An ‘A’ paper is of outstanding quality in content, organization,
and style. The essay fulfills the given assignment in every respect,
contains no factual errors or misuse of sources, and constitutes a mature,
carefully prepared college-level essay. The prose is lively and eloquent. It
may have an unusually high degree of originality and sophistication and may go
well beyond the assignment’s expectations.
- The paper not only fulfills the assignment and
is correct in all of its facts and sources, it
goes beyond the specified requirements to offer a fresh, ambitious,
sophisticated and/or intellectually challenging approach to the
- The paper presents an original, complex, or
imaginative thesis, firmly supported by thoughtful, relevant and
- The organizational structure is smooth,
logical, and coherent, with well-chosen transitions.
- The prose is clear, apt, and occasionally
memorable; the paper may demonstrate an unusually high degree of insight
- The paper is virtually free of major mechanical
errors in punctuation, grammar, spelling, and sentence structure.
is of above average quality in content, organization, and style. The essay
fulfills the requirements of the assignment, contains no factual errors or
misuse of sources, and demonstrates thoughtful organization. The prose is
confident and accurate. While ideas may lack full development, the essay
demonstrates an effort at originality and sophistication.
- The essay fulfills all requirements, and, in
either style or content, may significantly go beyond the requirements.
- The paper presents a thoughtful and specific
thesis and is developed with logical and appropriate details.
- The organizational structure is clearly
discernible through unified and coherent paragraphs and appropriate
- The prose is fluent and clear with concise
diction and varied sentence structure, perhaps containing some
especially eloquent or original passages.
- While there may be occasional punctuation or
spelling errors, the essay is generally free of major grammar and
sentence structure errors.
A ‘C’ paper
is of average quality in content, organization, and style. The material
generally lacks originality and seems less distinguished. It shows an
evident effort to formulate a good thesis; it has support for that thesis and a
discernible organizational strategy. The prose is occasionally awkward
- The paper fulfills the assignment, meeting all
- The paper presents a thesis supported by
- The organizational structure is discernible and
- Transitional devices may, at times, be missing
- The sentences lack fluency and structural
- There are occasional grammar, punctuation and
sentence structure errors.
A ‘D’ paper
is below average in content, arrangement, and/or style. It may contain some
good ideas but lack a sense of structure and direction or fail to support those
ideas well. Such a paper may even be well-written (or glib) and well-organized,
but show a lack of effort to engage the text seriously, or it will be
superficial or lacking in clear thought.
- The paper may not meet all the requirements of
- The thesis may be unclear or missing or may not
be logically or adequately supported.
- Organization may be faulty or difficult to
- Transitions between and within paragraphs may
be missing or ineffective.
- Word choice may be weak, lacking precision and
- The paper may contain many errors in
punctuation, grammar, and spelling and/or serious errors in sentence
structure, such as fragments and run-ons.
An ‘F’ paper
is failing in content, organization, and/or style.
- The paper may not fulfill the assignment or
meet specified requirements.
- The thesis may be missing, unclear, or
- The unsupported paper may lack specific detail
- Coherence of the paper may be affected by
inadequate organizational structure including lack of unity or transition
- Coherence and fluency may also be affected by
inadequate sentence skills and problems with grammar, spelling and
punctuation including multiple incomplete or run-on sentences.