Two major rounds of scoring were conducted. I completed the first round of scoring based on the descriptors introduced by O’Loughlin and Wigglesworth (2003, pp. 100-113) and Hamp-Lyons (1991a, 1991b, 1991c) as summarized in Table 1. Other sets of useful materials were also used to further study the structure of scoring system and benchmarks in IELTS since a 10-point scale (0-9) like the IELTS Writing rating benchmarks was used, . Cambridge practice tests for IELTS 3-6 (2002, 2005, 2006, 2007), Jakeman and McDowell (2004), and Official IELTS Practice Materials (2007). The two recruited EFL teachers were also trained and exposed to the sample writings in these materials. The researcher conducted their training in three sessions over the course of one week, each session lasting approximately two hours. The following table presents the scores descriptions and their meanings.
How you include supporting material affects how interesting the essay is to read. For example, if you cite all of your material in the same manner (., MLA-style parenthetical citations), the essay might appear monotonous, despite the richness of the content. Try using quotes and attributing sources with signal phrases in addition to using parenthetical or footnote citations. For example, instead of citing the The New York Times via footnote, signal it in the beginning of a sentence: "According to The New York Times...," and then follow with a direct quote.