Writing

View or print the set of Writing Standards on two 8-1/2 x 11 pages (PDF).

  Score Range
3*–4
Score Range
5–6
Score Range
7–8
Score Range
9–10
Score Range
11–12
Expressing Judgments

Show a little understanding of the persuasive purpose of the task but neglect to take or to maintain a position on the issue in the prompt

Show limited recognition of the complexity of the issue in the prompt

Show a basic understanding of the persuasive purpose of the task by taking a position on the issue in the prompt but may not maintain that position

Show a little recognition of the complexity of the issue in the prompt by acknowledging, but only briefly describing, a counterargument to the writer's position

Show understanding of the persuasive purpose of the task by taking a position on the issue in the prompt

Show some recognition of the complexity of the issue in the prompt by

  • acknowledging counterarguments to the writer's position
  • providing some response to counter-arguments to the writer's position

Show clear understanding of the persuasive purpose of the task by taking a position on the specific issue in the prompt and offering a broad context for discussion

Show recognition of the complexity of the issue in the prompt by

  • partially evaluating implications and/or complications of the issue, and/or
  • posing and partially responding to counter-arguments to the writer's position

Show clear understanding of the persuasive purpose of the task by taking a position on the specific issue in the prompt and offering a critical context for discussion

Show understanding of the complexity of the issue in the prompt by

  • examining different perspectives, and/or
  • evaluating implications or complications of the issue, and/or
  • posing and fully discussing counter-arguments to the writer's position
Focusing on the Topic Maintain a focus on the general topic in the prompt through most of the essay Maintain a focus on the general topic in the prompt throughout the essay

Maintain a focus on the general topic in the prompt throughout the essay and attempt a focus on the specific issue in the prompt

Present a thesis that establishes focus on the topic

Maintain a focus on discussion of the specific topic and issue in the prompt throughout the essay

Present a thesis that establishes a focus on the writer's position on the issue

Maintain a clear focus on discussion of the specific topic and issue in the prompt throughout the essay

Present a critical thesis that clearly establishes the focus on the writer's position on the issue

  Score Range
3*–4
Score Range
5–6
Score Range
7–8
Score Range
9–10
Score Range
11–12
Developing a Position

Offer a little development, with one or two ideas; if examples are given, they are general and may not be clearly relevant; resort often to merely repeating ideas

Show little or no movement between general and specific ideas and examples

Offer limited development of ideas using a few general examples; resort sometimes to merely repeating ideas

Show little movement between general and specific ideas and examples

Develop ideas by using some specific reasons, details, and examples

Show some movement between general and specific ideas and examples

Develop most ideas fully, using some specific and relevant reasons, details, and examples

Show clear movement between general and specific ideas and examples

Develop several ideas fully, using specific and relevant reasons, details, and examples

Show effective movement between general and specific ideas and examples

Organizing Ideas

Provide a discernible organization with some logical grouping of ideas in parts of the essay

Use a few simple and obvious transitions

Present a discernible, though minimally developed, introduction and conclusion

Provide a simple organization with logical grouping of ideas in parts of the essay

Use some simple and obvious transitional words, though they may at times be inappropriate or misleading

Present a discernible, though underdeveloped, introduction and conclusion

Provide an adequate but simple organization with logical grouping of ideas in parts of the essay but with little evidence of logical progression of ideas

Use some simple and obvious, but appropriate, transitional words and phrases

Present a discernible introduction and conclusion with a little development

Provide unity and coherence throughout the essay, sometimes with a logical progression of ideas

Use relevant, though at times simple and obvious, transitional words and phrases to convey logical relationships between ideas

Present a somewhat developed introduction and conclusion

Provide unity and coherence throughout the essay, often with a logical progression of ideas

Use relevant transitional words, phrases, and sentences to convey logical relationships between ideas

Present a well-developed introduction and conclusion

  Score Range
3*–4
Score Range
5–6
Score Range
7–8
Score Range
9–10
Score Range
11–12
Using Language

Show limited control of language by

  • correctly employing some of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, and mechanics, but with distracting errors that sometimes significantly impede understanding
  • using simple vocabulary
  • using simple sentence structure

Show a basic control of language by

  • correctly employing some of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, and mechanics, but with distracting errors that sometimes impede understanding
  • using simple but appropriate vocabulary
  • using a little sentence variety, though most sentences are simple in structure

Show adequate use of language to communicate by

  • correctly employing many of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, and mechanics, but with some distracting errors that may occasionally impede understanding
  • using appropriate vocabulary
  • using some varied kinds of sentence structures to vary pace

Show competent use of language to communicate ideas by

  • correctly employing most conventions of standard English grammar, usage, and mechanics, with a few distracting errors but none that impede understanding
  • using some precise and varied vocabulary
  • using several kinds of sentence structures to vary pace and to support meaning

Show effective use of language to clearly communicate ideas by

  • correctly employing most conventions of standard English grammar, usage, and mechanics, with just a few, if any, errors
  • using precise and varied vocabulary
  • using a variety of kinds of sentence structures to vary pace and to support meaning
Ideas for Progress
Score Range
1–2
Ideas for Progress
Score Range
3–4
Ideas for Progress
Score Range
5–6
Ideas for Progress
Score Range
7–8
Ideas for Progress
Score Range
9–10
 

* Scores below 3 do not permit useful generalizations about students' writing abilities.