Journal Article

The writing quality scale (WQS) : a new tool to identify writing difficulties in students


Students in higher education (HE) are required to complete a variety of writing tasks for coursework and examinations. However, for some students writing presents a major challenge.  In the UK, the availability of tools for specialist assessors to help identify difficulties with the quality of written composition is limited. The aim of this study was to develop a practical new tool, the Writing Quality Scale (WQS) for assessing writing quality in HE, that was both easy to use and did not require specialist or subject knowledge.  The reliability and validity of the tool and its ability to identify students in HE who may need support was evaluated by examining scripts from 120 students (60 male) aged 17-25 years. The WQS was found to have good inter-rater reliability and was sensitive enough to pick up age differences and differentiate between groups of students with and without dyslexia. The WQS will be a useful tool for specialist assessors in HE to help in the identification of those with poor writing quality and to understand more about the nature of their difficulties.

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Stuart, Nichola J.
Barnett, Anna L.

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-03-24

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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