Essay or short-answer questions
Updated 29 Jul 2021
Essay and short-answer questions are ones for which you enter free-form text. As you type, your answer appears as plain text. Complete essay/short answer questions on a computer, not on a smartphone.
- You can submit an essay or short answer only once. As with all assignment answers, your work is not saved until you submit it. When you choose Submit, the following message appears: "Are you satisfied with your answer? You will not be able to modify your answer after you submit it."
- Consider using a word processor for longer essays. Check your spelling and grammar before saving your essay answers and pasting them into Mastering. This also reduces the chance of losing any work in case of a session timeout or lost Internet connection.
- Your instructor must grade these kinds of answers, even if they are short. All other answers in Mastering assignments are automatically scored.
Your essay answers are limited to about 500 words or 3800 characters maximum, including spaces. This information appears above the answer box for all Mastering essay or short answer questions.
You can enter any alphanumeric characters and symbols available from your keyboard. You can also use keyboard shortcuts to copy, cut, and paste text in the question's answer box. Your submitted answer appears to your instructor as plain text without any line breaks.
- You cannot format text (bold, italic, etc.) or use spaces to align text.
- The Tab key is reserved for navigation, so it is unavailable for answer formatting.
If you write your essay in a word processor, use only plain text. Any other formatting (italic, bold, underline, color, highlight, size, superscript, or subscript) or special characters you add using a word processing application will be converted to plain text when you paste your answer into the Mastering answer box.
When you open the assignment, any ungraded essay or short answer items show as Complete with a 0% Score. If you select this 0% score, the Item Score Details page shows “Pending” for both the Correct Answer Credit and Part Total Score until your instructor grades the item.