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The limits within which they may occur may be roughly defined in a negative way as follows : (1) No variation should be admitted which lessens speed without a counterbalancing increase in beauty or legibility. If the writing is fast, legible, and not displeasing to the eye, the requirements of good writing are fulfilled, and any minor peculiarities are of little account. THE attempts made in the last few years to measure ac- school subjects have brought a truly scientific and curately and equitably the quality of work done in efficient system of education appreciably nearer. Too often the teacher uses an arbitrary standard which may or may not be fairly do my college paper efficient. This is particularly true in valuing work done in such subjects as English composition, where there is so much room for individual taste and opinion to play a part. In no school subject has there been such a wide diver- sity of opinion and marking as in writing. Nothing could more strik- ingly illustrate the crying need for some definite scale by which writing can be fairly equitably valued.

Thorndike, of Columbia University, belongs the credit of being the first educationist to attack this prob- lem. The samples were selected with a view to obtain- ing as wide a range in quality as possible. In ranking these samples, the judges found it impossible to distinguish 1,000 grades of quality, since many specimens were indistinguish- able in merit. It was also discovered that substantially the same average results were obtained by grading the samples into ten or eleven groups a number of times as by grading into twenty. The judges, therefore, ranked the samples into ten groups attempting to make the differences between the groups all equal. 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.

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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 verti- cal. To these scale points percentile values were given, rang- ing from 20 to 90. 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 do my college paper the measurement of legibility only. Yet the very method of its use obliges its user to depend mainly upon form do my college paper 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 do my college paper 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.

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