General Grading Guidelines:
A (5) Fluent expression; ideas succinctly stated; proper mechanics (spelling, grammar, punctuation).
B (4) Clear communication; writing coherent despite several mechanical mistakes.
C (3) Adequate communication but writing is choppy due to stylistic or grammatical problems.
D (2) Minimal communication; major stylistic or grammar problems.
F (1) Communication of ideas extremely limited due to major stylistic and grammar problems.
Logic and Rhetoric
A (5) All ideas are rationally developed, supported, and sequenced. Exceptionally persuasive.
B (4) Most ideas are rationally developed, supported, and sequenced. Above average in persuasiveness.
C (3) Development of ideas is acceptable but generally weak. Average in persuasiveness.
D (2) Many ideas are unsupported.
F (1) Little cohesiveness or development of ideas.
Content, Completeness, and Presentation
A (5) The paper has responded powerfully and directly to the assignment. Its main idea is stated freshly, the style is fluent, the content is thought-provoking, imaginative, clear, and engaging, and the writing meets the needs of the audience exceptionally well. Exceptional.
B (4) The paper fulfills the assignment in more than a routine way. The writing is clear and direct and the style shows some helpful and interesting variety. Above average.
C (3) The paper is adequate and fundamentally competent. Average.
D (2) The paper responds to the assignment in an inadequate way. The content is highly derivative from others or shows a misunderstanding of the assignment or the subject and fails to meet the needs of the audience.
F (1) The paper meets almost none of the expectations of the audience. The paper may also not respond directly or fully to the assignment.
Organization and Clarity
A (5) The paper is exceptionally and carefully well organized and the main idea is clear and well supported.
B (4) The paper is organized to support the main idea in an above average way. The organization supports the paper's meaning, tone, and effect in an above average way.
C (3) The organization of the paper is adequate. The organization has a few weaknesses but does not fall apart. Average.
D (2) The paper is structurally faulty but a main point is apparent or a line of reasoning is traceable.
F (1) The paper is so poorly organized that it is often difficult for the reader to find the main idea or to trace the main line of reasoning.