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NIFL-ASSESSMENT 2005: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:913] RE: Voice in writing

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From: Marie Cora (
Date: Thu Feb 17 2005 - 09:44:31 EST

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Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:913] RE: Voice in writing
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Hi Shannon,

Thanks for your reply.

I guess I would have to disagree with the notion that voice belongs to
gifted levels in HS or College.  Voice appears in all different forms
quite frankly, and at the most basic levels, it also appears.  Voice
appears in children's emerging writing as well.

Voice is not about right and wrong - and the rubric suggests that it's
about levels of attainment.  The assessment also isn't about voice in
terms of, say, professional writing or poetry (I can't help but go to
that space because you reference higher education programs that serve
gifted students).  

Here's an example for me:

One student writes about the firstday in class.  She lists carefully in
chronological order what things she does and what happens once she
arrives to class.  She selects subjects andverbs carefully.  She writes
4 sentences.  It's good writing.  

Another student does the same; her piece talks about how scared she was
to come to school, that it was raining that morning, but that once she
got to class, she saw someone she knew, and got excited.  She wrote 4
sentences too.  She made equal numbers of errors.  It's good writing.

You tell me.  What is the difference between these pieces of writing?
They are both similar level, they both had minimal errors, they both
addressed the writing assignment correctly.  What do you do with the
DIFFERENCE though?  I would feel pretty uncomfy doing nothing with that

What do others think?


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 12:44 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: [NIFL-ASSESSMENT:907] RE: Voice in writing


Since reading the rubric and  noting the inclusion of voice, I have
spent an 
extraordinary amount of time  pondering this particular assessment area.
It is 
a difficult area to assess.  Writing can have strong or weak elements of

voice; however, it would be  difficult to assess someone's writing voice
as right 
or wrong unlike, say,  grammatical errors. Voice is a product of the 
culmination of many things, and  whether it should be assessed outside
of accelerated 
or gifted high school  programs or college English classes is an
question. To teach writing  students about voice is as necessary as
other elements of writing, but  because many of these students' lack of
writing experience, I am not  "sold" on the benefits of using it as an

Adult and Community Education
Leon County  Florida  

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