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Grading Standards

A-level Writing

· Demonstrates the writer's ability to perform skillfully in a given rhetorical situation.

· Demonstrates the writer's ability to adroitly handle the given task in a manner appropriate for a given forum.

· Reflects the successful nature of the writer's process, including drafting, reflecting on drafts, soliciting responses from other writers, making both global and local revisions, editing, and proofreading.

· Is consistently appropriate for its intended audience.

· Demonstrates the freshness of the writer's ideas, strategies, perspective or expression.

· Demonstrates that the writer is usually able to bridge knowledge or opinion gaps between writer and reader and effectively create a context for the writing.

· Shows evidence of a quality of thought that is generally ambitious and mature.

· Demonstrates that the writer is able to present ideas clearly and effectively, and is generally able to provide support and discuss warrants for his/her claims in a manner that reflects the complexity of issues and yet still takes a plausible position.

· Demonstrates that the writer is able to describe phenomena or events clearly and effectively, and is able to analyze and interpret their possible meanings, going beyond the obvious.

· Demonstrates the writer's keen eye for detail, and is characterized by an effective texture of general and specific ideas or by such compelling specific ideas or accounts that generalizations are implicit.

· Often suggests through allusions, interpretive strategies, and stylistic sophistication that the author reads or has read widely, not only materials assigned for courses but a variety of public texts: newspapers, magazines, and books.

· Demonstrates that the writer is able to incorporate ideas and insights gained from reading into his/her own texts, sometimes critically, sometimes generatively, sometimes as support or illustration of ideas.

· Demonstrates that the writer is able to draw upon personal experience and direct observations of the world and is able to connect these experiences and observations to readings or to new situations.

· Demonstrates that the writer is frequently able to use teacher and peer response generatively, moving beyond a single, narrow comment to revise other aspects of the paper or to initiate revisions on her or his own.

· Is marked by a range of sophisticated stylistic features appropriate to a given writing situation. These may include sentences of various types and lengths (especially cumulative and other subordinated structure); striking word choices that are appropriate to the situation of the paper; the effective use of metaphor and analogy, often extended; a distinctive voice; opening strategies which are creative and engaging, and conclusions that provide more than simple restatements of preceding ideas.

· Although not necessarily perfect, is virtually free of the kinds of errors that compromise the effectiveness of the piece, and has virtually no stigmatized errors.

B-Level Writing

· Generally suggests the writer's ability to perform skillfully in a given rhetorical situation.

· Demonstrates the writer's ability to successfully handle the given task in a manner appropriate for a given forum.

· Reflects the generally successful nature of the writer's process, including drafting, reflecting on drafts, soliciting responses from other writers, making both global and local revisions, editing, and proofreading.

· Is usually appropriate for the intended audience.

· May be less ambitious in the choice of topic or intended audience or less sophisticated in they way it addresses the readers than A-level writing.

· Demonstrates that the writer is generally able to bridge knowledge or opinion gaps between writer and reader and create a plausible context for the writing.

· Shows evidence of a quality of thought that is often ambitious and mature.

· Demonstrates that the writer is able to state ideas clearly and effectively, and is able to provide support and discuss ideas in a manner that frequently reflects the complexity of issues.

· Demonstrates that the writer is able to describe phenomena or events clearly and effectively, and is generally able to analyze and interpret their meaning.

· Is often characterized by an effective texture of general and specific ideas and often suggests, though allusions, interpretive strategies, and stylistic sophistication, that the author reads widely, not only materials assigned for courses but a variety of public texts: newspapers, magazines, and books.

· Demonstrates that the writer is able to incorporate ideas and insights from reading into his/her texts, sometimes critically, sometimes generatively, sometimes as support or illustration of ideas, although this is often done less fluently than in A-level writing.

· May occasionally display analogical or metaphorical thinking.

· Demonstrates that the writer is sometimes able to use teacher and peer response generatively, moving beyond a single, narrow comment to revise other aspects of the paper.

· Displays a variety of sophisticated stylistic features. These may include sentences of various types and lengths (perhaps including cumulative and other subordinated structures); word choices that are appropriate to the rhetorical situation of the paper; the occasional use of metaphor and analogy, though sometimes these features may not be fully controlled or appropriate; a distinctive voice, although this may be uneven; opening strategies which are creative and engaging, and conclusions that provide more than simple restatements of preceding ideas.

· Although not necessarily perfect, is virtually free of the kinds of errors that compromise the rhetorical effectiveness of the piece and has virtually no stigmatized errors.

C-level Writing

· Demonstrates the writer's ability to perform competently in a given rhetorical situation.

· Reflects the generally sound nature of the writer's process, including drafting, reflecting on drafts, soliciting responses from other writers, making both global and local revisions, editing, and proofreading.

· Adequately addresses the knowledge and attitudes of its intended audience.

· May be limited in context and occasion to the classroom situation itself.

· The writer may experience some difficulty in bridging knowledge or opinion gaps between writer and reader.

· Shows evidence of a quality of thought that is competent and sometimes compelling, though often standard or familiar. The writer able to state ideas clearly and effectively, and s/he is generally able to provide support and arguments, but the complexities of the issues involved may be suggested rather than fully treated--or perhaps dealt with little at all.

· Demonstrates the writer's ability to describe phenomena or events clearly and effectively and suggests s/he is able to analyze and interpret their meaning, although the interpretations may be obvious or sometimes perfunctory.

· Is often characterized by a texture of general and specific elements, but paraphrase and repetition may often take the place of development. Such writing may be developed more by partition or addition (e.g. "there are three kinds of X"), in the mode of the five paragraph theme, rather than by logical or organic development of a central idea.

· Demonstrates the author's ability to read course materials critically and analytically and to incorporate ideas from reading into the text.

· May offer some suggestion of the writer's facility with outside readings, but they may not be well-integrated into papers. They may be used in a cut and paste fashion rather than in a more organic one.

· May demonstrate that the writer is able to draw upon personal experience and observations of the world and connect these to readings or to new situations. However, the connections may not be fully integrated or explored.

· Contains revisions which are frequently tied narrowly to specific comments made by the teacher or peers; the writer is not clearly a self-starter when it comes to revision.

· Displays a reasonable range of stylistic features, although sentences tend to be of a fairly uniform type (usually SVC), and sentence length is mostly a function of coordination rather than subordination; there is infrequent use of metaphor and analogy; the voice of these papers is perhaps generic competent, but largely indistinct from other student prose; opening strategies may rely fairly directly on the assignment sheets or use some version of a funnel strategy, and conclusions tend to summarize the preceding ideas.

· Is virtually free of the kinds of errors that compromise the rhetorical effectiveness of the piece, and has few stigmatized errors, certainly no consistent pattern of stigmatized errors.

D-level Writing

· Suggests that the writer is unable to write competently in this particular rhetorical situation.

· Suggests that the writer frequently assumes less or more of his or her readers than is appropriate.

· Is usually limited to the assignment itself, in terms of context.

· Frequently shows evidence of a quality of thought that is stock or perfunctory. The writer provides only minimal support and does not connect that support clearly to arguments and information.

· Suggests that the writer may be able to describe phenomena or events clearly, but his or her interpretations may be obvious or perfunctory; and, while works may sometimes display a texture of general and specific elements, paraphrase and repetition often take the place of development.

· May be shorter than is needed to engage the task successfully.

· Suggests that the author had difficulty reading course materials critically and analytically. This may be evidenced by difficulty summarizing complex ideas or an ability to summarize, but an inability to respond critically or interpretively.

· May contain ideas from reading which are frequently not well-integrated into the text, being included in a cut and paste fashion rather than a more organic one.

· Suggests the writer's ability to make local revisions, but these may be infrequent or ineffective; that is, they do not substantially improve the paper from draft to draft. In fact, revisions may take the form primarily of proofreading or correcting only in response to teacher or peer comments.

· Displays a narrow range of stylistic features, resulting in sentences of a fairly uniform type and an overly predictable text at levels all the way from the sentence to paragraphs to openings and closings.

· Displays some of the kinds of errors that compromise the rhetorical effectiveness of the piece and may have some stigmatized errors, even a pattern of one such error.

F-level Writing

· Demonstrates that the writer is unable to write competently in this particular rhetorical situation.

· Is almost never appropriate to an audience that is knowledgeable on the topics and ideas addressed.

· Demonstrates that the writer assumes less or more of his or her readers than is appropriate, expecting readers to fill in all the gaps, to make all the connections, and automatically agree with the writer's perspective.

· Shows evidence of a quality of thought that is perfunctory, obvious, or unclear.

· May offer claims or ideas, but does not provide much support; the writer may be able to describe phenomena or events, but be unable to analyze or interpret them.

· Offers paraphrase and repetition rather than the development of ideas.

· Is shorter than is needed to engage the task successfully.

· Demonstrates that the author had difficulty reading course materials critically and analytically by providing evidence of considerable difficulty summarizing complex ideas and/or an inability to respond critically or interpretively.

· Contains ideas from reading that are placed into the text in a cut and paste fashion rather than a more organic one.

· Shows relatively little evidence of revision; what is there is frequently at the sentence level or narrowly in response to a teacher's or peer's comment, sometimes with little evidence of understanding.

· Displays the kinds of errors that compromise the rhetorical effectiveness of individual works and may well have patterns of stigmatized errors.