Ideas and Content
This paper is clear, focused, and interesting. It
holds the reader's attention. Relevant anecdotes and details enrich the
central theme or story.
The paper is clear and focused, even though the overall
result may not be captivating. Support is attempted, but it may be limited,
insubstantial, too general, or out of balance.
The paper lacks a central idea or purpose, or forces
the reader to make inferences based on very sketchy details.|
The organization enhances and showcases the central
idea or theme. The order, structure, or presentation is compelling and moves
the reader through the text.
The reader can readily follow what's being said, but
the overall organization may sometimes be ineffective or too obvious.
Organization is haphazard and disjointed. The writing
lacks direction, with ideas, details, or events strung together helter skelter.|
The writer speaks directly to the reader in a way
that is individualistic, expressive, and engaging. Clearly, the writer is
involved in the text and is writing to be read.
The writer seems sincere but not fully involved in
the topic. The result is pleasant, acceptable, sometimes even personable,
but not compelling.
The writer seems wholly indifferent, uninvolved, or
dispassionate. As a result, the writing is flat, lifeless, stiff, or mechanical.
It may be (depending on the topic) overly technical or jargonistic.|
Words convey the intended message in an interesting,
precise, and natural way. The writing is full and rich, yet concise.
The language is quite ordinary, but it does convey
the message. It's functional, even if it lacks punch. Often, the writer
settles for what's easy or handy, producing a sort of "generic paper"
stuffed with familiar words and phrases.
The writer struggles with a limited vocabulary, groping
for words to convey meaning. Often the language is so vague and abstract
or so redundant and devoid of detail that only the broadest, most general
sort of message comes through.|
The writing has an easy flow and rhythm when read
aloud. Sentences are well built, with consistently strong and varied structure
that makes expressive oral reading easy and enjoyable.
Sentences tend to be mechanical rather than fluid.
The text hums along efficiently for the most part, though it may lack a
certain rhythm or grace, tending to be more pleasant than musical. Occasional
awkward constructions force the reader to slow down or reread.
The paper is difficult to follow or to read aloud.
Sentences tend to be choppy, incomplete, rambling, irregular, or just very
The writer demonstrates a good grasp of standard writing
conventions (e.g., grammar, capitalization, punctuation, usage, spelling,
paragraphing) and uses them effectively to enhance readability. Errors tend
to be so few and so minor that the reader can easily skim right over them
unless specifically searching for them.
Errors in writing conventions, while not overwhelming,
begin to impair readability. While errors do not block meaning, they tend
to be distracting.
Numerous errors in usage, sentence structure, spelling,
or punctuation repeatedly distract the reader and make the text difficult
to read. In fact, the severity and the frequency of errors tend to be so
overwhelming that the reader finds it very difficult to focus on the message
and must reread for meaning.|