(2) Generosity in Essay Grading

John Follman
University of South Florida

Robert Reilly
University of Arkansas

Abstract: The generosity error in grading essay test responses is the bias of assigning too high a grade category. This bias should be reduced by manipulating the nature of the grading categories used.

Fifteen teachers graded 12 themes. The 15 teachers were randomly assigned, five each, to one of three types of rating category procedures. The three procedures were: Conventional (two positive, one neutral, two negative categories); Generosity (three positive, one neutral, one negative category); and Number (5, 4, 3, 2, 1). As expected, the conventional five categories produced a higher score than did the unbalanced five categories recommended by Guilford for offsetting the generosity error.

Citation: Follman, J., & Reilly, R. (1973). Generosity in essay grading. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 15(1), 79-82.

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