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EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR FRESHMAN COMPOSITION

A Paper (90-100) - Superior
Originality of thought and effectiveness
Logical, emphatic development of a central idea
Sophisticated, lively, and precise diction
Well-developed, effectively organized essay and paragraphs
Clear, engaging illustrative support
Mature and diversified sentence structure
Absence of errors in punctuation, usage, and spelling
An "A" paper must meet all the above criteria and is distinguished from the B paper by a more assured prose style, more creativity in form and content, more subtlety in rhetorical strategy.

B Paper (80-90) - Good
Convincing and engaging expression
Logical development of a central idea
Appropriate, lively, acceptable diction
Effectively organized essay and paragraphs
Detailed support of ideas
Correct, clear, and varied sentence structure
Absence of major errors in punctuation, usage, and spelling
A "B" paper should meet all the above criteria. In short, mere absence of errors will nor be rewarded with a B.

C Paper (70-79) - Competent
Clear Communication
Satisfactory development of a central idea
Appropriate diction
Satisfactory organization of essay and paragraphs
Adequate support of ideas
Some variety of sentence structure
Relative absence of major errors in punctuation, sentence structure, usage, and spelling
A "C" paper lacks the originality in content and form of "A" or "B" papers, contains more errors, and is less interesting. Though it is adequate and perhaps even mechanically correct, it lacks real distinction.

D Paper (60-69) - Deficient
Superficial, unclear, or repetitious content
Some instances of illogical thinking
Immature, simplistic diction
Poor organization of essay and paragraphs
Weak support of ideas
Awkward, monotonous sentence structure
Some *gross errors in punctuation, structure, usage, and spelling
Any of the preceding may result in a "D" paper. A combination of these characteristics, however, may result in an "F." Originality of style or thought will not excuse the deficiencies of the "D" paper.

F Paper (0-59) - Unacceptable
Confusing content
Flawed central idea
Inappropriate, unclear diction
Random organization of paragraphs
Unsupported generalizations
Awkward, wordy, or simplistic sentence structure
*Gross errors in punctuation, structure, usage, and spelling
An "F" paper displays any, though not all, of the above characteristics. In addition, failure to develop the assigned topic or to state a thesis automatically results in an "F."

*Gross errors include awkward/unclear sentence structure, fragments, fused sentences and comma splices, agreement mistakes, vague/unclear pronoun reference, faulty verb forms, unjustified tense shifts, faulty parallelism, and dangling and misplaced modifiers.

 

Department of English and Modern Languages | P.O. Box 5000 | Shepherdstown, West Virginia | 25443-5000 | 304-876-5220 | 800-344-5231