Read any of the quite old classics (de Montaigne comes to mind, though I don’t know his work as well as I should) or even the more modern ones (E. White or Joan Didion or the very contemporary David Sedaris) and you get more of a sense of this classic meaning.
Sure, these writers’ essays are organized and have a point, but they wander to them and they are presented (presumably after much revision) as if the writer was discovering their point along with the reader.
” Furthermore, as the NPR story points out, this software can be tricked.
Les Perleman has been demonstrating for years how these robo-graders can be fooled, though I have to say I am a lot more impressed with the ingenuity shown by some students in Utah who found ways to “game” the system: “One year…
For most college students, papers (or essays) are training for white collar careers to learn how to complete required office paperwork.
Essentially, the story is about the use of computers to “assess” (really “rate,” but I’ll get to that in a second) student writing on standardized tests.
It’s policing, as in “show me your papers” when trying to pass through a boarder.
No one likes completing “paperwork,” but it is one of those necessary things grown-ups have to do.
As I understand it, software like this can rate/grade the response to a specific essay question– “in what ways did the cinematic techniques of was a good movie?
”– and it is not very good at all at rating/grading pieces of writing with almost no constraints, as in “what’s your favorite movie?
There are books and journals and conferences devoted to assessment.