DOI: 10.24411/2470-1262-2019-10031


Nowadays, the necessity of transition from lower order thinking skills (LOTS) to higher order thinking skills (HOTS) has become a prized asset in tertiary education. To make this linear progression smooth it is required that the whole process be regulated by meta-cognitive activities which are characterized by the dual function of regulating and monitoring cognitive processes. The paper highlights the importance of evaluating students’ higher order thinking skills in academic writing through two criterion-based scoring rubrics (Model A and Model B) at two intricately linked levels (the object level and the meta level). The analytic rubrics, though superficially similar in design, considerably vary in the assessment perspectives and the criteria against which essay content evaluation is to be performed. Model A is designed for beginner and intermediate writers who have the “what-how-why” writing style primarily guided by the Gricean conversational maxims, whereas Model B is designed for upper-intermediate and experienced writers whose writing style stands out by its “why-how-what” nature. The latter showcases writers’ metacognitive knowledge of successfully regulating their own way of thinking through rhetorical appeals, the right and effective use of which enhances the development of students’ writing skills, in the meantime facilitating the assessment process which is carried out by two assessment models. These models are labelled as “from the outside in” intended to evaluate content from the pragmatic perspective at the object level and “from the inside out” designed to evaluate content from rhetorical perspective at the meta-level.

Keywords: analytic scoring rubric, higher order thinking skills, lower order thinking skills, cognition, metacognition, metadiscourse, conversational maxims, rhetorical appeals, golden circle, hedges, criteria


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Information about the authors:

Lusik Vardanyan (Vanadzor, Armenia) – PhD in Philology, Associate Professor, Head of the Chair of Foreign Languuages, Vanadzor State University named after Hovh. Tumanyan, 36 Tigran Mets Avenue, Vanadzor, Lori Region, Armenia; E-mail:; tel: +374 94 40 66 70; Author of 16 scientific publications; Her research fields include, but are not limited to, Pragmatics; Discourse Analysis; Academic Writing; Intercultural Communication; Theoretical Grammar.  

Marina Kharatyan (Yerevan, Armenia) PhD in Education, Associate Professor of English, Chair of the English Language, Yerevan Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences; Tumanyan, 42. Yerevan. Armenia; E-mail:, tel: +374 9112 52 93; Author of 17 scientific publications; Her research fields include, but are not limited to, Academic Writing; Intercultural Communication and Intercultural Competence; Intercultural Pragmatics; Methods of Teaching English as a Foreign Language; Interdisciplinary Relations; Area Studies.

For citation: Lusik Vardanyan, Marina Kharatyan (2019). Metacognitive Approaches as Key Ingredients for Essay Content Evaluation. Cross-Cultural Studies: Education and Science. Vol.4, Issue 1 (2019), pp.35-45(in USA)

Manuscript received: 01/25/ 2019

Accepted for publication: 03/17/2019

The authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

CC BY 4.0