IN 1986, UCOPE set the general standard for passing by approving the AWPE Scoring Guide. There also is a regular annual procedure for applying these general standards to each new examination. From the pretest essays, the Universitywide Analytical Writing Placement Examination Committee assembles a set of papers representing the weakest to the strongest performance. Members reach their own consensus about the scores these papers should receive. They then provide this set of papers to UCOPE. At its March meeting UCOPE reviews these essays and decides independently on the scores. (In almost all cases both committees assign the same scores to the papers.) These essays and their UCOPE scores set the standard by which the chief reader and the room leaders choose essays from the May administration to exemplify the standards for all the readers who score papers in June.
The ability to listen with empathy may be the most important attribute of interveners who succeed in gaining the trust and cooperation of parties to intractable conflicts and other disputes with high emotional content. Among its other advantages, as Burley-Allen points out, empathic listening has empowering qualities. Providing an opportunity for people to talk through their problem may clarify their thinking as well as provide a necessary emotional release. Thomas Gordon agrees that active listening facilitates problem-solving and, like Burley-Allen's primer on listening, Gordon's "Leadership Effectiveness Training" provides numerous exercises and suggestions for those seeking to strengthen their listening skills.
The main idea of each paragraph should be stated in a topic sentence. The topic sentence should appear as the first sentence in each paragraph. It directly supports your thesis statement, developing the ideas previewed in the introductory paragraph. It acts as a guidepost for your readers, making it easy to follow your discussion. Each detail in the paragraph should work to support or develop this topic sentence. Any details that do not support topic sentences should be revised, moved, or deleted.