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How to Write a Summative Essay – Guide with Example

Published by at March 18th, 2022 , Revised On March 18, 2022

Summative essays are formal assessments or tests developed to compare and evaluate students and assess their aptitude as compared to other students. Summative essays are used to test the results of learning and knowledge over time and are usually criterion-referenced.

A summative essay is a comprehensive piece of writing and will need quite a lot of class time to revise, complete, instruct, edit and draft. This is not a type of assignment that can be revised or improved by students after grading.

The complexity and length of the summative essay will vary depending upon the academic level of the students. Students must comprehend the style and purpose of the assignment to write an effective summative essay.

The summative essay is usually longer than 5 pages. One page comprises of introduction and the rest of the pages have arguments that support the topic. Like other essay types, it ends with a conclusion and a list of references.

Also read: How to write an academic essay

Types of Summative Writing

Different types of summative writing have unique requirements which must be carefully checked for comprehension before starting the summative assessment. Adequate time must be allocated for clearly comprehending the requirements of the summative writing, drafting, reading, editing, and revising before submitting it for checking or grading.

Here are the six key main types of summative essays.

Information/Explanatory

This type of writing is a common choice in most social science curriculums. It is mainly the collection of the main points, key ideas, and domain-specific theocratic ideas taught inside of the unit plan.

Opinion

Even though the opinions and persuasive arguments are sometimes used interchangeably, they are different from each other. An opinion simply requires you to state your thinking and back it up with facts and logic. Students in this type of writing are expected to show steady improvement throughout their degree programme, so their teachers could evaluate them for grading. Opinion writing is introduced to students in the 5th grade.

Argumentative

Argumentative type of writing needs the establishment and development of a claim made by the student in the introduction which is supported by the details containing resources and information in the main essay body. On the other hand, the opposing claim is used to present the exact opposite and contrasting point of view with supporting evidence.

Also read: How to write an argumentative essay

Compare & Contrast

This type of comparison writing attributes itself to the themes and backgrounds that have various aspects to them including individual personalities and specific geographic locations. The compare and contrast summative essays must be comprised of a set of attributes and qualities that the student can compare and contrast using text and research evidence. They do not ask the writer to prioritize one choice on the other, however, they do requires the writer to demonstrate comprehension of both and make a comparison.

Evaluative

The evaluative type of summative writing asks the writer to take a particular element, idea, or individual discussed during the unit and evaluate it using particular criteria. Students should take a stance on the theme and support it with text evidence and unit materials.

Theorising

Theorising is a form of writing that gives answers to questions such as “What if?”. A theory is put forth on a particular theme that reflects reality or contrast to reality. The writer is expected to take an event, era or an individual.

Elements of a Good Summative Essay

If you want to write an effective summative essay, the following are the elements that you should consider:

Reliability: The writing delivers alike results throughout settings of classrooms, daily conditions and student groups.

Validity: The writing appropriately reflects what has been taught to students in the period of instruction.

Authenticity: The writing reflects a variety of skills related to the real world that are appropriate outside of the context of the classroom.

Variety: The essay reflects the usage of different words and views. Make sure to use different words and views to bring variety into the essay.

Tips to Write an Effective Summative Essay

Here are some of the tips while writing a summative essay:

  • Look for authentic academic material that is relevant to your essay topic
  • Develop an outline before writing an essay.
  • Make sure the essay is organised in the form of good paragraphs.
  • Before starting the essay, make sure that you have some knowledge about the topic. Do some reading regarding the topic, before initiating the writing.
  • Lastly, proofread the essay to avoid grammatical errors

Writing a good introduction: For a good start begin your essay with an introduction. It should briefly provide the general ideas presented in the original text. The introduction should involve the author’s name, some contextual information about the author and work title. While in the paragraphs of the main body write the ideas that you have chosen while reading.

Use the rubric: Rubrics aid in setting a certain standard for the performance of a class on an assignment or test. They outline the key requirements and criteria you will be evaluated against.

Relevant to real-world: When writing a summative essay make sure that you are making it relevant to the real world.

About Jamie Walker

Jamie is an enthusiastic Computer Science specialist with a master’s degree from Stanford. His research work revolves around the internet of things and AI. He is a celebrated member of Dissertation Services at Research Prospect.