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Assessment Solution
Created by a teacher, for teachers

Transform assessment, transform education. We've revolutionized how teachers evaluate writing and in doing so we've created the tools and data necessary to modernize and optimize education.

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Typical Five-Paragraph Essay

“They Say, I Say” Essay
(a work-in-progress collaboration with Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein)
No installation required. Runs in your web browser!
“Keith's ingenious approach provides welcome support to harassed and beleaguered teachers everywhere. In reducing the more tedious parts of paper grading, frees teachers to concentrate on the most substantial aspects of student writing.”
—Gerald Graff
co-author, They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing
Professor of English and Education, U of IL at Chicago
2008 President, Modern Language Association of America

“What a marvelous concept. It allows a teacher to quickly and clearly account for the primary required elements of a writing assignment, while still providing human oversight and feedback.”
—PF Anderson
Cool Toy of the Day blog

“EssayTagger cuts down on the time a teacher must spend spilling red ink in the margins.”
—Jack West
NMC blog

“I am just so very grateful for! It has cut down so much time grading essays. I teach five college level composition courses, and because of you all I actually had time to enjoy the holidays with my family instead of being completely swamped by student essays. Thank you so much!!!”
—Jandi D.
English Professor

“I graded all of my descriptive essays and it took me less than half of the time! allows me to give each of my students more individualized feedback!”
—Michelle Oyola
South City Prepatory Academy
St. Louis, MO

“This is a stunningly simple way to grade essays through a Web-based tool.”
—Tech & Learning Magazine
Top 100 Sites of 2012

“Thank you! This is saving me so much time and energy. I might get to leave my house this Sunday!”
—Stephanie Bester
Thurgood Marshall Middle School
Chicago, IL

“EssayTagger is my life-line! I don't know what I would do without it!!!”
—Sarah Jammal
Friendship Academy of Math, Science and Technology
Baltimore, MD

“I love your program! EssayTagger has not only saved me time in correcting essays, but I feel terrific about the increased feedback which the students receive. I am especially impressed with how you have tied it to the Common Core.”
—Leanne Worwood
Hurricane Intermediate School
Hurricane, UT

“EssayTagger actually made it possible for me to catch up on grading before finals. It is awesome. Thank you!”
—Vanessao Siino Haack
John O'Connell High School
San Francisco, CA
Transform education
no wasted effort

You spend 20 minutes carefully analyzing and commenting on an essay. The student drops it straight in the recycling bin. Poof! All that effort wasted.

No more. Now all of those evaluations, all of that data lives on and informs instruction. You get value out of it, even if the student chooses not to. (learn more)

you mark errors, students correct

Why do we meticulously correct students' writing when they get so little benefit out of our effort?

Instead simply flag the problematic passages and then hold students accountable for figuring out the error and submitting corrections. (learn more)

fast, effective formative assessment

Speed, detailed diagnostics, and quality feedback are all vital aspects of formative assessment. But it seems impossible to satisfy all three criteria.

Ignore the "Essay" part of EssayTagger and leverage our incredible tools to hit the formative assessment trifecta. (learn more)

common rubrics, individual voices

You want your PLT to be coordinated, teaching to the same targets, assessing with the same rubric. But the rubric isn't your voice.

Now it is. Standardize your PLT's rubric structure but customize it with your own feedback comments. And the resulting data will still be directly comparable across your team. The best of both worlds! (learn more)

align to Common Core with almost zero effort

Build custom rubrics with a specific Common Core State Standard aligned to each element and then track students' progression through those Common Core standards over time. (learn more)

align formative and summative assessments

Align your learning targets to Common Core and you'll be able to see the exact Point A to Point Z connections as your formative assessments progress and culminate in a summative assessment.

Create a Free Trial account
Grade one full assignment* for free!

No time limit.
No commitment.

* up to 99 essays

what is EssayTagger?
how does it work?
more efficient grading
revolutionary student data
about us
sign up for free!
What is EssayTagger?
EssayTagger is a web-based tool that helps you grade your essays faster by eliminating the repetitive and inefficient aspects of grading papers. You'll be able to speed up your grading process without sacrificing the quality of the feedback you give to your students.

EssayTagger is not an auto-grader. You still do all the grading yourself, but now you can do it faster!

No software to install
EssayTagger works entirely in your web browser so there's nothing to download or install on your computer. This means it doesn't matter whether you use a Mac or a PC, whether you're at school or at home. You can grade essays from anywhere in the world where there's an internet connection.

How Does It Work?
Step 1: Define the assignment's rubric:
Assignments are completely customizable. You define the elements you're looking for in each assignment:

These core elements are the backbone of your rubric.

You also have full control over the rubric's quality levels:

Step 2: “Tag” the essay:
Where is the student's "Thesis" or "Evidence" elements? Our drag-and-drop interface makes it extremely fast and easy for you to identify and "tag" each core element as they appear in each paper.
Step 3: Evaluate the quality:
As soon as you tag a core element the associated evaluation options pop up. You've identified the student's "Thesis", now decide how good it is and what kind of feedback the student needs.

You customize the comments — add, edit, delete them — however you like. These are your comments, your feedback. We're not going to leave you stuck with canned, pre-written comments that don't suit your needs or style.

That's it!
All of your tags and feedback comments are automatically saved online "to the cloud" as soon as you select them. No "Save" button to press, no files to remember to email to yourself. The marked-up essays are available on the Web for you to review and digitally return to your students.

More Efficient Grading

Think about how much repetition there is when you grade, how many of the same comments you find yourself writing on paper after paper. That's the kind of inefficiency we're trying to eliminate.

Go faster
Our intuitive drag-and-drop "tagging" interface allows you to quickly identify the essay's core elements, evaluate the quality, and provide targeted feedback comments. Adding a new comment to the list will take only as much time as it takes for you to think and type it:

Reuse, rejoice
And the real time savings come in when you encounter the same issue in another student's paper; the comment you just added can be applied with a quick mouse click, saving you precious seconds, energy, and brainpower.

As you grade each essay you'll add more and more comments for each core element in the rubric. Pretty soon you'll end up with a very robust collection of comments that cover the gamut of student skill levels. And it will all be perfectly organized and easy to retrieve.

And, of course, that rubric and all of its comments are saved and ready to be reused on the next assignment.

It's everything you normally do, only more efficient.

Revolutionary Student Data
The whole process of tagging and commenting on papers is stored in our database. And now think about what we've stored: we know that you selected a comment from the "Needs Work" column for Jimmy's "Thesis" element. And we know the exact piece of text that makes up his thesis.

This might not seem like much, but with the organizational and cross-referential power of a database at our fingertips we can do some pretty freakin' amazing things with that data.

  • Learn from your results: Isn't it awful to spend all that time grading essays and then the kids barely look at them and nothing more comes of it? With your graded essays can now inform and direct the focus of your follow-up lessons and activities.

  • Aggregate rubric performance: can tell you exactly where your students are excelling or struggling in your rubric. All of the evaluations you make as you grade are stored in our database. That means that we can crunch the numbers and give you a high-level view of how your students performed. Now you know what to focus on in class tomorrow.

  • Rubric drill-down analytics: Go deeper than just the aggregate data. Retrieve text excerpts and sort the students by their performance on each individual rubric core element. Here we drill down into the "Topic sentence" core element and retrieve the students from the weakest quality level, their associated text excerpts, or both:

And that's just after one assignment. Things get even crazier and cooler as you grade subsequent assignments (progression analysis coming soon).

  • Track individual progress over time: If you use the same rubric or if your rubrics have some common core elements (e.g. they all have a "Thesis"), you'll able to see how a given student progresses over time. You'll be able to see that Joey's use of evidence has gradually improved while Rachel's progress on transitions has stalled.

  • Overall trends: Are we seeing class-wide improvement on theses? What's Amanda's thesis progress relative to the rest of the class?

  • A more complete picture: With all of this data available, imagine referring Paul to a resource room or writing center where they can pull up his performance profile and instantly focus in on where he's struggling in his recent assignments.

All of this specific data tracking was possible before, but it simply was not practical for a busy teacher to keep track of on her own. Getting it all into an easily accessible database changes everything.

We believe that this data is an insanely powerful tool and is a game-changer that will transform your classroom.

About Us

We've gone through great efforts to make EssayTagger an impressive, intuitive, and gorgeous tool. We hope that we look and perform like a million dollars, but we are not a mega-corporation.

The reality is that we are a tiny startup that was created by a high school English teacher.

I'm an English teacher. But I also had a nine-year career as a dot-com programmer in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Crazy, right? How many English teachers have Computer Science degrees?

After becoming a teacher it became pretty clear that no one outside of education can understand just how brutal and time-consuming it is to be a teacher — especially when it comes to grading essays.

But on the flip-side most teachers don't know how or where technology can help them. Or worse, they're surrounded by all this awful technology that's been forced upon them. My district's attendance system required three separate logins! Three! Argghh!

Last year I had four sections of the same Senior English prep. That meant 96 papers would come in all at once. I was super-passionate about getting these regular-level students ready for the rigors of college so I would find myself spending 15, 20, 30 minutes per paper. That multiplied by 96 is insane.

That's where came from — as a teacher I felt the same pain you're feeling but my programming background allowed me to see where a little bit of technology could go a long way.

And the beauty of good uses of technology is that they don't just solve the problem at hand, they open new doors that weren't previously possible. It's a bold claim that we provide "revolutionary student data" but I really think we do.

I know that you will view us with great skepticism — and you should be skeptical. But when you boil it all down our approach is pretty dang simple: it's just rubrics, quality levels, and comments. It's what you normally do when you're grading papers but without most of the redundancy and inefficiency.

I think it's a helluva solution and I hope you agree.

Keith Mukai, M.Ed.
High School English Teacher Founder and CEO

Create a Free Trial account
Grade one full assignment (up to 99 essays) for free!

Information for Teachers
EssayTagger is not an auto-grader! Your expertise, your judgment drives 100% of the grading process.
“Fellow teachers! I built EssayTagger because grading essays was killing me! We can make grading essays less painful while giving our students better feedback!”
—Keith Mukai, M.Ed.
High School English Teacher Founder & CEO
classroom impact
  • Data that's actually useful
    Individual and class-wide performance data shows you exactly who is struggling and where. (learn more)
  • Instant essay excerpts
    Want to see your class' best theses? No prob. Worst transitions? No prob. (learn more)

  • Students can submit documents directly from their Google Docs accounts! (learn more)
  • No file management
    Students submit their own work and the site can even email their essays back to them when you're done grading them.
  • Automatic rosters
    The site builds your roster as students turn in work. No lengthy setup required! (learn more)
better & faster grading
  • Faster, more efficient
    Traditional grading is horribly inefficient and repetitive. You can get your life back. And don't worry, EssayTagger is not an auto-grader.
  • More useful student feedback
    Forget those vague "Some of your evidence was weak" rubrics. Real feedback has to be at the sentence level.
  • Advanced error marking
    Quickly mark spelling and grammar errors and then have your students learn from their own mistakes (learn more).
  • Formative and Summative Assessments
    End-of-unit exams and final essays are summative assessments. At this point it's not about feedback, it's just about evaluating students' skills. (learn more).
  • Grade on your iPad!
    Our drag-and-drop interface is a natural fit for a tablet (learn more)!
  • Completely customizable
    Create your own rubrics, write your own feedback comments.
Create a Free Trial account
Grade one full assignment* for free!

No time limit.
No commitment.

* up to 99 essays

Information for Administrators

EssayTagger is used by teachers in over 2,400 schools across 85 countries
award-winning innovation
EdTech Digest 2013 Cool Tool Award Finalist in the Assessment Solution category!
  • Patent-pending revolutionary approach to interactive writing assessment
enhance PLTs/teacher teams
  • More PLT coordination
    Standardize rubrics across a PLT and then download and analyze the results across the entire team. (learn more)!
  • Level PLT expectations
    Ensure consistent instruction and standards by "leveling" each member of a teacher team to the same expectations and grading standards. (learn more)
  • Google account sign-in
    Students can use their school-provided Google accounts to identify themselves when submitting their documents.
    note: Google accounts are not required for EssayTagger
  • Google Drive integration
    Students can submit their document straight from their Google Drive accounts. No more downloading or uploading files!
    note: Standard document file uploading also supported
  • Apple Pages support
    Go from writing documents in the Pages app on an iPad to submitting to EssayTagger in a few easy steps.
fast formative assessment
  • speed, detailed diagnostics, and quality feedback
    Leverage EssayTagger's strengths to revolutionize your teachers' approach to formative assessment. (learn more)
training and professional development
  • Extensive web-based help
    We are constanty updating our numerous training videos, page-specific mini-FAQs, and step-by-step guided instructions throughout the site.
  • Knowledge base
    24/7 access to our self-help knowledge base.
  • Ed-savvy support
    Our support reps are all certified teachers with real-world classroom experience. Most questions are answered in a few hours and often within a few minutes.
  • direct training
    Skype-based remote training and on-site workshops are available options for large group license purchases. Currently EssayTagger creator Keith Mukai, M.Ed. conducts all workshops himself.
revolutionary data
  • Class-wide aggregate data
    How did each class perform on each element in the rubric? (learn more)
  • Individual performance data
    Which students are struggling and where? (learn more)
  • Common Core progression data
    See if students and whole classes are showing improvement on individual Common Core State Standards. (learn more)

no vendor lock-in
  • Download reports and raw data
    Download your data as an Excel file and manipulate it however you see fit. Or import it into your own data analysis system. (learn more)
RtI implications

  • Outlier identification
    Data reports automatically calculate statistical outliers who most need remediation.
  • Progress tracking
    Common Core-aligned longitudinal tracking data reveals remediation successes and shortcomings. (learn more)
See how it all comes together
Information for Students
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