This study is a part of the four-year-granted project to develop an analytic rubric for EFL learners’ summary writing. The study aims to identify items that raters find difficult to score using the rubric mentioned below. It also examines the reasons for this difficulty, based on interviews with raters using open- and close-ended questionnaires. Seven trained raters evaluated 36 English summaries written by Japanese university students using an analytic rubric, which comprises the following items: (1) Integration (INT), which includes two phases: (a) whether the statements in the summary are written logically, and (b) whether the statements have a global interpretation; (2) Language use (LU), which includes appropriate grammar and vocabulary, and the use of sophisticated syntactic structures; and (3) Source use (SU), which includes: (a) whether the summary is written in the writer’s own words, and (b) whether the information in the summary is included correctly. Results showed that the raters did not find it difficult to score LU, but did find it difficult for INT and SU. The reasons for the results were as follows: First, raters were required to repeatedly review the rubric, the source text, and written summaries while evaluating summaries. Second, the evaluation items included elements from two phases. Additionally, the scores given by the raters for INT and SU seemed subjective, especially since there was some difficulty in judging the percentage of plagiarism.
Makiko Kato, Tohoku University, Japan