Introduction, Conclusion (Position and Persuasion), Topic Sentences, Title (20%)


1 X 20 = ______________

Body, Development, Organization (40%)


2 X 20 = ______________

Vocabulary, Mechanics (20%) (Punctuation, Spelling, Capitalization, Grammar, Typos)

1 X 20 = ______________

Effort, Improvement, Presentation (20%)


1 X 20 = ______________

Distinguished (or "WOW!")


Creative and catchy introduction and conclusion; stance is strongly introduced; persuasion is fulfilled; compelling introduction and profound conclusion; original topic sentences. Profound impact persuasion: the reader is thoroughly convinced in new and exciting ways! Compelling Title.

Gives reader dynamic impression and profound understanding of the argument; aptly uses examples to persuade; creative transitions; uses similes and metaphors to enhance writing; explores deep qualities of the issue; weaves essential facts and elements into argument artfully. Breaks the mold. Outline is logical.

Professional. Sophisticated. High level, active words are selected deliberately. There is no more than one mechanical error in the entire argument. Sentence structure is varied. Reads like a professional editorial from the NY Times or Rolling Stone.

Evidence of substantial time; student is working at highest potential; details are thorough and factual. There are no errors in content. Student sought help in or out of class from teacher and students. Student chose a challenging topic. Revisions obvious.

Proficient (or "Pretty Decent") (16-18)

Solid introduction that uses "catchy" intro device; purpose/position is clearly delineated; solid conclusion –point is clearly made. Clear topic sentences. Argument provides insight about issue. Reader is convinced. Catchy title.

Gives reader vivid picture and deep understanding of the argument; strong and detailed examples are provided to persuade; sophisticated transitions; uses similes and metaphors; explores the issue thoroughly; creative presentation of argument. Good job. Good, logical outline.

Most vocabulary is sophisticated and used properly. Vocabulary is varied and correct. There are no more than 3 mechanical errors in the entire paper. Paper is vivid – with some revisions it could be found in Newsday or Daily News or solid magazine.

Evidence of time. Student is working near highest potential; some improvement; polished presentation. Student sought help in or out of class. Revisions made.

Satisfactory (or "Fair")


Basic needs of introduction and conclusion are met though argument may not be totally clear; topic sentences generally clear; intro and conclusion meet minimum length requirement. Reader may not be totally convinced by the argument the writer has made. Basic Title.

Argument is made but in a predictable and/or awkward way; little or no examples, details and/or similes/metaphors; may contain awkward or lacking transitions; argument not very compelling. Outline could have been thought through more thoroughly.

Language is basic – solid in some areas, weak in others. Author may use simple words and take few risks. Vocabulary is somewhat dull and/or repetitive and/or used incorrectly. Essay is legible but may contain multiple errors. Needs more life!

Adequate amount of time is evident though more attention should probably have been given; similar errors in previous stories; little or no improvement; neat presentation. Some revisions made.

Unsatisfactory (or "Needs A Lot of Work")


Intro and/or conclusion either too short, missing, or confusing. Topic sentences are missing or confusing. The reader has not been persuaded of anything from the argument. Inappropriate or missing title.

Uses sweeping generalizations with no supporting examples; little or no detail or description; missing or confusing transitions; little or no attempt to use similes/metaphors; information is unfocused or confusing; paragraphs too long, too short, or indented. Outline ignored or not used.

Misuses basic vocabulary. Ignores basic rules of mechanics (capitalization, sentence structure, spelling, etc.). Essay reads at a low-level. Difficult to read because of a number of distracting errors.

Repeated errors; class-time was not used productively; little or no time or care; no attention paid to basics; gross errors; sloppy; little or no revision evident. This paper is not up to par with high school writing.