Online Guide to Writing and Research

Chapter 7: Assessing Your Writing

Assessing your writing requires discipline, patience, and self-examination at every stage. In addition, you must understand the process of writing a paper to realize what it is you must evaluate. To assess your writing, you must evaluate both your writing process and your written product using a selected list of criteria. Assessment is not simply answering yes to a series of questions on a checklist. It’s also having reasonable and logical responses to the significant questions that show you understand how to write an assignment competently. Each time you write an essay assignment or a research paper, you become more skilled at understanding the writing process and how it works for you.

Each of you may have different uses for this chapter. For example, some of you may use it to check your final papers before turning them in. The checklists here offer you a means of discussing your writing with your teachers. Others of you may wish to develop a writing improvement plan. In any case, the checklists in this chapter are meant to supplement the other checklists found in this guide.

This chapter provides some guidance for evaluating your writing and checklists to help you isolate the significant elements at the different stages of writing. If you aren’t sure what these stages are or when they occur, review the relevant sections in this guide. This chapter also describes how you may grade your own writing.