Assessing written texts

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On receiving written work a teacher will, as well as having to annotate the text with correction codes for future improvement, often need to assess the written text using a set of assessment criteria. These criteria may vary between institutions and teachers and may also appear in different forms depending on the nature of written tasks that are set for learners. One such criteria is the "TOGL" criteria, which is as follows:

TOGL assessment criteria[edit]

TOGL stands for task, organization, grammar and lexis

Task[edit]

Realization—has the student fulfilled the task instructions? Have they covered all the points they needed to address or have they forgotten to write an argument against the death penalty in their discursive essay?

Length—is the text long or short enough according to the task instructions? Does the writer waffle on and on, are they far too brief or do they hit the minimum word length like a bullseye?

Style, tone & register—does the writer choose the correct register: formal, neutral or informal? Does the tone relate appropriately to the reader or does the writer come across with a snooty air of superiority in their email to a penpal? Does the style fit the purpose or is the writer using a chatty style in their newspaper article?

Fluency and impact on reader—does the text read smoothly or is the reading process frequently stalled by inconsistencies or inaccuracies? How well does the message get across to the reader - does the reader finish the essay none the wiser on the subject of genetic engineering, or does the essay leave them with a new perspective on GMOs and plenty of food for thought?

Organization[edit]

Organization—are the sections, or paragraphs, of the text set out logically? Does the writer begin their email with their message or do they first greet the recipient and explain why they are writing?

Cohesion—does the text link together? Does the last sentence of one paragraph connect to the topic of the next paragraph or do the topics chop and change without warning? Do sentences within paragraphs connect? Has the writer used linking phrases, connectors and conjunctions to keep their message consistent, or are the sentences independent of one another without a hint of relevance?

Format—if a text of this type has an accepted visual appearance, does the submitted work reflect this? Is the chosen font/handwriting suitable or is it nearly illegible?

Punctuation—has the author used punctuation marks effectively, or have they written a 200-word essay in the style of Gabriel Garcia Marquéz, with no full stops whatsoever?

Grammar[edit]

Range—is the text written using a limited variety of structures or does the writer exploit different tenses and aspects to add shades of meaning? Do they use the past simple all the way through their ghost story, or have they experimented with progressive and perfect tenses too?

Accuracy—How correctly does the author utilize the grammatical structures present? Do they frequently make the same errors or are the errors less consistent and therefore more likely to be mistakes?

Lexis[edit]

Range—are words or phrases repeated throughout the discourse, or has a thesaurus been used to extend the lexical variety? In their short story, does the author keep repeating the verb "said" or do they utilize more specific reporting verbs such as "mentioned", "added" and "replied"?

Accuracy—does the text contain many spelling mistakes or could the author´s memory serve as a dictionary? Have the right words been used, or has the writer accidentally used homophones and homonyms which confound the reader?