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The average position of each sample could then easily be worked out, and in this way typical samples could 71 be selected as the scale points. The differences in quality be- tween any one of these selected samples and the one marking the next point above or below in the scale would therefore be approximately 1-10 of the difference between the best and the worst of the writing of 1,000 children in grades five to eight.

Zero merit in handwriting was arbitrarily defined as that of handwriting, recognizable as such, but yet not legible at all and possessed of no beauty. A specimen witK these qualifications was made and used as zero point in the scale. The places between the worst speci- mens graded by the judges and this zero point were filled by finding out experimentally how many specimens of writing could be inserted between them, to show clearly discernible differences in quality.

In this way it was found that four grades of writing were possible between the worst specimen submitted and the zero point. Consequently the worst speci- men was marked quality 5 upon the scale. The finished scale showed a series of graded specimens ranging in quality from zero to eighteen, zero being absolutely illegible and eighteen a perfect copper-plate sample.

The scale representing the combined judgments of forty or more competent judges, scientifically handled, has a high de- gree of accuracy.

In its construction, general merit, with- out emphasis upon single qualities such as beauty, legibility or individuality, formed the basis of judgment.

Any specimen of writing is measured by comparing it with the scale and determining to what quality it most closely approximates. The best method is the ascending-descending procedure. That is, if a group of samples of writing is to be graded, each sample should be valued by beginning at the bot- tom of the scale and working up to the point where the sample is judged equal. After the whole group is rated in this way, each sample should be graded by working downwards from the top of the scale until the point of equivalence is reached.

The average of the two judgments will give a more accurate rating than a single comparison with the scale. The objection has been made that the Thorndike scale measures only form and not general merit. It is true that the form of writing will be the main factor in grading it, but form 72 and general merit are so closely correlated that this criticism has little meaning. The Ayres scale was constructed upon a different principle than the Thorndike. The time needed for the reading of each sample was accurately noted, and an average reading time computed for all the judges. The time required was considered a measure of legibility, that sample which required the least time for reading being obviously the most legible and vice versa. From the entire group speci- mens were selected which had required eight different read- ing times of equal increment from fastest to slowest. These samples, therefore, represent eight equally distant degrees of legibility. For each of the eight degrees of legibility, three specimens were chosen, one slant, one medium, and one buy cheap paper verti- cal. To these scale points percentile values were given, rang- ing from 20 to 90.

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Any specimen of writing may be measured by a comparison with the scale in the same manner as with the Thorndike scale. The Ayres scale was constructed upon the basis of legi- bility only. It was intended also to be a scale for the measurement of legibility only. Yet the very method of its use obliges its user to depend mainly upon form or appearance for his grading. The criticism, however, carries more weight in the case of the Ayres scale, as in all probabil- ity, legibility and form are less closely correlated than form and general merit. The Ayres scale is also inferior to the Thorndike scale because the range of qualities is not sufficiently great.

The lowest quality in the scale is better than the average writing of first grade or even second grade pupils. A scale for Measuring the Quality of Handwriting of School Children. Twenty-four samples of handwriting were graded on both scales by thirty-three observers.

The results showed that the samples were given almost the identical rank on both scales.

The amount of deviation in essay writing service legit the judgments of the thirty-three observers buy cheap paper was calculated after reducing the ratings on both scales to a buy cheap paper common basis in order to make them comparable. It was found that with the great majority of the twenty-four samples, the Thorndike scale gave the more uniform results, as the deviation among different individuals was less than on the Ayres scale.

Further, this greater uni- formity was distributed pretty evenly over all the observers. Pintner, therefore, considers the Thorndike scale to be the more reliable one.

He attributes this greater reliability to the fact that it has taken into account all those factors that go to influence our judgment of hand-writing, and does not depend upon legibility alone. These results are the more striking because the observers in this experiment preferred the Ayres scale to the Thorndike. This was due probably to the convenient form of the scale and to the percentage system used in marking the steps. Pintner believes that the Thorndike scale could be made more conveni- ent buy cheap paper for the user by placing the samples vertically instead of horizontally, and by marking off the different steps more clearly from each other. The percentage system of marking steps, as the most familiar one to the average teacher, would perhaps be an improvement. A Comparison of the Ayres and Thorndike Hand- writing Scales. Each chart represents three degrees of excel- lence, numbered 1, 3, 5, in ascending order of merit. The specimens for these charts were selected by grading a large number of specimens of the writing of children from grades three to eight into as many ranks as could be distinguished, according to each of the five categories which are represented on the scale. In some cases four, in others five ranks could be distinguished. This formed a tentative scale by which twenty-three advanced students graded 100 specimens into ten ranks according to each category. Ten specimens were then selected to give ten approximately equal steps for each category on the basis of the average judgments of all the graders.

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