Holistic Scoring Guide for the Personal Narrative / College Essay (by Ms. Brock)

 

A/A+                 Gives the readers a profound and complex understanding of the writer’s character.

                        Reveals inner qualities, formative experiences, deeply-held convictions.

                        Personal traits fully revealed through vivid and compelling stories (showing not telling).

                        Uses highly specific language.             

Voice of the essay sounds wholly authentic.

                        All actions words are precise and varied.

No mechanical errors (pronoun usage, effect vs. affect).

                        Marked improvement from rough draft to final version.

                        Evidence of careful effort throughout all stages of project.

                        All required material submitted (pre-writing/web, rough, final, reflection).

 

B/B+                 Gives the readers a deep understanding of the writer’s character.

                        Reveals inner qualities, formative experiences, values.

                        Personal strengths fully revealed through stories (showing not telling).

                        Uses specific language.

                        Voice of the essay generally conveys the character of the writer.

                        Most actions words are precise and varied.

                        No more than two mechanical errors (pronoun usage, effect vs. affect).

                        Noticeable improvement from rough draft to final version.

Evidence of effort throughout all stages of project.

All required material submitted.

 

C/C+                 Gives the readers a basic understanding of the writer’s character.

                        Addresses inner qualities, formative experiences, and convictions to a limited extent.

                        Uses some specific language.

                        Voice of the essay partially natural; may seem strained or impersonal in places.

                        Personal strengths revealed partially through compelling stories (showing not telling).

                        Some actions words are precise and varied.

                        Multiple mechanical errors (pronoun usage, effect vs. affect, others).

                        Significant improvement from rough draft to final version, but more revision desirable.

                        Evidence of effort basically adequate, but may be lacking in one stage of project.

                        All required material submitted (pre-writing, rough, final, reflection).

 

D                      Leaves the reader  with a vague impression of the writer’s character.

                        Neglects inner qualities, formative experiences, personal values.

                        Uses mostly generic language, rather than specific words.

Voice of the essay reflects little of the writer’s character, or lapses into inappropriate tone.

                        Writer relies too much on telling (with sweeping generalizations) rather than showing.                   

                        Actions words are imprecise and repetitive.

                        Distracting number of mechanical errors. 

                        Effort insufficient. Skipped or hastily executed one or more stages of project.

                        Little improvement from rough draft to final version and/or required materials missing.

 

F                          Meets few or none of the above requirements.