, you may want to proofread it…
How to know your essay marking in advance
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