Presenter: Vicky Chen
According to the 2011 NAEP, only 27% of all 12th graders and 1% of ELs scored at proficient or higher in writing. By analyzing a sample of not-pass (174 essays), adequate-pass (173 essays), and strong-pass (114 essays) text-based, analytical essays written by middle and high school students, this study sought to determine what characteristics, if any, might distinguish essays that are considered proficient from essays that are not so that teachers can better assist their students. Essays were drawn from the 2015-2016 Pathway writing and reading intervention pretests and posttests. Results revealed that the use of relevant summary was an important difference between not-pass and adequate-pass essays where significantly more adequate-pass essays used summary in a purposeful rather than general way. In contrast, major characteristics that set apart strong-pass essays from adequate-pass essays involved providing analysis and including a clear conclusion or end.