Scoring guidelines for analysis of an issue essays

Last updated: 13 Oct 2008

Essays are scored on a scale of 0-6 with 0 being the lowest score and 6 being the highest.

6: Excellent

A 6 essay presents a cogent, well-articulated analysis of the issue and demonstrates excellent writing skills.

The typical 6 essay:

  • expresses ideas and develops a position on the issue with logical reasoning and persuasive examples
  • is well organized
  • demonstrates superior control of standard written English but may have minor flaws.

Example of an essay which would score 6.

5: Very good

A 5 essay presents a well-developed analysis of the issue and demonstrates well-developed writing skills.

The typical 5 essay:

  • develops a position on the issue with solid reasons and/or examples
  • is for the most part well-organized
  • demonstrates clear control of standard written English but may have minor flaws.

Example of an essay which would score 5.

4: Good

A 4 essay presents a competent analysis of the issue and demonstrates adequate writing skills.

The typical 4 essay:

  • develops a position on the issue with reasons and/or examples
  • is organized
  • demonstrates adequate control of the conventions of standard written English but may have some errors.

Example of an essay which would score 4.

3: Flawed

A 3 paper demonstrates some ability in the analysis of the issue and some writing skills, but in general is flawed.

The typical 3 essay:

  • has little organization
  • is limited in developing a clear position on the issue
  • is limited in the use of reasons and/or examples
  • contains occasional major errors or frequent minor errors in standard written English.

Example of an essay which would score 3.

2: Seriously flawed

A 2 essay demonstrates minimal competence in writing:

The typical 2 essay exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:

  • is disorganized
  • is gravely limited in presenting or developing a position on the issue
  • provides few, if any, relevant reasons or examples
  • contains numerous errors in grammar and the conventions of standard written English.
  • meaning of the essay or ideas in the essay are vague

Example of an essay which would score 2.

1: Terrible

A 1 essay demonstrates fundamental weaknesses in writing skills:

The typical 1 essay exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:

  • demonstrates scant evidence of the ability to develop or organize a coherent approach to the issue
  • has grave errors in language and grammatical structure
  • contains numerous English errors that severely interferes with meaning

Example of an essay which would score 1.

0: Not scorable

In another language, in no language whatsoever, off-topic

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