“Assess” is a transitive verb; it needs an object. You can assess your team’s chances of winning the bowl game, but you cannot assess that they are playing better than last year. “Assess” is not an all-purpose synonym of “judge” or “estimate.” Most of the time if you write “assess that” you are making a mistake. The errors arise when “that” is being used as a conjunction. Exceptions arise when “that” is a pronoun or adverb: “How do you assess that?” “I assess that team’s chances as good.”

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