whether the answer contains pieces of information as short statements or whether the student is trying to explain or elaborate personal arguments.
Students learning strategies, and also the coherence of the discourse structure, can also be indicated in essays (Quellmalz 1990, 510).
Essay-type assignments do not directly represent these new trends, but they can be very useful in this framework of approaching student learning that emphasizes higher-order thinking, depth, and cognitive complexity as targets of teaching and evaluation.
In the assessment of learning content, such as social studies, essay-type questions are useful because learning depends to a great extent on knowledge mediated and adopted in verbal form and learning outcomes are also mainly manifested in verbal form.
The essay is, however, always more than the sum of the parts it consists of.
It is defined here as the conceptual construction which the student composes from his/her knowledge and ideas about the topic.
Teachers often emphasize the quantitative examination of essays because it is far more complicated to evaluate the qualitative characteristics, such as the coherence and depth of the essay.
By choosing the easiest way of dealing with essays they, however, neglect to see the potential essays have for epitomizing the quality of learning and the paths of thinking.
Both tasks required understanding causal relations and abstract economic concepts. Major differences were revealed both in contents and in knowledge organisation.
In higher level essays economic phenomena were discussed analytically and they indicated understanding abstract concepts.