Writing Assessment Perspective: Too Simplistic or too Sophisticated?

Document Type : Original Article


University of Tehran



Writing ability is perhaps one of the most challenging constructs to be defined. For writing assessment to be valid indicator of the ability in question, there is a need for a theoretical basis. The uncertainty about the theory underlying the writing construct has led to the development of rating scales, each of which focuses on a number of writing traits. This study is an attempt to provide a taxonomy of writing traits. The question this taxonomy brings into mind is: how can we limit the nature of such an all-encompassing construct? If purpose and practicality are among the justifying reasons for reducing the construct into a few features, then construct validity of writing assessment will remain under question.