Building and Validating a Tool for Assessing Academic Writing Skills

Bruria Margolin, Drorit Ram, Rachel Mashiah

Abstract


Most studies that examine the academic writing skills of freshmen students point to a gap between the writing skills of entering freshman students and the requirements of academic writing. This study describes a research tool designed to assess the academic writing skills of entering students. This tool, known as the Test of Academic Writing Skills (TAWS), was developed by breaking down the criteria of academic writing into measurable components that can be explicitly interpreted, thus enabling accurate identification of the weak points in students' academic writing. The results achieved using this tool reinforce the dichotomy between basic writing skills, including reading comprehension and summarization, and higher-order academic skills involving the synthesis of information. The results also make it possible to assess levels of basic skills and higher-order writing skills.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v5i4.3498

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