Saturday, 13 November 2021

Academic Writing - Essay Type Descriptive Answers

 Academic Writing in English for Examination Purpose

In this post, you will find two videos. These videos are prepared for the students of English Studies. These students are supposed to write descriptive essay type answers in their term-end university examinations. With an objective to improve the quality of their essay type descriptive answers, these guidelines from suggested.

Video 1: Qualitative Error Analysis and Suggestions to Improve the Quality of Writing Essay Type Descriptive Answers

In this video, teachers are discussing common errors made by students in writing essay type descriptive answers. 

Following topics are discussed in this session:

Error Analysis & Suggestions to improve the quality of Essay Type Descriptive Answers. 1. Correctness of English Language: (i) No grammar errors. (ii) No spelling errors. (iii) Apt vocabulary. (iv) Apt sentence structure. (v) Apt punctuation marks 2. Content of the Answer (i) Quotes from original text. (ii) Quotes from critics. (iii) Apt illustrations from the text. (iv) Do not write summary 3. Organisation of the Answer (i) The question is properly justified and exemplified. (ii) The trajectory of the answer is very well worked out. (iii) The arguments are well justified with illustrations from the text. (iv) Logical sequence is maintained. Introduction to conclusion – all well synced. (v) Apt connectors used for the ease of flow of thoughts from one para to another. 4. Handwriting (i) Cursive, larger, clearly visible, clean and tidy. (ii) Legible. No difficulty in identifying alphabets.

Chapterization of Video 1:

0:00 Introduction 4:35 Vaidehi Hariyani 26:30 Dilip Barad 1:16:09 Suggestions to Improve the Quality of Writing

Video 2: Quantitative Analysis: How Much Shall I Write in Essay Type Descriptive Answers?

Quite often, the students come with the question - How much are we supposed to write in essay type descriptive answers? or - How many words shall an essay type answer consist of? or - In how many pages an essay type answer is supposed to be written?

In this video, we have reviewed several guidelines and have suggested a sort of 'golden mean'.

Chapterization of Video 2:

0:00 Introduction 2:18 The Context - Students' anxiety - How much shall we write? 5:26 Quality matters . . . so also quantity. 6:48 Murray and Orii's Automatic Essay Scoring 8:22 Perelman criticized over-privileging length of answer 10:04 Average speech of hand-writing 12:48 Length of answer does have some association with marks 17:35 Calcutta Uni - Pattern 18:40 Students' sample write-ups 22:55 Final Outcome and Recommendations 34:35 Conclusion 35:30 Students responses
Following points are taken into consideration in this video:

Tom Benton [Cambridge Assessment, Research Division]: “I remember this question being asked by someone in the class nearly every time… Despite the ubiquity of the question, clear answers are hard to come by.”
Previous research has shown that the length of responses does have some association with achievement and also provided some norms around the possible writing speed.
Tom Benton’s study shows that –
“Nearly all responses of fewer than 200 words resulted in a grade U, suggesting that whilst very long answers are not necessary for a good mark, candidates must write enough to make sure that the examiner can recognize their knowledge at all.”
With this in mind it would be a good advice for all candidates, even those who are not expecting to achieve the highest grades, to ensure that they write at least a significant number of pages in response to an English Literature exam question allowing 30 minutes to write descriptive answer.
But exactly how long shall a student write?
How many words shall an answer consist of?
How many pages or lines shall be produced in writing descriptive answer?


It is expected that these videos will help students in qualitative as well as quantitative analysis of their academic writing for the purpose of essay-type-descriptive answers. If students will work on the guidelines and suggestions discussed in these videos, we are hopeful that our learning objective i.e. improve the quality of answers and academic writing, shall be achieved.

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