Identifying Thesis and Conclusion Statements in Student Essays to Scaffold Peer Review

Mohammad Hassan Falakmasir, Kevin D. Ashley, Christian D. Schunn, Diane J. Litman

Peer-reviewing is a recommended instructional technique to encourage good writing. Peer reviewers, however, may fail to identify key elements of an essay, such as thesis and conclusion statements, especially in high school writing. Our system identifies thesis and conclusion statements, or their absence, in students’ essays in order to scaffold reviewer reflection. We showed that computational linguistics and interactive machine learning have the potential to facilitate peer-review processes.

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