Essays written for English 100, both in-class and out-of-class,
will be evaluated based on the following standards.  Familiarize
yourself with this criteria.


== [1] IDEAS ==

EXCELLENT: The writer has created an essay that addresses the
given assignment and purpose.  He or she focuses on one main idea
or thesis statement and supports this generalization with
appropriate and relevant specific details, examples, facts, and
evidence, either from personal experience or other sources. No
crucial points are overlooked, and there is no padding with
irrelevant details.  Whe required, effective and accurate
documentation is evident, with no plagiarism of sources.

FAIR: The writer has a clear main idea, but the support for it is
uneven.  He or she does not explain all points very clearly or
convincingly.  Sometimes he or she goes off on a tangent and
includes irrelevant details.  At times, it does not seem that the
writer understands or has control over the sources and opinions
used.  If called upon to use outside sources, the writer quotes,
paraphrases, summarizes only somewhat effectively.

POOR: It is difficult to determine the writer's main point in the
essay.  The writer does not explain points effectively, if at
all.  Facts uses are inaccurate, out of date, or irrelevant  The
writer even resorts to copying and quoting chunks of info from
other writers without explanation or analysis.  He or she seems
only interested in getting something down on paper and handing it


EXCELLENT: The essay grabs the reader from the beginning, moves
in a straight line, gets somewhere, and stops at a good point. 
The essay has a plan the reader can follow.  There are clear
transitions between paragraphs and always some reason why one
paragraph follows another.  Sometimes there is a little twist
near the end that makes the paper come out in a way that the
reader does not expect, but it seems quite logical.  Main points
are treated with at greatest length or with greatest emphasis.  A
skillful writer will use an organizational plan that is subtle
and ingenious rather than obvious and mechanical.

AVERAGE: The writer uses the standard organizational method: a
one paragraph introduction, with the thesis statement as the last
sentence; a three-paragraph body, with one supporting point
treated in each paragraph that starts with a topic sentence; and
a one-paragraph conclusion that summarizes the main point and
brings the essay back to the beginning to round off the piece.

POOR: This paper starts anywhere and never gets anywhere.  The
thesis and the supporting points are not clearly separated from
one another.  Some sentences in a paragraph are not related to
the topic sentence, and the paragraphs are place in the essay in
random order, as if it doesn't make a difference which paragraph
follow which.  The essay changes direction so many times that the
reader becomes lost.

== [3] VOCABULARY ==

EXCELLENT: The writer chooses words appropriate to the subject
and audience.  It is apparent that the writer is aware of the
power of words and their meanings.  He or she uses a variety of
words and puts them together in slightly unusual ways,
emphasizing the figurative and poetic uses of language.  For the
most part, the writer uses words correctly and with imagination.

AVERAGE: The writer uses the same words, no matter the subject
and audience, and appears addicted to tired old phrases and
cliches.  The writer uses no imagination, opting instead to say
things in the same way as everyone else.  The writer uses a big
word when a little word would serve his or her purpose better.

POOR: The writer uses words so carelessly or inexactly that he or
she gets far too many wrong and confuses the reader.  The
writer's  words mean whatever he or she wants them to mean and
the vocabulary used is not understandable for the reader.

== [4] VOICE ==

EXCELLENT: The essay is written by a specific and unique person
who knows, or has learned, what he or she is writing about and is
enthusiastic about the topic.  The writer seems sincere, candid,
and brave enough to reveal him- or herself in an objective way. 
The writer's personality emanates from the piece and there is no
mistaking his or her writing from that of anyone else.

FAIR: The essay could have been written by a committee rather
than a person.  It is impersonal and correct but colorless,
without personal details or feelings.  It seems that the writer
is bored with the subject and therefore bores the reader.

POOR: The writer expresses him- or herself in a negative way. The
writer rants and raves and resorts to vulgarity and name-calling
to try to make his or her point.



EXCELLENT: The sentence structure is grammatically correct and
the sentence patterns are of varied complexity.  There are few or
no vulgar or "illiterate" errors is usage by present standards of
written English, particulary those points emphasized in class. 

AVERAGE: A few serious errors in grammar and usage exist but not
enough to obscure meaning.  The sentences patterns used are basic
and there are occasional errors in more complex patterns.  The
writer appears to understand the basic rules governing written
English but makes mistakes on occasion.

POOR: There are so many serious errors in grammar and usage that
the essay is hard to understand.  The writer seems not to
understand the basic rules of written English and struggles to
write correct sentences.

== [6] Punctuation, Capitialization, Abbreviations, Numbers ==

EXCELLENT:  There are no serious violations of the basic rules.

AVERAGE: There are several violations of the basic rules, but the
reader is not irritated or confused by them.

POOR: There are so many violations of the basic rules that it is
difficult to read sentences and know where one begins and ends. 
The errors are so numerous they irritate the reader.


EXCELLENT: Essays worked on out of class are free of spelling
errors while in-class essays may have two or three at the most.

AVERAGE: Several spelling errors in difficult words and a few
violations of basic spelling rules.

POOR: There are so many spelling errors or typos that
comprehension is difficult.

== Typing, Handwriting, Neatness ==

EXCELLENT: The typing or handwriting is clear, attractive, and
well spaced, and the rules of manuscript form have been observed.

AVERAGE: The typing or handwriting is average in legibility and
attractiveness.  There are a few violations of proper manuscript

POOR: The paper is sloppy in appearance and difficult to read.

Dayle Kalama Turner             |=|=|=|  Leeward Community College 
Language Arts Division          |=|=|=|  96-045 Ala Ike
turner@uhunix.uhcc.Hawaii.Edu   |=|=|=|  Pearl City, Hawaii 96782 |=|=|=|  Phone: (808) 455-0258

Return to top | Return to Dayle's Home Page | Email Dayle