One of the challenges faced by most lecturers who teach English as a Second Language (ESL) is in marking or grading of students ’ essays. Apart from being an overwhelming task, there is a need for lecturers to maintain consistency in marking. Some studies have shown that although they are given the same scoring rubrics, lecturers may give different grades to the same essay. The reason for this is due to the fact that, most of the scoring rubrics mark essays holistically. One alternative in order to avoid the confusion is by marking analytically. In this paper, we describe a technique that can be used to transform holistic marking scoring rubrics into equivalent rubrics for analytic marking. This technique firstly identifies the dimensions of writing in holistic scoring rubrics based on Cohen (1994:307). Then, it refines these dimensions into their corresponding attributes. These attributes can be measured quantitatively and the grade of a particular essay is calculated by using mathematical formulae, which is based on a predefined marking scheme. This information serves as some of the software requirements for a CBEM (Computer Based Essay Marking) system for Malaysian ESL learners at IHL
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