I’ve recently been doing some of every academic’s favorite activity – marking student essays (papers).
Here’s a few observations on essays and on marking them.
1. Marking Essays is Subjective
This is a bit of a truism: it’s fairly obvious that not everyone will agree on how to grade an essay down to the exact mark. Unlike with, say, a multiple-choice exam, marking an essay is not a mechanical process. But it’s easy to forget this when the marks are there in black and white (or r