Essay Assessment: What to Expect from Professors

assessement of the essays

Essay assessment plays a significant role in evaluating the knowledge and writing skills of college and university students. It is a process where professors and tutors carefully review and analyze the essays students submit. But students often worry about what professors look for in their essays and may find it challenging to follow instructions precisely. This article explores how college tutors and professors check essays. We will discuss the key points that professors pay attention to during assessments. Also, we will highlight some common mistakes that can be easily spotted. By understanding the evaluation process, students can improve their essay writing skills and achieve better results on their academic journeys.

Students’ Fears vs Key Points for Success

When it comes to getting their essays assessed, many students feel scared and unsure. They worry about what the professors will look at and how they will judge their work. This fear comes from thinking that professors have their own special and personal expectations. But it’s important to know that while professors do have their preferences, they use specific criteria to evaluate essays in a fair way.

Professors evaluate essays using a set of important points that have already been decided. This helps keep the evaluation fair and consistent.

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These points are like a guide that professors use to focus on certain things, such as the content of the essay, how it is structured, and how well the language is used. Students should try to understand these points. They can find them in the instructions given for the assignment, in grading guides, or when the professor talks about them in class. By knowing what the professors want, students can improve their work and have a better chance of getting good grades. Understanding the key points is vital to doing well in essay assessments.

By familiarizing themselves with the key points that professors prioritize during essay assessment, students can alleviate their fears and approach their writing tasks with greater confidence. These key points serve as a roadmap for students, providing clarity on which aspects of their essays will be evaluated. Understanding these criteria can help students tailor their work to meet the expected standards.

  • For instance, when professors assess essays online or offline, they pay close attention to the content of the paper. This means that the ideas presented should be relevant, well-developed, and supported with appropriate evidence. Students can demonstrate their understanding of the topic by providing insightful analysis, drawing from relevant literature, newspaper articles, and/or editorials. By incorporating reputable sources, students strengthen the credibility of their arguments and showcase their research skills.
  • Another key aspect that professors consider is the structure of the essay. They expect students to organize their thoughts coherently, with a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and a concise conclusion. A well-structured essay enables professors to follow the logical progression of ideas and arguments. 
  • Additionally, students should ensure that their writing is clear and easy to comprehend, avoiding overly complex sentence structures and the excessive use of jargon. This allows professors to assess their language proficiency and communication skills.
  • Language proficiency encompasses grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure. Professors appreciate essays that demonstrate a strong command of the English language. Students should proofread their work to correct any spelling or punctuation errors. It is also important to use appropriate terminology and language that aligns with the study in question. By paying attention to these details, students can present their ideas in a polished and professional manner.

Contrary to common concerns, professors do read essays fully. While they may have many papers to review, they dedicate time to carefully assess each one. This is why it is crucial for students to focus on meeting the assessment criteria and showcasing their knowledge and skills throughout the entire essay.

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Difficulties Following Instructions

Difficulties following instructions can arise from various factors, including a lack of attention to detail or a misunderstanding of the requirements. For example, if an essay prompt asks students to compare and contrast two literary works, but a student only focuses on summarizing one of them, then they will not be addressing the prompt fully. This oversight can lead to a lower evaluation score.

Also, students may struggle with time management when it comes to essay assignments. Professors often set deadlines for submitting essays, and failing to adhere to these deadlines can result in penalties. It is important for students to carefully note the due dates and plan their time accordingly, allowing for ample time to research, write, and revise their essays.

To overcome difficulties in following instructions, students can take proactive steps. 

Firstly, they should read the instructions thoroughly, ensuring that they have a clear understanding of what is expected. If any aspect of the instructions is unclear, students should seek clarification from their professors. Asking questions shows engagement and a desire to meet the requirements.

In addition, students can create a checklist to ensure that they cover all the specified points in the instructions. This can help them stay organized and focused throughout the writing process. It is also advisable for students to revisit the instructions periodically while working on their essays to ensure that they are staying on track.

By being diligent in following instructions, students show their ability to understand and meet the expectations set by the professor. 

This attention to detail reflects their commitment to producing high-quality work and increases their chances of receiving favorable evaluations.

Key Points Every Professor Pays Attention To

While individual preferences may exist, there are several key points that most professors consider during essay assessment. These points serve as the foundation for evaluating a student’s understanding and application of the subject matter. Here are some aspects professors commonly focus on:

  1. Thesis statement. Professors expect essays to have a clear and concise thesis statement that presents the main argument or purpose of the essay. The thesis statement should be evident and guide the entire essay. For example, “The increasing levels of greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities are leading to detrimental effects on the Earth’s climate, necessitating immediate action for sustainable solutions.” 
  2. Content and argumentation. Professors assess the depth of understanding demonstrated in the essay. They look for evidence of critical thinking, logical reasoning, and a coherent argument that supports the thesis statement.
  3. Organization and structure. Essays should have a well-structured and organized format, including an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Professors pay attention to the logical flow of ideas, coherence between paragraphs, and the structure of the essay.
  4. Language and style. Professors check the language proficiency and writing skills of students. They pay attention to grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, and clarity of expression. Essays should be free from spelling and punctuation errors.
  5. Use of evidence. Professors expect students to support their arguments with credible evidence, such as academic sources, literature, and relevant examples. The use of properly cited and referenced sources strengthens the essay’s credibility.

essay assessment

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Essays

When it comes to writing essays, there are certain mistakes that are easy to spot and should be avoided to ensure a successful evaluation. These mistakes, if left unaddressed, can negatively impact the overall quality and coherence of the essay. Sylvia Roberts, an expert in the field and Assistant of Healthcare and Life Science Department at, shares her insights on some of the top easy-to-spot mistakes in essays.

  • According to Sylvia Roberts, “One common mistake is poor grammar and punctuation. Students should pay attention to sentence structure, verb tense, and proper use of punctuation marks.” Incorrect grammar and punctuation can make the essay difficult to read and can lead to a misunderstanding of the intended message.
  • Another mistake to watch out for is weak organization and lack of clarity. Roberts advises, “Students should ensure that their ideas flow logically and coherently throughout the essay. Each paragraph should have a clear purpose, and there should be a smooth transition between ideas.” A well-organized essay helps the reader follow the arguments and understand the main points effectively.
  • Moreover, the misuse or overuse of quotations can also be problematic. Roberts suggests, “Students should properly integrate quotations into their writing and provide sufficient context and analysis to support their own arguments.” Simply dropping quotes into the essay without proper explanation can make the essay seem disjointed and lacking in originality.

To avoid these mistakes, students should proofread their essays carefully, checking for errors in grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. It is also beneficial to seek feedback from peers or professors, as they can provide valuable insights and suggestions for improvement.

By being mindful of these common mistakes, students can enhance the clarity, coherence, and overall quality of their essays. 

Paying attention to grammar, organization, and the appropriate use of quotations will help students present their ideas effectively and achieve better evaluations.

Concluding Remarks

At first, students may worry about not knowing what their professors expect. But it’s important to know that assessments are based on specific points that have already been decided. By following instructions carefully and considering what professors focus on, students can increase their chances of getting good evaluations. It’s also important to avoid common mistakes like copying others’ work, not being clear, not answering the question, and not checking for mistakes. As students improve their writing and learn more about how they are assessed, they will be better prepared to do well in their studies.

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Steven Bloom
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Steven is an IT student who constantly seeks new opportunities for self-development. He is also fond of popular culture and entertainment. Lately, Steven has started writing about the challenges he faces as a student. He finds it helpful to brainstorm when difficult tasks arise.