What is Utah Compose?

Utah Compose is an automated writing evaluation (AWE) program designed to support the teaching and learning of writing in grades 3-12. Utah Compose provides automated scores and feedback to students' writing. By easing the burden of providing feedback, Utah Compose allows teachers to assign more writing and focus their feedback efforts. In turn, Utah Compose affords students the increased writing practice opportunities they need to improve writing quality.


Utah Compose's features span the writing process - from planning to publishing. Collectively, features enable accelerated cycles of practice and feedback to support growth in students' writing ability. 

Writing Assignments

Utah Compose includes pre-packaged writing prompts in support of three text types and purposes (arguments, informative/explanatory texts, and narratives) and a range of content areas. In addition, teachers can create, configure, and assign custom prompts, including stimulus material. 

Writing Planning

Utah Compose includes a library of pre-writing tools (i.e. graphic organizers) to support writing planning.

Writing Practice

On the Practice Writing page, students can work on a draft while alternating among the prompt, graphic organizer (if used), previous drafts, and feedback, including automated feedback and any peer feedback. Students can submit their draft at any time to receive immediate scores and feedback. For each draft, students receive an overall writing quality score; writing characteristic-specific evaluation and feedback related to development of ideas, organization, style, language, sentence structure, and conventions; in-line spelling and grammar feedback; and lesson suggestions. 

Writing Feedback

To supplement Utah Compose's automated scores and feedback, Utah Compose includes integrated teacher feedback and communication tools. With these tools teachers can:

  • Add comments and suggestions within the body of a student's essay
  • Add scores and feedback regarding the essay's textual evidence and content accuracy 
  • Post messages for the student

Teachers can use Utah Compose to facilitate student peer review. When peer review is enabled, students can request and provide peer feedback. Peer review provides an additional source of timely, individualized feedback, while helping students learn from one another how to identify and produce quality writing. 

Writing Lessons

Utah Compose includes interactive lessons to help student learn about and practice a variety of writing skills. 

Writing Reports

Utah Compose offers usage and performance reports to help students, teachers, and school administrators set goals, track progress, and identify areas of strength and those needing improvement. 

Writing Accessibility and Differentiation

Utah Compose's accessibility resources include adaptable font size, background color, and highlighting. To support differentiation, Utah Compose allows teachers to recommend prompts to individual or groups of students, provide personalized feedback, and adjust the scoring level as needed. 

Evidence to Inform Use

Utah Compose is supported by an extensive research base. Researchers have examined (1) the efficacy of automated scoring and feedback in improving writing outcomes, (2) the accuracy of automated scoring as a screener for at-risk writers, (3) effects of AWE in naturalistic implementation contexts, and (4) best practices in AWE implementation to improve writing instruction.