Improving the writing skills of college students
Advanced writing skills are an important aspect of academic performance as well as of subsequent work- related performance. However, American students rarely attain advanced scores on assessments of writing skills (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2002). In order to achieve higher levels of writing performance, the working memory demands of writing processes should be reduced so that executive attention is free to coordinate interactions among them. This can in theory be achieved through deliberate practice that trains writers to develop executive control through repeated opportunities to write and through timely and relevant feedback. Automated essay scoring software may offer a way to alleviate the intensive grading demands placed on instructors and, thereby, substantially increase the amount of writing practice that students receive.