Re-viewing undergraduate writing: tutors' perceptions of essay qualities according to gender

Read, B., Robson, J. and Francis, B. (2004) Re-viewing undergraduate writing: tutors' perceptions of essay qualities according to gender. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 9(2), pp. 217-238. (doi:10.1080/13596740400200176)

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Abstract

Academic assessment of their coursework is of great importance to undergraduate students. Yet little attention has been paid to the perceptions of undergraduate writing that academics draw on in their assessment practices and the ways in which these perceptions may be gendered. This article reports findings from a study that asked lecturers about their opinions concerning the characteristics of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ essays, and analysed the results according to gender. It is argued that, although there were many points on which male and female academics were in agreement, there were some gender differences in the prioritisation of certain (gendered) characteristics of undergraduate writing. Female academics were slightly more concerned with presentational aspects and effort, and male academics more concerned with argument. We discuss the implications of these findings for undergraduate students, arguing that work to improve parity in assessment must involve a challenge to (masculinised) academic culture and values.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Read, Dr Barbara
Authors: Read, B., Robson, J., and Francis, B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Research in Post-Compulsory Education
ISSN:1359-6748
ISSN (Online):1747-5112
Published Online:24 February 2007

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