Skip to contentSkip to Main Site NavigationSkip to Site Left NavigationSkip to Site Utility NavigationSkip to Site SearchSkip to FooterDownload Adobe Reader
English 120 impact banner
Assignments
Home » People » Karl Sherlock » English 120 » Assignments » info | Grading Rubric
Pages within Assignments

Contact

Karl J. Sherlock
Associate Professor, English
Email: karl.sherlock@gcccd.edu
Office Hours: 558A (inside Bldg. 52)
Phone: 619-644-7871

Print

Essay Grading Rubric

Each unit essay will test your skills and abilities to meet the course objectives as illustrated by, or discussed, in our readings, exercises, discussions and lectures. These objectives pertain to argument, critical thinking, rhetorical strategies, and complexity of topic. Here following are some of the criteria used to assess how you have met those objectives in the final draft of your unit essay assignment. You are encouraged to use these same criteria to help you originate, draft, and revise an essay while it is a work in progress.

 

15%  Introduction and thesis: Success of the introduction is based upon the following criteria: structure (context, text, and subtext); clarity ad and coherency; complexity of thesis; interest of introductory statements; adherence to the assignment topic.

A
The introduction presents the three stages (context, text, and subtext) with complete development, effective transitions and clear language.  Its length is proportionate to the rest of the essay.  It evokes or provokes a response persuading the reader to want to read on, while avoiding clichés of rhetoric and language.  Its topic is complex and layered, and its thesis statement is sophisticated.

B
Such an introduction may include all three stages but with less complete development of one or more of them. It may be disproportionate to the length of the essay. It may be less effective in its rhetoric or language use, preferring clichés and informalities over original language in formal tone.  Its topic and thesis statement may be less original, sophisticated, or complex than an “A” introduction.

C
A “C” introduction may propose a thesis statement, but it may forget to include one or more of the other stages of an introductory paragraph.  Its thesis may pose questions rather than assertions.  Its topic will be broader and/or simpler.  Its rhetoric and vocabulary may be less effective as well, and it may be too brief or too long to seem appropriate for the essay that follows.

D
A poor introduction receiving this grade may neglect to use a pattern of introductory development, or its development may be incoherent.  It may lack stages of development altogether and contain only a thesis statement.  Its topic may be confusing, unfocussed, or irrelevant to the assignment.  Its thesis may be a claim of fact only.  It’s language skills, tone, and vocabulary are in need of sophistication.

F
This grade reflects the absence of an introduction, or the inclusion of one that is irrelevant to the assignment or to the essay that follows.  An essay whose final draft shows no effort to revise, improve, or continue refining the introduction since the working drafts will automatically receive a grade of “F” for its “Introduction.”


50%  Analysis and development:
Successful content will be determined by coherency and development of structured paragraphs; complexity of analysis or argument; use of the assigned rhetorical modes of development; adequacy of support; overall length compared to quality of content; transitions and organization. 

A
The content of an “A” essay will demonstrate exceptionally complex, impressively coherent topic development with advanced rhetorical style to develop the analysis or argument.  Its paragraphs will be fully developed and structured, each possessing adequate support and appropriate synthesis of it.  If rhetorical modes are assigned, the paragraphs will demonstrate exceptional competency in these modes, with effective transitions within, and between, paragraphs.  External texts will be utilized effectively to enhance, support, or develop a series of complex points that are clearly connected by one thesis statement.  The length of such an essay will be appropriate to the complexity of topic, even if that means a longer, more involved essay.

B
A “B” grade for the analysis and development will achieve the same goals as an “A” grade, but to a lesser extent, or with less success.  Paragraphs may not be as complete, or they may lack sophisticated transitions that affect the overall coherency of the discussion.  Such an analysis may occasionally lose its focus, or stray temporarily from the thesis.  It may be less confident in its use of outside support, or it may not take responsibility for the interpretation and synthesis of that support. It may resort periodically to posing questions instead of asserting arguments. It may be too long or too brief, given the complexity of its
thesis. 

C
An average grade given to analysis and development is awarded when writers appear to be “going through the motions” of delineating points without attention to overall cohesion, cogency, and coherency.  The effect may be of a prose outline, rather than a carefully expository composition.  There may be inadequate use of outside sources for support, or substandard interpretation and synthesis of that support.  The analysis in such an essay may tend to the obvious, and as a consequence be less compelling, interesting, or sophisticated than an essay receiving “B” for its content.  If rhetorical modes are assigned for this essay, a “C” grade reflects the minimal attention to these modes.

D
This failing score indicates a need for improved organization and development overall.  The content may make useful points and observations, but the paragraphs will be incomplete, perhaps even too brief.  The lack of transitions between paragraphs and within paragraphs will make for a lack of cohesion among the essay’s points.  The points, themselves, may be a series of factual observations, rather than claims of value that extend the thesis statement. It may rely heavily on rhetorical questions instead of developed assertions. The development may wander off the topic, or it may turn to personal narrative for support and
illustration, instead of external sources and a synthesis of the inferences drawn from them. 

F
The content given the grade of “F” will reflect poor understanding of the assignment, or poor reading comprehension.  It may lack complex development of the topic altogether, or it may go off the topic. It may demonstrate the same problems of a “D” grade, but to an even worse extent.  It may ramble, even if some of the rambling remarks are intelligent and interesting.  It will suffer from a lack of planning and revision.  It may be inordinately brief or incomplete.  An essay whose final draft shows no effort to revise, expand, or continue developing the content since the previous draft will automatically receive a grade of “F” for its “Content.”


35%  Writing, style, mechanics, grammar: Writing will be assessed according to adherence to M.L.A. document design and citation methods; grammar; usage; tone and diction; punctuation; markers; sentence structure; expanded use of vocabulary. 

A
An excellent grade given to the writing will be awarded for strict attention to MLA document design (including title page info, pagination, margins, typography, etc.) and citation style (including contextual and bibliographic citations).  It will use a consistently academic tone free of contractions, clichés, hyperboles, and other indicators of informality.  Its vocabulary will be sophisticated, but precise:  it will avoid wordiness. It will avoid errors of grammar and punctuation while it demonstrates competency in the use of markers. It will favor complex and compound-complex sentences in its development of complex and layered ideas.

B
Writing receiving a “B” grade will possess the same skills as an “A” grade, but to a lesser degree. It may show a writer’s misunderstanding some style issues.  It may maintain a formal or academic tone for the most part, but occasionally slip into informality.  Its sentence structure may at times be a little more awkward or simplistic, but not as a pattern.  Overall, writing graded “B” shows an appreciation for the writing skills required at an English 120 level, but it needs more revision, better proofreading, or perhaps greater practice in some aspects of academic writing.

C
The writing shows an overall competency for basic grammar and punctuation, but its style at times may be arbitrary, or its tone may be less sophisticated.  Its sentence structure may be more simplistic and/or repetitive.  Its occasional mistakes of mechanics and grammar may suggest the need for better proofreading.

D
Substandard writing is noted by its lack of academic tone, its poor attention to MLA style (including a Works Cited not composed in MLA style, or the absence of MLA-style contextual citations), its plodding sentences, and its simplistic vocabulary. In addition to better proofreading, a stronger commitment to the demands of college writing is required.  Patterns of error in mechanics, punctuation and grammar may point to a need for better understanding of these concepts, and tutorial assistance might be recommended.

F
The writing in such a paper may suffer from serious errors of sentence structure, mechanics, punctuation, and grammar.  It may be held back by its language skills (e.g., ESL errors).  The writer may have intentionally chosen to compose the essay in a tone that does not respect the academic demands of the assignment, preferring slang, “you,” contractions, hyperboles, clichés, and other informality.  It will exclude a proper MLA style Works Cited, or it will ignore the requirements for MLA style document design elsewhere
in the paper.  An essay whose final draft shows no effort to revise and edit for matters of writing, grammar, mechanics and style will automatically receive this “Writing” grade.

Penalties

One-third of a letter grade will be removed from the essay's final grade for each of the following:

  • each day the final draft is overdue (excluding Saturday and Sunday), up to one week from the due date

  • failure to submit a typed or computer printed Working Draft (reasonably complete) on the due date

  • failure to revise the working draft into the final draft

  • failure to complete and/or submit required developmental components of any essay, including, but not limited to the following (when required in the wording of the assignment):

  • working draft(s)
  • revised draft(s) for conferences
  • outlines
  • invention and pre-writing
  • précis, abstracts, or summations

A draft (final or working) will be returned without comments and without grades if

  • it is not accompanied by a bibliography (a "Works Cited");
  • its document design and/or Works Cited citations are not in MLA style;
  • no substantive revisions have made to the final draft;
  • it is off-topic altogether;
  • it is unfinished.
Last Updated: 01/14/2016

Contact

Karl J. Sherlock
Associate Professor, English
Email: karl.sherlock@gcccd.edu
Office Hours: 558A (inside Bldg. 52)
Phone: 619-644-7871

  • GCCCD
  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District