Writing Assessment: Scoring Criteria
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Essay Scoring Rubric
Your Writing Assessment essay will be scored based on the rubric in your DRWA Doctoral Writing Assessment classroom focusing on:
- Central idea of essay is clear, related to the prompt, and developed
- Paraphrase and analysis of reading material supports the overall argument
- Organization of ideas uses a logical structure, clear paragraphs, and appropriate transitions
- Grammar and mechanics effectively communicates meaning
To view the scoring criteria for each rubric category, visit the DRWA Doctoral Writing Assessment: Essay Score module in your DRWA classroom.
To test out of the required Graduate Writing I and Graduate Writing II courses, you must show mastery of the writing skills represented in the rubric in your DRWA Doctoral Writing Assessment classroom.
If you are required to take Graduate Writing I and/or Graduate Writing II based on your assessment score, you can learn more about the learning outcomes of these courses below.
Graduate Writing I Learning Outcomes
Graduate writing ii learning outcomes, top 3 scoring criteria faqs, who will review and score my essay, what does my score for my doctoral writing assessment essay mean, when will i learn my essay score for the doctoral writing assessment.
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English Composition 1
Evaluation and grading criteria for essays.
IVCC's online Style Book presents the Grading Criteria for Writing Assignments .
This page explains some of the major aspects of an essay that are given special attention when the essay is evaluated.
Thesis and Thesis Statement
Probably the most important sentence in an essay is the thesis statement, which is a sentence that conveys the thesisthe main point and purpose of the essay. The thesis is what gives an essay a purpose and a point, and, in a well-focused essay, every part of the essay helps the writer develop and support the thesis in some way.
The thesis should be stated in your introduction as one complete sentence that
- identifies the topic of the essay,
- states the main points developed in the essay,
- clarifies how all of the main points are logically related, and
- conveys the purpose of the essay.
In high school, students often are told to begin an introduction with a thesis statement and then to follow this statement with a series of sentences, each sentence presenting one of the main points or claims of the essay. While this approach probably helps students organize their essays, spreading a thesis statement over several sentences in the introduction usually is not effective. For one thing, it can lead to an essay that develops several points but does not make meaningful or clear connections among the different ideas.
If you can state all of your main points logically in just one sentence, then all of those points should come together logically in just one essay. When I evaluate an essay, I look specifically for a one-sentence statement of the thesis in the introduction that, again, identifies the topic of the essay, states all of the main points, clarifies how those points are logically related, and conveys the purpose of the essay.
If you are used to using the high school model to present the thesis of an essay, you might wonder what you should do with the rest of your introduction once you start presenting a one-sentence statement of your thesis. Well, an introduction should do two important things: (1) present the thesis statement, and (2) get readers interested in the subject of the essay.
Instead of outlining each stage of an essay with separate sentences in the introduction, you could draw readers into your essay by appealing to their interests at the very beginning of your essay. Why should what you discuss in your essay be important to readers? Why should they care? Answering these questions might help you discover a way to draw readers into your essay effectively. Once you appeal to the interests of your readers, you should then present a clear and focused thesis statement. (And thesis statements most often appear at the ends of introductions, not at the beginnings.)
Coming up with a thesis statement during the early stages of the writing process is difficult. You might instead begin by deciding on three or four related claims or ideas that you think you could prove in your essay. Think in terms of paragraphs: choose claims that you think could be supported and developed well in one body paragraph each. Once you have decided on the three or four main claims and how they are logically related, you can bring them together into a one-sentence thesis statement.
All of the topic sentences in a short paper, when "added" together, should give us the thesis statement for the entire paper. Do the addition for your own papers, and see if you come up with the following:
Topic Sentence 1 + Topic Sentence 2 + Topic Sentence 3 = Thesis Statement
Effective expository papers generally are well organized and unified, in part because of fairly rigid guidelines that writers follow and that you should try to follow in your papers.
Each body paragraph of your paper should begin with a topic sentence, a statement of the main point of the paragraph. Just as a thesis statement conveys the main point of an entire essay, a topic sentence conveys the main point of a single body paragraph. As illustrated above, a clear and logical relationship should exist between the topic sentences of a paper and the thesis statement.
If the purpose of a paragraph is to persuade readers, the topic sentence should present a claim, or something that you can prove with specific evidence. If you begin a body paragraph with a claim, a point to prove, then you know exactly what you will do in the rest of the paragraph: prove the claim. You also know when to end the paragraph: when you think you have convinced readers that your claim is valid and well supported.
If you begin a body paragraph with a fact, though, something that it true by definition, then you have nothing to prove from the beginning of the paragraph, possibly causing you to wander from point to point in the paragraph. The claim at the beginning of a body paragraph is very important: it gives you a point to prove, helping you unify the paragraph and helping you decide when to end one paragraph and begin another.
The length and number of body paragraphs in an essay is another thing to consider. In general, each body paragraph should be at least half of a page long (for a double-spaced essay), and most expository essays have at least three body paragraph each (for a total of at least five paragraphs, including the introduction and conclusion.)
Support and Development of Ideas
The main difference between a convincing, insightful interpretation or argument and a weak interpretation or argument often is the amount of evidence than the writer uses. "Evidence" refers to specific facts.
Remember this fact: your interpretation or argument will be weak unless it is well supported with specific evidence. This means that, for every claim you present, you need to support it with at least several different pieces of specific evidence. Often, students will present potentially insightful comments, but the comments are not supported or developed with specific evidence. When you come up with an insightful idea, you are most likely basing that idea on some specific facts. To present your interpretation or argument well, you need to state your interpretation and then explain the facts that have led you to this conclusion.
Effective organization is also important here. If you begin each body paragraph with a claim, and if you then stay focused on supporting that claim with several pieces of evidence, you should have a well-supported and well-developed interpretation.
As stated above, each body paragraph generally should be at least half of a page long, so, if you find that your body paragraphs are shorter than this, then you might not be developing your ideas in much depth. Often, when a student has trouble reaching the required minimum length for an essay, the problem is the lack of sufficient supporting evidence.
In an interpretation or argument, you are trying to explain and prove something about your subject, so you need to use plenty of specific evidence as support. A good approach to supporting an interpretation or argument is dividing your interpretation or argument into a few significant and related claims and then supporting each claim thoroughly in one body paragraph.
Insight into Subject
Sometimes a student will write a well-organized essay, but the essay does not shed much light on the subject. At the same time, I am often amazed at the insightful interpretations and arguments that students come up with. Every semester, students interpret aspects of texts or present arguments that I had never considered.
If you are writing an interpretation, you should reread the text or study your subject thoroughly, doing your best to notice something new each time you examine it. As you come up with a possible interpretation to develop in an essay, you should re-examine your subject with that interpretation in mind, marking passages (if your subject is a literary text) and taking plenty of notes on your subject. Studying your subject in this way will make it easier for you to find supporting evidence for your interpretation as you write your essay.
The insightfulness of an essay often is directly related to the organization and the support and development of the ideas in the essay. If you have well-developed body paragraphs focused on one specific point each, then it is likely that you are going into depth with the ideas you present and are offering an insightful interpretation.
If you organize your essay well, and if you use plenty of specific evidence to support your thesis and the individual claims that comprise that thesis, then there is a good possibility that your essay will be insightful.
Clarity is always important: if your writing is not clear, your meaning will not reach readers the way you would like it to. According to IVCC's Grading Criteria for Writing Assignments , "A," "B," and "C" essays are clear throughout, meaning that problems with clarity can have a substantial effect on the grade of an essay.
If any parts of your essay or any sentences seem just a little unclear to you, you can bet that they will be unclear to readers. Review your essay carefully and change any parts of the essay that could cause confusion for readers. Also, take special note of any passages that your peer critiquers feel are not very clear.
"Style" refers to the kinds of words and sentences that you use, but there are many aspects of style to consider. Aspects of style include conciseness, variety of sentence structure, consistent verb tense, avoidance of the passive voice, and attention to the connotative meanings of words.
Several of the course web pages provide information relevant to style, including the following pages:
- "Words, Words, Words"
- Using Specific and Concrete Diction
- Integrating Quotations into Sentences
- Formal Writing Voice
William Strunk, Jr.'s, The Elements of Style is a classic text on style that is now available online.
Given the subject, purpose, and audience for each essay in this course, you should use a formal writing voice . This means that you should avoid use of the first person ("I," "me," "we," etc.), the use of contractions ("can't," "won't," etc.), and the use of slang or other informal language. A formal writing voice will make you sound more convincing and more authoritative.
If you use quotations in a paper, integrating those quotations smoothly, logically, and grammatically into your own sentences is important, so make sure that you are familiar with the information on the Integrating Quotations into Sentences page.
"Mechanics" refers to the correctness of a paper: complete sentences, correct punctuation, accurate word choice, etc. All of your papers for the course should be free or almost free from errors. Proofread carefully, and consider any constructive comments you receive during peer critiques that relate to the "mechanics" of your writing.
You might use the grammar checker if your word-processing program has one, but grammar checkers are correct only about half of the time. A grammar checker, though, could help you identify parts of the essay that might include errors. You will then need to decide for yourself if the grammar checker is right or wrong.
The elimination of errors from your writing is important. In fact, according to IVCC's Grading Criteria for Writing Assignments , "A," "B," and "C" essays contain almost no errors. Significant or numerous errors are a characteristic of a "D" or "F" essay.
Again, the specific errors listed in the second table above are explained on the Identifying and Eliminating Common Errors in Writing web page.
You should have a good understanding of what errors to look out for based on the feedback you receive on graded papers, and I would be happy to answer any questions you might have about possible errors or about any other aspects of your essay. You just need to ask!
Copyright Randy Rambo , 2021.
== CONTENT OF THE ESSAY ==
==  ideas ==, ==  organization ==, ==  vocabulary ==, ==  voice ==, == mechanics of the essay ==, ==  grammar and usage ==, ==  punctuation, capitialization, abbreviations, numbers ==, == spelling == excellent: essays worked on out of class are free of spelling errors while in-class essays may have two or three at the most. average: several spelling errors in difficult words and a few violations of basic spelling rules. poor: there are so many spelling errors or typos that comprehension is difficult. == typing, handwriting, neatness ==.
Criteria of a Perfect Essay
How to Write a Perfect Essay
Writing needs to have a goal and a purpose because, without one, an article may not appeal to the readers. Readers need to look forward to the next paragraph. From the criteria above, some simple and seemingly irrelevant factors like punctuation and the choice of voice must also be taken seriously.
In conclusion, writing perfect essays takes time and you need to have a plan in place. The ideas to be included in an article should be well-researched and have enough substance to develop or build the thesis statement. The points provided above are not necessarily all you need to write a perfect essay, but they can help you comprehend what a perfect essay entails and warrants. Finally, it is important to note that being a good writer does not necessarily mean you can write your essay like an expert from WriteMyPaperHub paper writing service. Simply adhere to the above criteria and maintain a keen eye to details and you might surprise yourself.
About The Author
JRMSU – ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITIES OF ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
ESSAY WRITING COMPETITION Mechanics and Rules
- The Board of judges shall provide topic of the essay at the venue of the competition.
- The contestants shall be given two (2) hours to develop the composition.
- The contestants shall be provided with a pen and a long bondpaper marked with the assigned number duly signed by the contest master. They are prohibited to write their names and the University they are representing.
- No printed materials, electronic gadgets, or storage devices shall be utilized.
- The contestants are prohibited to wear their university uniform or any symbol/s (e.g. ID lanyard) that mark distinction of their respective university.
- Each contestant shall be assigned a number.
- The result of the contest shall be posted on the tally board immediately after the judges have finished rating the contestants’ manuscripts.
- The judges’ decision is final.
CRITERIA FOR JUDGING
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*Adapted from PASUC Guidelines and modified by the host university.
- University of Pennsylvania
- School of Arts and Sciences
- Penn Calendar
Evaluation Criteria for Formal Essays
Please note that these four categories are interdependent. For example, if your evidence is weak, this will almost certainly affect the quality of your argument and organization. Likewise, if you have difficulty with syntax, it is to be expected that your transitions will suffer. In revision, therefore, take a holistic approach to improving your essay, rather than focussing exclusively on one aspect.
An excellent paper:
Argument: The paper knows what it wants to say and why it wants to say it. It goes beyond pointing out comparisons to using them to change the reader?s vision. Organization: Every paragraph supports the main argument in a coherent way, and clear transitions point out why each new paragraph follows the previous one. Evidence: Concrete examples from texts support general points about how those texts work. The paper provides the source and significance of each piece of evidence. Mechanics: The paper uses correct spelling and punctuation. In short, it generally exhibits a good command of academic prose.
A mediocre paper:
Argument: The paper replaces an argument with a topic, giving a series of related observations without suggesting a logic for their presentation or a reason for presenting them. Organization: The observations of the paper are listed rather than organized. Often, this is a symptom of a problem in argument, as the framing of the paper has not provided a path for evidence to follow. Evidence: The paper offers very little concrete evidence, instead relying on plot summary or generalities to talk about a text. If concrete evidence is present, its origin or significance is not clear. Mechanics: The paper contains frequent errors in syntax, agreement, pronoun reference, and/or punctuation.
An appallingly bad paper:
Argument: The paper lacks even a consistent topic, providing a series of largely unrelated observations. Organization: The observations are listed rather than organized, and some of them do not appear to belong in the paper at all. Both paper and paragraphs lack coherence. Evidence: The paper offers no concrete evidence from the texts or misuses a little evidence. Mechanics: The paper contains constant and glaring errors in syntax, agreement, reference, spelling, and/or punctuation.
CRITERIA FOR GRADING 101 ESSAYS
- You did not provide a thesis.
- You assumed a thesis but did not state it. Or you stated a thesis, but the thesis was vague or too broad. =
- You provided an adequate thesis.
- You provided an outstanding thesis that vividly sets up your description.
- You had neither topic sentences nor logical development.
- Your topic sentences were week.
- You had topic sentences, but they were not logical.
- You had logical development, but you did not provide topic sentences.
- You had topic sentences, but they did not support your thesis.
- You had topic sentences, but they were too broad.
- You had both topic sentences and logical development. These provide a competent but uninspired framework for your description.
- You had excellent topic sentences and logical development.
- a. You provide no details.
- b. You provide details in an apparently random order.
- a. You provide some details, but they are too general and vague.
- b. You provide some details, but too many do not belong where you place them.
- 3. You provide details in the proper places and provide a general picture of what you are describing.
- 4. Your details invoke a clear image of what you are describing.
- WRITING THE ESSAY
- 1. Your essay lacks coherence and cohesion. Transitions are ineffective. The paragraphs read like a list, with no connection between the sentences
- 2. The paragraphs have a general focus, but some sentences are unrelated. Coherence, cohesion, and transitions need work.
- 3. Paragraphs are generally well developed with fewer than three problems of focus, unity, or coherence. Transitions may be a bit forced.
- 4. Paragraphs are focused, unified, and coherent. Transitions are logical and effective.
- 1. You exceeded the maximum allowable number of serious grammatical mistakes (15 for this essay), automatically dropping your grade to an "F."
- 2. You had 10-15 grammatical errors, making the highest grade you can receive on this essay a "D."
- 3. You had 5-9 errors.
- 4. You had 1-4 errors.
- 1. You selected a topic that offers no potential for insight into your life or character.
- a. You selected a topic that is so common that it offers little insight into your unique personality.
- b. You selected a topic that you have no emotional distance from; therefore, you were unable to handle it effectively.
- 3. You selected a topic that is generally acceptable.
- 4. You selected an outstanding and interesting topic.
- a. The parameters for your essay were far too broad, leading you to skim over the events of the story. You tried to tell too much.
- b. You did not include events crucial to the understanding of the event.
- a. Your parameters were too broad, reducing the amount you could focus on the events.
- b. You left out elements of the story that would have helped the understanding of the event.
- 3. You used adequate narrative techniques.
- 4. You excellently used narrative techniques such as flashback, flashforward, etc.
- a. You provide no detail or dialogue.
- b. You provide details in an apparently random order
- 3. You provide detail and dialogue in the proper places and provide a general picture of what you are describing.
- 4. Your detail and dialogue invoke a clear image of what you are describing.
E. GRAMMAR (Same as before except for the number of mistakes permitted)
1. 12+ errors. 2. 9-11 errors. 3. 4-7 errors. 4. 1-3 errors.
- You did not provide a proposal.
- a. You assumed a proposal but did not state it.
- b. You stated a proposal, but it was vague or too broad.
- c. You stated a general solution, but did not provide your audience with a specific action to take.
- d. You provided an audience with a proposal, but there is some question whether your audience an act on it.
- e. If the audience followed your recommendation, it would not have the desired effect.
- You provided an adequate proposal.
- You provided an outstanding proposal will probably bring about the change you desire.
- You did not address an audience.
- a. Your audience was too broad (for example, you addressed the "readers of Time).
- b. You started with one audience, but switched to another one.
- Your audience was fairly well defined.
- Your audience was well defined and you did an excellent job of addressing it.
- a. You had topic sentences, but they were not logical.
- b. You had logical development, but you did not provide topic sentences.
- c. You had topic sentences, but they did not support your thesis.
- d. You had topic sentences that did not address the self-interest of your audience.
- You had both topic sentences and logical development. These provide a competent but uninspired framework for your argument.
- a. You provide no support
- b. You provide support in an apparently random order.
- a. You provide some support, but they are too general and vague.
- b. You provide some support, but too many do not belong where you place them.
- c. Your support is of the "crank" variety; i.e., it is unreflective and uninformed and simply reflects popular stereotypes on the subject rather than careful research.
- You provide support in the proper places and give a basic case for your argument.
- Your support is clear and provides a forceful case for your argument.
- Your essay lacks coherence and cohesion. Transitions are ineffective. The paragraphs read like a list, with no connection between the sentences
- The paragraphs have a general focus, but some sentences are unrelated. Coherence, cohesion, and transitions need work.
- Paragraphs are generally well developed with fewer than three problems of focus, unity, or coherence. Transitions may be a bit forced.
- Paragraphs are focused, unified, and coherent. Transitions are logical and effective.
- 10+ errors.
- 4-8 errors.
- 1-3 errors.
How to Write an Evaluation Essay
Evaluation essay writing guide.
The main purpose of writing an evaluation essay is to present an overall view of the quality of a particular item, service, or business. It is natural for this type of essay to feature some element of the writer’s opinion, but when done correctly an it should not come across as opinionated.
When learning how to write this type of paper one of the most important skills to master is producing an evaluation that is unbiased and reasoned. Let’s look at some of the steps to complete the task.
Steps for Writing an Evaluation Essay
We’ve put together a brief outline of some of the most important steps to help with producing a well-structured paper.
- Choose your topic. As with any essay, this is one of the first steps . It may be the case that you are allocated a topic by your professor, but if not then we would advise choosing a subject that you are already familiar with. You are going to need to take an in depth look at the subject in order to make a judgement on its value, so it makes sense to choose something you already have some knowledge about.
- Write a thesis statement. This is a key element of your essay as it sets out the overall purpose of the evaluation. In the thesis you should state the criteria being used to judge the item and state the value of the item . As with any essay, your statement must be apparent and to the point. You may find that you need to revise it slightly along the way as your essay takes shape.
- Determine the criteria used to assess the product. Choose several different benchmarks in order to make your writing interesting. The criteria you choose will vary depending on what you are evaluating. For example, a software program would be judged using very different benchmarks than a clothing brand.
- Look for supporting evidence. It is important to remember that an essay is not just your opinion. You will need to look for supporting clues from credible sources for each judgement that you make.
- Draft your essay. Produce a first draft of your essay. At this stage the best course of action is to just write. Once you have something down on paper it is much easier to restructure it and flesh out areas that are not as strong as others.
- Review, revise & rewrite. Once you have completed a first draft you must read over your work and make any necessary changes. You should be prepared to rewrite your essay a couple of times to get it just right.
A Closer Look at Criteria, Judgements & Evidence
At the core of every evaluation essay there are three important elements – criteria, judgements and evidence. Let’s explore these elements in more detail.
Criteria The criteria that you choose should establish what the ideal is for the product, service or brand that you are evaluating. They will help to demonstrate what should be expected as an ideal example of what should be expected. Think about the best possible example of a product of service of the same type. What would be their best characteristics? For example, for a hotel you would expect great accomodations, cleanliness, value for money and excellent service. Once you have those benckmarks in place they can be used to evaluate any hotel.
Judgement The judgement aspect is where you establish whether or not the benchmarks have been met. Sticking with our hotel example, you might start with judging whether or not the hotel meets the benchmark of having great accomodations. Does it meet, or exceed the quality you expect? Or does it fall short? You can then proceed with the other criteria.
Evidence Remember that you must provide clues to advocate your judgements. In our hotel example, if you make the judgement that the quality of food does not meet expectations, then you should be prepared to provide evidence to support why this conclusion has been drawn.
When structuring your essay, it is usual for each paragraph to deal with a different criterion. In that paragraph you should fully explain the criterion, make the relevant judgements and offer supporting proofs.
Evaluation Essay VS Review
One of the most common mistakes that students make with the mentioned type of paper is that they assume an evaluation is the same as writing a review. Although the two types of paper do have some similarities, there are also a number of differences that set them apart. The table below highlights some of those differences.
Tips for Writing a Great Evaluation Essay
Here are a few additional tips that will help you to produce a great evaluation essay that people will enjoy reading:
- Give the Right Amount of Detail – Give plenty of detail regarding how you came to the conclusions that you did. Use supporting proofs and relevant examples to illustrate points if appropriate.
- Make Sure What You are Evaluating is Precise – An effective introduction should clearly lay out what you are going to be evaluating and the criteria you are using to do so.
- Help Readers to Agree with Your Opinion – If your evaluation is not prejudiced, then readers should agree with your conclusions and judgements. Offer enough information and evidence to make this easier for them.
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Essay Scoring Rubric · Central idea of essay is clear, related to the prompt, and developed · Paraphrase and analysis of reading material supports the overall
In general, each body paragraph should be at least half of a page long (for a double-spaced essay), and most expository essays have at least three body
No crucial points are overlooked, and there is no padding with irrelevant details. Whe required, effective and accurate documentation is evident, with no
Criteria of a Perfect Essay · Ensure you have a thesis and thesis statement. · Have a well-structured essay. · Provide evidence for your arguments.
Focus the reader's attention on the subject of the essay in a thorough paragraph of thought-provoking sentences leading effectively into the thesis statement.
ESSAY WRITING COMPETITION ; Relevance to the theme – connection, significance of the issue being discussed ; Comprehensiveness – how complete and detailed the
Organization: Every paragraph supports the main argument in a coherent way, and clear transitions point out why each new paragraph follows the previous one.
Good to Adequate: Thesis is clear but supporting information is general. A reasonable command of subject matter. A capacity for independent thought, though not
NARRATIVE ESSAY · 1. You selected a topic that offers no potential for insight into your life or character. · 2. a. You selected a topic that is so common that it
Write a thesis statement. This is a key element of your essay as it sets out the overall purpose of the evaluation. In the thesis you should state the criteria