Grading standards for essays and papers Dr. Lindgren
An “A” essay is excellent in nearly all respects. An “A” essay:
-is well-argued and well-organized, with a clear thesis.
-is well-developed, with content that is original, specific, interesting, appropriate, and convincing.
-has logical transitions that contribute to a fluent style of writing.
-has varied and sophisticated sentence structure.
-has few, if any, mechanical, grammatical, spelling, or diction errors.
-demonstrates command of a mature, unpretentious diction.
-uses the sources extremely well.
A “B” essay shares most characteristics of an “A” essay, but:
-may have some minor lapses in organization and development.
-may contain some sentence structures that are awkward or ineffective.
-may have minor mechanical, grammatical, or diction problems.
-may be less distinguished in its use of language.
-may not use the sources as well.
A “C” essay is competent, but compared to a “B” essay it:
-may have a weaker thesis and less effective development.
-may contain some lapses in organization.
-may have poor or awkward transitions.
-may have less varied sentence structures that tend toward monotony.
-may have more mechanical, grammatical, and diction problems.
-is likely to be less distinguished in its handling of the topic.
A “D” essay is likely to:
-present a thesis too vague or too obvious to be developed.
-display major organization problems.
-lack adequate support for its thesis.
-have confusing or non-existent transitions.
-have ungrammatical or poorly constructed sentences.
-demonstrate problems with spelling, punctuation, diction, or syntax that impede understanding.
-not cite sources.
An “F” essay is seriously flawed. It is likely to:
-have no clear thesis or central topic.
-display random organization.
-lack adequate support or specific development.
-include irrelevant details.
-fail to fulfill the assignment or be unfairly brief.
-contain major or repeated errors in diction, syntax, grammar, punctuation, or spelling.
Adapted from Carol Engelhardt, Ph.D.