Note: Each essay is read by two readers and the scores are totaled. The score of the first reader is hidden from the second. The highest possible score is 12 and the lowest is 2." A 7 is a passing score, which means that one reader gave the paper a 3 and the other gave it a 4. If scores differ by more than one point, a third reader will read the essay and make a decision.
6 A superior response will address itself to all aspects of the question. Though it may have occasional faults, it will be well organized, detailed, and generally well written.
5 or 4 These scores will be useful for a well-handled paper that is weak in some aspects of the superior response; e.g. it may slight one of the parts of the question; it may not be as clearly organized as the superior response; it may have some minor grammatical inconsistencies. Otherwise, the paper should be competently written.
3 This score will be useful for the following kinds of papers:
2 This score is to be used for papers that exhibit serious weaknesses in structure, syntax, diction and/or development.
1 This score is to be used for papers that show very little understanding of the question or suggest incompetence in structure, syntax, and diction.
Note: Because the goal of many students is to move from the 3 score to the 4, we are also providing a more specific definition of a 4. This is not part of the official scoring guide, but it is typical of similar scoring guides.
The "4" essay demonstrates adequate college-level writing ability. It may be undistinguished in content, development, or style, but language weaknesses do not significantly limit the writer's ability to develop and communicate ideas. An essay in this category