This study is a result of trying to grasp what teachers look at when they assess writing. The
motive is to better understand what goes on inside a teacher’s mind when correcting a written
piece of work and to raise the level of awareness of what teachers actually do. Background
information as to what the teachers support their assessment on and how they acquired their
“correcting skills” is also treated. The study brings up both what teachers say and what
teachers do. It is an exploratory and open ended investigation. To perform this exploration a
qualitative method is used. Interviews with open questions and observations of the assessment
situation with think aloud protocols are performed. Examples of the teachers’ real life
marking in students written texts are also considered.
The findings show that teachers possess an intuition based on knowledge which has been
constructed by themselves and that they cannot depict easily. Their own awareness of what
they do seems to be mixed with what they would like to do at occasions. Linguistic topics
such as morphology, grammar, syntax, vocabulary, spelling and idiomaticity are considered
by both teachers showing that surface errors are of importance. Coherence and thematic
treatment are also taken into consideration when teachers assess but the way they value these
aspects together with views on what writing is, what communication is together with other
possible choices shows that correction and assessing is highly subjective. In addition, this
study points at the possibility that a teacher progresses from analytic to holistic with time and
that writing as a process is more valid when a teacher becomes more experienced.
2014. , 63 p.