(Bracher/Nix 1992)


This essay demonstrates higher order thinking skills in content, organization, word choice, and sentence style; it exhibits sustained excellence of expression and is relatively error free.

1. not perfect, but contains a controlling idea that is thoughtful and developed imaginatively and fully
2. paragraphs sustain organization and advanced development
3. shows maturity or sophistication of technique at both phrase and sentence levels
4. demonstrates evidence of an individual voice or style
5. gives clear and complete supporting details
6. has convincing, clear sense of evidence
7. uses word choice that is clear, precise, and vivid
8. uses correct grammar mechanics and usage
9. uses logical ordering and subordination of ideas in paragraphs and essay as a whole
10.adheres closely to topic according to the prompt

This essay shows less stylistic sophistication and contains occasional lapses in diction, syntax, organization and meaning.
1. reflects accurate understanding of the passage and its logic
2. establishes a clear position on one or more of the issues raised by the passage
3. presents a coherent argument
4. contains some awkward or technically flawed sentences, but shows maturity of economy or sophistication of phrasing
5. shows creative and original ideas
6. contains sufficient supporting details
7. has some sense of audience
8. contains some sentence variety
9. exhibits some personal style
10. contains few minor errors in grammar mechanics, and usage

This essay is adequately written, but displays little stylistic or rhetorical maturity.
1. fails, in spite of some coherent paragraphs, to sustain any controlling idea or purpose
2. exhibits superficiality of thought
3. has breakdowns in usage, diction, spelling, and mechanics
4. vaguely establishes a main idea
5. contains little or poor supporting details
6. has little sense of audience
7. contains some attempt at sentence variety 8. has ordinary word choices
9. contains major and minor errors in grammar mechanics, and usage
10. contains little creativity and originality

This essay is poorly written, showing little control over diction, syntax, or organization.
1. fails to establish an issue
2. states a position without developing it further
3. merely paraphrases the passage, demonstrating little understanding
4. has limited sense of audience
5. is inappropriate for audience
6. contains little use of transition and does not flow smoothly
7. includes paragraphs that lack logical sequencing and coherence 8. contains limited sentence variety
9. contains word choice that is redundant and limited
10. consistent major and minor errors in grammar, usage and mechanics

This score will be used of off-topic responses, essays that are unacceptably brief, or essays that are very poorly written.
1. complete lack of controlling ideas and persistent incoherence
2. superficial and unimaginative ideas
3. no attempt to use the paragraph as a unit of thought
4. absence of logical transitions
5. persistent breakdown in sentence structure, grammar, usage, and mechanics
6. contains repetition of words or ideas with little development
7. contains few or no supporting details
8. has no sense of audience or purpose
9. does not adhere to topic according to the writing prompt
10. contains limited sentence variety