Essay Guidelines

The upper range papers satisfy all the following criteria:
A. Each paper has a clear statement of the writer’s position.
B. Each paper clearly states the issue on which the position is held.
C. Each paper includes logical reasons for that position.
D. Each paper includes persuasive reasons for that position:

          Each persuasive point is supported with specific arguments, examples, or details.
          Each persuasive point is clearly related to the paper’s position.

E. Diction and tone are appropriate to audience.
F. Syntax and organization are clear, logical, and appropriate.
These papers will display good mechanical and grammatical control.

This score should be used for papers which fulfill the basic requirements for the 6 grade (meeting all criteria) but are thinner.

Middle range papers omit or are deficient in ONE of the criteria:
A. The statement of the writer’s position is less clear.
B. The issue on which the writer holds that position is less clear.
C. The reasons for that position are less logical.
D. The reasons for that position are less persuasive, possibly less specific and/or less clearly tied to the position.
E. The tone and diction are inappropriate for a polished essay.
F. The organization is loose or strained.
These essays might also contain noticeable errors in grammar and mechanics.

This grade should be used for papers which fulfill the requirements for a 4 but are weaker.

Lower range papers are deficient in two or more of the criteria.

This grade should be reserved for on-topic responses which have almost no redeeming qualities.

Response papers will be evaluated on the quality of writing that we have come to associate with the appropriate school level.