# Talk

## how long does it take to mark a 5,000 word essay? (Tamum and Ellbell esp. welcome...)

(16 Posts)
Fri 28-Sep-07 23:56:11

? I;ve got 12 to mark and I'm trying to work out a fair deadline for submission for the students. - ie fair to them and fair to me. but I really have no idea how long it will take me to mark them.

tiredemma Sat 29-Sep-07 00:00:27

hmm Im a student and in my group there are 98 - the longest essay we had was 2000 words and we had to wait 6 weeks.

cn you decipher any thing from that? ( probably not)

Sat 29-Sep-07 00:09:20

hmmmm. let me think. 98 x 2000 = 196,000 words in 6 weeks / 42 days / 1008 hours. which means . whihn means 0.005 hours per word. ie 25.7 hours for 5,000 words.

I feel enormous satisfcation for having worked that out . but I suspect it doesn;t take into account all the other things the markers were doing (going to the loo, sleeping)

Alambil Sat 29-Sep-07 10:47:23

we had a 2 week turn around for essays up to 3000 words. Then we jumped to 10 000 for the dissertation, which took about 8 weeks. I rekon 4 weeks would be fair?

Sat 29-Sep-07 10:50:39

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

Zazette Sat 29-Sep-07 10:52:14

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.

Alambil Sat 29-Sep-07 10:53:11

oh I see, that is different then - apologies (didn't know that!)

our p/t lecturers had up to 6 weeks to mark them

could you find an essay online of the same length and see how long it takes to mark? or I can send half my dissertation ?

Zazette Sat 29-Sep-07 10:55:28

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...

Sat 29-Sep-07 10:59:45

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.)

Sat 29-Sep-07 11:01:47

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

Sat 29-Sep-07 11:11:17

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!

Sat 29-Sep-07 11:17:39

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...)

Sat 29-Sep-07 11:20:52

It's useful that you're in a field where there is a strong vocational reason for demanding accuracy. Some students get very snippy about having their grammar etc corrected

Sat 29-Sep-07 12:06:08

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.

Sat 29-Sep-07 12:07:03

I should add, I got meaner when I was a lecturer and marking essays took longer.

Tamum Sat 29-Sep-07 15:54:01

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.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now