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clear main point or thesis (controlling idea)
sufficient evidence (supporting details)
effective organization and transitions as needed
proper grammar and style (sentence skills), correct spelling and word usage, and appropriate vocabulary
correct documentation of sources (according to MLA)
thoroughness in analyzing and following directions of assignment
A - Excellent
This essay presents a thesis or argument that controls and unifies detailed and accurate supporting evidence. The writer provides a clear paragraph organization to argue for the main point and chooses words and sentence structures which suit the topic and engage the audience. The essay has few or no grammatical or mechanical errors and may display creativity in style.
B - Superior
This essay has a clear thesis, well organized supporting evidence, and minimal errors in grammar or mechanics. The writer exhibits a good grasp of the subject, an awareness of audience, sufficient details, and appropriate vocabulary. The work reflects a thoughtful, though not exceptional, response to the assignment.
C - Satisfactory
This essay reflects an understanding of the subject, but may display weaknesses in thesis, evidence, or organization. The thesis may not be clearly stated and the evidence may relate to the topic but may not support an argument. The writing may include some mechanical or grammatical errors.
D - Poor
This paper exhibits little understanding of the subject or the text analyzed and presents no clear thesis. The writer may fail to follow the specified directions concerning length, appropriate organization, supporting evidence, or citations. The paper may have several errors in word choice, grammar, and punctuation.
F - Unsatisfactory
This paper reflects little or no understanding of the subject or assignment directions, has no clear thesis, minimal substantive evidence, and poor organization. The work may be plagiarized, and the writing may contain extensive grammatical and mechanical errors.
Revision: If a student has made substantive changes from draft to draft, not just copy editing, the grade will improve.
Meeting deadlines: If the paper is not submitted by the deadline or if the student has not submitted required drafts, the grade may suffer.
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