Writing Essay Questions Needs Experience and Expertise
Purpose of writing essay questions is to assess the students’ learning. Essay questions are one of the most common forms of assessment and it is effective if the essay questions are correctly formulated and the assessors have very good understanding of the whole process of assessment and the role of essay questions in assessing the learning of the student. Essay questions differ from other methods of assessing because the students have to compose a response to an essay question. Other forms like multiple choice, true or false items and matching exercises requires students to respond by selecting an item.
Responses to an Essay Question
Students have to write whole sentences as response to an essay question. They are required to reason, analyze, synthesize and evaluate in composing an essay. To respond to an essay question the student shall have a good understanding of the subject matter of the area in which. Therefore writing essay questions and assessing the responses requires an understanding and expertise on the subject in addition to training and experience in assessment techniques. Assessing the responses to essay requirements has to be done by experts who are competent in the subject because the assessment is based on subjective judgment of quality and the accuracy of the content of the essay.
Types of Essay Questions
Simplest of the essay questions can ask students to recall the knowledge they gained on the subject. Essay questions like “What are the advantages of using Letters of Credit in international Trade?” can assess only one aspect of students thinking. How much he/she knows about Letters of credit can be judged from the response. If higher order thinking skills also are to be assessed a different question like “Discuss the social benefits of capital punishment.” can be used. The students respond to this question by writing argumentative essays. The specialists writing essay questions can design questions to elicit other responses like analytical essays or compare and contrast essays.
Characteristics of Good Essay Questions
Writing essay questions are easy but writing good essay questions that can effectively judge the knowledge and the skills of the students are quite difficult and need careful consideration of all the aspects of assessment process. The characteristics of good essay questions are clarity of the learning outcome being assessed. Then the type of thinking skill assessed shall be clearly given by the use of directive verbs such as analyze, compare, defend justify and evaluate. Students may adapt different types of writing styles when responding to essay questions. The best essay questions are that can elicit a specific response rather than vague questions that does not focus on any specific learning outcome or the type of skill that is assessed.
How to Respond to Essay Questions
The students also are benefited by knowing how to respond to various types of essay questions. It is of high importance to know the definitions of directive verbs used in essay questions. The students when writing essays can get essay help from teachers, friends and professionals. Students can also get help from a good essay writing company if they find it hard to respond well to a complicated essay question.