the things is I'm only a (very) p-t lecturer and my main job is something else. I'm being pushed to turn them round in 2 weeks. I need to know roughly how long it takes to mark a single essay then I can work out - taking into account my available time - whether I could fit them in to 2 weeks - (which essentially means about 2 working days) or whether I need longer
This is HE, presumably? Find out if your School/dept/institution has a policy. Mine says we will return essays to students within 4 weeks of submission. This is a blanket 'students are customers we must give them good service' ( don't get me started) ruling, which takes no account of number of students in group/length of essays.
x-posted - I think 2 weeks is reasonable for such a small number. I'd say I probably get through 3-4 essays an hour when I'm making the effort to crack on. But it depends how good/bad they are, thus how much time I need to spend scribbling comments/correcting idiocies and ungrammaticalities.
Am I right in thinking you're fairly new to doing this? It's quite important to budget an amount of time you can give to essay writing, and discipline yourself to mark at the appropriate speed, IME. Marking is one of those tasks that can very easily expand to fit the time available, and more besides...
Agree with Zazette. Though you will find you take longer with the first ones and then speed up.
What sort of feedback do you have to give? You may be able to get some tips about how to do it as quickly as possible. (I have to give about half a page of written feedback so I do it straight onto the laptop. Writing onto the essay itself is faster, but only if you discipline yourself not to pick up on everything you possibly could but just restrict yourself to the main points.)
3-4 essays an hour!!! i as thinking more alonfg the lines that it might take me a couple of hours each. the thing is in my work I "mark" a lot of things drafted by other people - but there I'm actually correcting them, improving them, and generlaly spending a stack of time on them. I think I'g going to find marking very different. blimey in that case 2 weeks is fine. they're post-grad essays.
The thing is I;ve got my deadline to mark them by. what's been left up to me is the deadline for the students to submit them
Yes - for example, if you get one which is badly spelled and full of grammatical errors, you don't need to correct all of them - you just pick out the worst so the student knows what you are on about and say 'You could benefit from paying more attention to grammar and spelling'. Much quicker!
I made very clear to them that I had high expectations in that regard and I gave them some written guidelines. whether or not they'll pay attention to them is another thing. I did stress that they were graduate lawyers and attention to detail was pretty fundamental. (I didn;t quite say if you can;t be bothered to spell check then change your career plans but I came pretty close...)
hatwoman, when I was a post-grad tutor we marked 2000-word essays in 20mins (minimum). But always found I could not do them all in one hit, I'd get marking fatigue and judgement/ability to comprehend goes out the window.
Some of my colleagues found that it went quicker after a couple glasses of wine.
Sorry hatwoman, I missed this. I don't do much marking apart from exams, but I do mark one set of essays from medical students. They are 1500 words, I do about 25 of them and it takes me a few blocks of a few hours, I would say. We are given 10 days or so to get the marks back. I think it's probably orders of magnitude easier than marking arts essays though, as it's completely factual and I have a very clear idea of what they need to cover and how. Apart from that I just do PG stuff, so no essays.