Powers, D. E., Fowles, M. E., Farnum, M., & Ramsey, P. (1994). Will they think less of my handwritten essay if others word process theirs? Effects on essay scores of intermingling handwritten and word-processed essays . Journal of Educational Measurement , 31 (3), 220–233. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-3984.1994.tb00444.x
Powers, D. E., Fowles, M. E., Farnum, M., & Ramsey, P. (1994). Will they think less of my handwritten essay if others word process theirs? Effects on essay scores of intermingling handwritten and word-processed essays. Journal of Educational Measurement, 31(3), 220–233. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-3984.1994.tb00444.x
Study 1: Students produced at least two essays - one in handwritten form and one on computer. Students selected from a pair of topics (personal experience or general issues) on which to write for 50 minutes. The handwritten essays were then word processed so that they resembled those that were originally produced on the computer.
Study 2: Major modifications in training raters included: emphasis that handwritten and word-processed essays may make different impressions, the influences of perceived length on essay scoring, using both handwritten and word-processed essays in the training, and checking for differences in the standards. Note: spell-checking and grammar-checking functions were not enabled on the word-processor.
A sample of 32 writers was drawn from a larger sample of 568 students in college. Most were White (71%), with Black (17%), Asian (7%), and other (5%) minority students included. Students reported a variety of majors.
All essays were scored independently on a 1 to 6 scale by two trained readers using holistic scoring methods to generate scores. The scoring guide on which readers were trained emphasized such qualities as clarity of expressions, logical organization, effectiveness of style, ability to support ideas, and control of grammar and mechanics.
Essay readers gave higher scores to handwritten essays than to word-processed essays. This result was found when examinees' essays were originally handwritten and then converted and re-scored as word-processed essays, and also when original word-processed essays were converted and re-scored as handwritten essays. The results of the Study 2 revealed a smaller effect of the mode in which essays were scored. This effect was the same regardless of the direction of conversion.