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Coaching Essay and Essay Update


Coaching Essay and Essay Update Amy Tait GAD State Competition Essay Coordinator – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Coaching Essay and Essay Update

Coaching Essay and Essay Update
  • Amy Tait
  • GAD State Competition Essay Coordinator

Major Changes in Essay Competition
  • Completely online using the USAD system
  • All essay scores will be finalized before the
    state competition
  • Judges will have about a week to score the
  • Sample essays will be available for judges to
    practice scoring well in advance to verify
    accurate scoring before the competition

  • Easy to use
  • No separate forms for scoring
  • Easy to verify essays needing third scores
  • No legibility issues
  • Reduces/eliminates judge fatigue during scoring
  • Track accuracy in scoring and handle issues

Each student and judge is assigned a Username and
Essays are secure.
Judges will need a seven character Activation Key
to access essays
A list of available essays is displayed, divided
by prompt
Essays may be printed for easier scoring
Essays are scored by selecting values from two
pull down screens
Scores are not recorded unless the Save Score
button is clicked
Once an essay has been scored, a judge may review
and rescore only those essays he/she has already
Judges may score at their own convenience during
the scoring period.
How Score Is Determined Part A
How Score Is Determined Part B
Finalizing the Score
If the scores given by the two scorers differ by
200 or more points, then the essay will be read
by a third scorer. The final score of the essay
will be the average of the two closest scores.
Essay Competition Timeline
  • Teams will choose one of these two dates to
  • Saturday, February 9 at 1000 AM
  • Monday, February 11 at 300 PM
  • The entire team must write at the same time
  • Students will be given the prompts on paper which
    will also serve as their scratch paper. These
    papers must be collected by the proctor
  • In a district where two teams may compete (due to
    the wild card slots, for example), both teams do
    not have to compete at the same time in the same
  • It is still undetermined what will be done if a
    student is sick or cannot compete with the rest
    of the team.

Essay Competition Timeline
  • Someone other than the coach must proctor
  • The prompts will be different each of the dates
    but two will be from the USAD and one written by
    the GAD Essay Coordinator.
  • Have additional computers available in case of
  • The timing is on the student screen
  • There will be a practice session in advance

In Case of Emergency
  • If there is a problem with Saturdays writing
    session, use the Monday time slot
  • If there is still a problem on Monday, we will
    resort to written essays
  • The proctor will have printed copies of prompts,
    paper, and pens/pencils as well as an envelope to
    overnight the essays to the Essay Coordinator
  • These written essays will be copied and
    overnighted to the judges for scoring

  • If an alternate is necessary at state
  • Alternates will write their essays the Friday
    night of competition during the General Assembly
  • The same rules from the other two sessions will
  • Judges will be on hand to score alternate essays

Scoring Timeline
  • Judges Score Essays February 13 - 18
  • Essays Needing 3rd Scores February 19
  • All scores entered and completed by February 20

Answers to Other Questions
  • There will be a 60 minute window for each
    competition time.
  • We will arrange a practice session a week in
    advance of the competition
  • Try to have extra computers available in case
    there is a problem with one
  • The student screen counts down the time
  • At this time, students cannot change prompts
    without signing out and signing back in, but USAD
    is working on changing it.
  • Proctors will have detailed instructions

Essay Judges Training
  • USAD Essay Training Materials

General Information
  • Participants
  • High school students (grades 9-12)
  • Teams of six to nine
  • Teams consist of at least
  • 2 A or honors students
  • 2 B or scholastic students
  • 2 C and below or varsity students
  • Students compete within their GPA category but
    all essays are scored according to the same

General Information
  • Essay Event
  • Students respond to one of three essay prompts.
    Either two prompts will focus on the Super Quiz
    and one will focus on the selected literature, or
    two prompts will focus on the selected literature
    and one will focus on the Super Quiz
  • Students have 50 minutes to pre-write, plan,
    organize, draft, and write a final version of
    their essay
  • Most all of the prompts will require students to
    write an expository essy. Prompts may also
    solicit a persuasive essay.

  • You will be given a packet of information to
    refer to while reading these essays. This packet
    will come from the USAD Resource Guides and will
    contain only the information necessary to
    accurately judge the essay topics assigned.
  • Please familiarize yourself with this information
    before reading the essays.

Beware of Biases
  • Please be conscious of biases when reading the
  • Try to avoid letting biases cloud your judgment
  • If you feel you will not be able to provide an
    unbiased assessment of a particular essay, do not
    score that essay. Let the Essay Coordinator know
    so the essay can be assigned to another scorer.

Scoring Procedure
  • Each essay will be read independently by two
    scorers, and the average of these two scores will
    be the students final essay score
  • All scorers must score each essay in accordance
    with the assigned rubric

  • 80 of Final Score
  • Focus/Scope
  • Organization
  • Content/Development
  • 20 of Final Score
  • Language/Style
  • Conventions

When Scoring essays online, be sure to have a
copy of the essay rubric available to ensure
The Rubric Focus/Scope
  • How thoroughly the student addresses the given
  • How successful he/she is in establishing a clear
    thesis or purpose
  • Student should make a specific point about a
    specific topic and maintain this focus throughout
    the essay
  • Requires judgment on the students range of
    understanding of the given topic

The Rubric Organization
  • Assesses the manner in which the student presents
    his/her ideas to the reader
  • Calls for judgment on the clarity, logic, and
    sequence of the ideas presented and the degree to
    which these ideas are developed and sustained
    within and across paragraphs using transitional
  • Assesses the quality of the students
    introduction and conclusion and the effectiveness
    of these paragraphs in presenting and reinforcing
    the students main point(s).

The Rubric Content/Development
  • Assesses the quality of the students ideas and
    the degree to which they are fully developed
    through facts, examples, anecdotes, details,
    opinions, statistics, reasons, and/or
  • Assesses the relevancy of the information
    presented to the overall focus of the essay

Determining the First Score
The Rubric Language/Style
  • Assesses the effectiveness and appropriateness of
    the students choice, use, and arrangement of
    words and sentence structures
  • Use of language should serve to create an
    effective and appropriate tone and a consistent
    and powerful voice
  • Language should communicate ideas clearly and
  • Consider choice of words, range and specificity
    of vocabulary, as well as sentence variety

The Rubric Conventions
  • Assesses the correctness of the grammar,
    mechanics (spelling, capitalization,
    punctuation), usage, and sentence formations

Determining the Second Score
  • An off-prompt essay is an essay that does not
    address the given prompt in any manner. An essay
    that attempts to address the given prompt, but
    does so in a limited manner should not be
    considered off-prompt, but should instead be
    scored harshly for Section A Focus/Score --
    Organization -- Content/Development
  • Mark the Off Prompt box. These essays receive
    a zero score.

Illegible, Insufficient, or Blank?
  • Mark the Nonscorable box.
  • The essay earns a zero score.

Anchor Paper Prompt
  • The will is never free--it is always attached to
    an object, a purpose. It is simply the engine in
    the car--it cant steer.
  • -- Joyce Cary (British author)
  • Discuss the perspective that any one of the
    psychologists, philosophers, or religions
    included in this years Super Quiz would have
    regarding the above quotation, and compare and
    contrast that perspective with the viewpoint any
    other psychologist, philosopher, or religion
    would likely have on the matter.

Anchor Paper AWeak
  • Does not compare and contrast the view simply
    compares the view with the views of a single
  • Fails to maintain consistent focus throughout
  • Essay not clearly organized around a central
  • Weak introduction -- lacking emphatic thesis
    statement (does not indicate what their views
  • Conclusion lacking in substance
  • Evidence is superficial, confusing, and does not
    provide substantial support for students claim
  • Lacks some control of sentence structures
  • Phrasing is simplistic vocabulary somewhat
  • Some serious grammatical problems

Anchor Paper BExcellent
  • Impressive comparison of Skinner and Satres
  • Focus is consistent throughout clearly and
    logically organized
  • Discussion of actual quotation is somewhat
    minimal (not specifically discussed in
  • Conclusion restates thesis and wraps up essay
  • Smooth transitions
  • Substantial information on the theories for
  • Strong command of language appropriate and
    varied vocabulary
  • Word choice and word order occasionally awkward
  • Adept in sentence structure and mechanics
  • In a couple of instances, sentences lack
    parallelism (rather awkward use of participial

Anchor Paper CFair/Good
  • Lacks focus but does discuss viewpoints
  • Introduction does not mention Freud or Rousseau
    and main point is unclear
  • Body strays from topic and meanders into own
  • Adequately organized overall with relatively
    smooth transitions but organization is lacking
    within each paragraph
  • Some pertinent information is provided by stunted
    by lack of focus needed to be more clear and
  • Arguments weakened by excessive qualitifications
    and sometimes contradictory information
  • Grammar, usage, and mechanics mostly sound with a
    couple of errors
  • Word choice adequate but awkward at times
  • Natural, almost conversational style but overuses
    rhetorical questions, undermining their