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Writing Assessment: Key Points

March 26, 2020

Writing Assessment: Key Points

When speaking about writing assessment test, we usually mean the preparation of a text on any given topic (like an essay) or for any specific purpose (like an annotated bibliography). At the first glance, this assignment is simple and explicit. But at the same time, a number of accessory things should be taken into consideration to have a good result.

In the first turn, this test verifies your ability to express thoughts in written form, namely:

  • Whether your statements are concise and informative;
  • Is your language plain enough;
  • Your ability to form integrated and sound texts.

To tackle your writing assessment test successfully, you should have and constantly refine certain types of skills.

Required skills

Grammar

It is easy to fail any writing assessment test if you lack the required knowledge of grammar rules. Instead of simply memorizing, your main goal is to understand grammar rules clearly first and memorize such only afterward. Remember to refresh your knowledge after some time also. This is the shortest way to develop your grammar skills properly.

Another skill to pay attention is your ability to structure sentences and make the correct word order. To feel confident with these tasks, make sure you know all tenses and complex grammar structures properly. When using such, double-check the meaning of your phrases. Emphasize also any irregular cases to use certain words or phrases correctly.

Among different grammar resources, draw your attention not only to manuals and books from well-known universities and organizations but also to various online tutorials and tests. Online video-materials can have the same content, but they are much more convenient for studies. Another good idea is to use the schemes with grammar rules. Actually, any type of visual presentation could be extremely helpful for keeping these rules in your memory longer.

Spelling

Correct spelling of words is always of great importance, but in terms of your writing test, it will also be assessed. So, in case of doubts concerning the correct spelling, refer to vocabularies as soon as possible to check yourself. In this case, you should especially prevent yourself from memorizing the wrong spelling of any word. Make sure you understand its transcription properly. Otherwise, it is better to use online resources, even Google Translate, to aloud the correct spelling of a certain word. Moreover, some dictionaries have their electronic versions where you can hear the right spelling of any word.

Correct word choice 

Apart from being the subject of assessment, the correct word usage is essential to communicate your thoughts without distortions, like in the following examples:

Example 1 

It’s vs. its

It’s as an abbreviation for “it is” is always used with an apostrophe.

Sample: It’s a good idea.

It’s as a possessive pronoun that never has an apostrophe.

Sample: Define any word as closer to its meaning as possible.

Example 2 

Effect vs. Affect

The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary provides the following meaning of these words:

  • Affect is to produce a change in somebody/something;
  • The effect is a change that somebody/something causes in somebody/something, as a result.

So, the effect is always a noun, while the affect is nearly always a verb.

The best strategy for avoiding similar mistakes is to find the ready-made lists of common mistakes and memorize correct word usages. In case of doubts, vocabulary will be of great help again.

Writing itself

Certain tips to keep in mind

Well, tips can vary depending on each particular assessment test. Nevertheless, the basic recommendations can also be given for your convenience:

  • focus on main criteria and requirements concerning your assignment, if you have such, but if not – develop them on your own to have some roadmap during your writing;
  • look for examples of your writing assignment to orientate yourself;
  • Search for and review thoroughly all relevant information and resources that may help you;
  • make your brainstorming to form your ideas;
  • select among all ideas the strongest to use for your future answer;
  • write only about things you are aware of – your statements should be based on your direct experience or understanding;
  • support your statements with relevant evidences, if necessary – make sure you use reliable sources only and make all references correctly;
  • organize your thoughts and build an appropriate structure – the main statement should stand first and be supported then with all other supplementary ideas and evidences;
  • emphasize grammar, spelling and punctuation rules as well as formatting requirements;
  • use various online sources to check your readability and enhance it, if necessary;
  • if you feel you can do better – redraft your work with no hesitations; additional time will turn to better results and advanced skills;
  • double-check the final version of your answer to make sure everything is correct;
  • try to consider your draft impartially;
  • reading your answer aloud can also help you to identify any weak points your answer may have;
  • look for a writing instructor to receive some useful advice or feedback regarding your work and skills.

Assignment’s structure

The structure of your writing assessment test may vary depending on its originator and purpose. However, you may always rely on the following basic example of structure:

Introduction – provides a short review of your content and includes:

  • initial sentence with interesting facts or statements (a hook);
  • main statement you will expand further;
  • transition to pass to the following paragraph smoothly (optional).

The main body– comprises a couple of paragraphs, 2-5 sentences each. The amount of these paragraphs depends on the number of supplementary statements supporting the main one. The basic structure of any paragraph includes:

  • transition, if you have not finished the previous paragraph with it (note that such transition appears between the paragraphs once – either at the end of the preceding or at the beginning of the subsequent paragraph);
  • supplementary statement of this paragraph it is designated to;
  • supporting evidence or statements;
  • other relevant information.

Conclusion– a summary of all the information you have mentioned before.

Depending on each particular type of assignment and certain requirements to it, you may enhance this structure as you think appropriate.

Manner of writing

Your skill in creating good texts greatly related to your manner of writing. Regardless of your topic and attitude, it is always better to remain neutral in tone or be cheerful during your writing assessment test. Without this approach, you can lose your reader’s attention, having even very good content.

So, the manner of your writing ideally should be:

  • neutral/enthusiastic;
  • polite;
  • professional in case of any respective professional topics.

Topics for writing assessment test

To boost and assess your writing skills, here are some topics for you to practice:

  • Matter of global warming
  • Use of medical marijuana
  • Impact of fast-food restaurants on the nation’s health
  • Best ways for resolving conflicts
  • Ethical issues of using public cameras
  • Bulling in modern society: ways to stop and prevent
  • What kind of electoral system is the best one?
  • Virtual reality: is it safe or not?
  • Responsibility of social media
  • How to save our environment?
  • Measures to prevent war conflicts
  • How to protect the Amazon rainforest?
  • Ways to protect oceans
  • Is it possible to replace humans with robots?
  • The negative impact of social, medical marketing
  • How to overcome phobias?
  • The most profitable failure you ever had
  • Role of art in modern society
  • Ways to tackle toxic people
  • Artificial intelligence and its role in the modern world
  • Value of financial education
  • Ways for preventing and dealing with bribery and financial fraud
  • How to comply with all government regulations and be profitable?
  • What is a routine: a burden thing to get rid of or a part of discipline?
  • Approaches for less communication and better understanding
  • How do colors affect people’s behavior?
  • Does money really make people worse?
  • Good manner and etiquette: cases when necessary and when inappropriate
  • Cities vs. countryside: where is the best place to live?
  • The future of paper books
  • Music genre of the future
  • Book worth to read for anyone
  • How to remain inspired and motivated while overcoming obstacles?

Last words

When preparing your answer for any particular writing assessment test, make sure you understand in full all requirements and your topic, provide some preliminary research, develop and structure your ideas, write and check a couple of times your answer. If possible, request for additional feedback and enhance your answer further.

Good luck to you, and pass your writing assessment test well.

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