This essay discusses high and low stakes writing. In high stakes writing, students are encouraged to utilize their skills in outsourcing information. The aim of the teachers in assigning high stakes assignments is to determine if the students could assimilate course resources…
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On the other hand, low-stakes writing is writing activities which are informal in nature and in grading. The objectives of teachers for giving low stakes writing assignments are to encourage active involvement of the students in the course through short essays written in the students’ own words. Through this method, teachers would immediately determine the scope of the students’ understanding of the modules and enable the teachers to immediately address any concern. Examples of low stakes writing assignments are abstract writing, summaries, headlines, paraphrasing exercises, definitions, editorials, letter writings, and reaction papers, among others. (The Centre for Teaching Excellence 11)
Elbow averred that low stakes writing encourages students to explore other venues of the course materials to hone their skills. This type of writing provides opportunities for students to learn outside the classroom. Their research and data gathering skills are improved. They also learn to assimilate course materials with the external information gathered for the essay requirement. On the other hand, high stakes writing can be very stressful for students considering that a major portion of their overall mark depends on this assignment. At the same token, considerable stress is also placed in the hands of the professors who would grade these high stakes writing an assignment. Finally, these are not viable for very large classes considering the number of students to grade for the requirement. (1)
Low stakes writing, on the contrary, create a more relaxed atmosphere for learning due to its informal nature and grading. Students are encouraged to voice their opinions and insights in their own words; thereby giving the teachers the opportunity to easily determine if the students fully understand the concepts and theories imparted.
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