skip to main content skip to footer

Cognitive Models of Writing: Writing Proficiency as a Complex Integrated Skill CBAL

Deane, Paul; Odendahl, Nora; Quinlan, Thomas; Fowles, Mary E.; Welsh, Cyndi; Bivens-Tatum, Jennifer
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Writing Assessment, Cognitively Based Assessment of, for, and as Learning (CBAL), Formative Assessment, Writing Instruction, Literacy, Critical Thinking, Reading, K-12 Assessments, Constructed Response, Literature Review


The model that emerges from a review of the literature on writing places a strong emphasis on writing as an integrated, socially situated skill that cannot be assessed properly without taking into account the fact that most writing tasks involve management of a complex array of skills over the course of a writing project, including language and literacy skills, document-creation and document-management skills, and critical-thinking skills. As such, the model makes strong connections with emerging conceptions of reading and literacy, suggesting an assessment approach in which writing is viewed as calling upon a broader construct than is usually tested in assessments that focus on relatively simple, on-demand writing tasks.

Read More