Memorandum california State University Dominguez Hills



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M E M O R A N D U M




California State University




Dominguez Hills



Department of English

Carson, California 90747

The Composition Committee

(310) 243-3322




Composition Co-op Exam and

Graduation Writing Exam


Scoring

Guide



California State University

Dominguez Hills

Faculty Readers should holistically score papers in reference to the standards that emerge from both the scoring guide and the sample papers. Faculty Readers’ interpretations of such terms as competence, effectively, and well developed should be significantly influenced by the sample papers on the topic being scored. Though examinees are asked to write on a specific topic, parts of the topic may be treated by implication. Faculty Readers should focus on what the examinee does well. Writers should not be penalized excessively for slight shifts in idiom or problems with articles and confused prepositions, so long as such features do not obscure meaning. At each of the six score points for on-topic papers, descriptors of writing performance are lettered so that:




  1. = response to the topic

  2. = understanding and use of the passage

  3. = quality and clarity of thought

  1. = organization, development, and support

  2. = syntax and command of language

  3. = grammar, usage, and mechanics




6


Superior A 6 essay is superior writing, but may have minor flaws. A typical essay in this category:




  1. addresses the topic clearly and responds effectively to all aspects of the task

12

  1. demonstrates a thorough critical understanding of the prompt in developing an insightful response




  1. explores the issues thoughtfully and in depth




  1. is coherently organized and developed, with ideas supported by apt reasons and well-chosen examples

11

  1. has an effective, fluent style marked by syntactic variety and a clear command of language




  1. is generally free from errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics







5

Strong A 5 essay demonstrates clear competence in writing. It may have some errors, but they are not serious enough to distract or confuse the reader. A typical essay in this category:




  1. clearly addresses the topic, but may respond to some aspects of the task more effectively than others

10

  1. demonstrates a sound critical understanding of the prompt in developing a well-reasoned response




  1. shows some depth and complexity of thought




  1. is well-organized and developed, with ideas supported by appropriate reasons and examples

9

  1. displays some syntactic variety and facility in the use of language




  1. may have a few errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics







4

Adequate A 4 essay demonstrates adequate writing. It may have some errors that distract the reader, but they do not significantly obscure meaning. A typical essay in this category:




  1. addresses the topic, but may slight some aspects of the task

8

  1. demonstrates a generally accurate understanding of the prompt in developing a sensible response




  1. may treat the topic simplistically or repetitively




  1. is adequately organized and developed, generally supporting ideas with reasons and examples

7

  1. demonstrates adequate use of syntax and language




  1. may have some errors, but generally demonstrates control of grammar, usage, and mechanics







3

Sub-Marginal A 3 essay demonstrates developing competence, but is flawed in some significant way(s). A typical essay in this category reveals one or more of the following weaknesses:




  1. distorts or neglects aspects of the task

6

  1. demonstrates some understanding of the prompt, but may misconstrue parts of it or make limited use of it in developing a weak response




  1. lacks focus, or demonstrates confused or simplistic thinking




  1. is poorly organized and developed, presenting generalizations without adequate and appropriate support or presenting details without generalizations

5

  1. has limited control of syntax and vocabulary




  1. has an accumulation of errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics that sometimes interfere with meaning







2


Inadequate A 2 essay is seriously flawed. An essay in this category reveals one or more of the following weaknesses:




  1. indicates confusion about the topic or neglects important aspects of the task

4

  1. demonstrates very poor understanding of the main points of the prompt, does not use the prompt appropriately in developing a response, or may not use the prompt at all




  1. lacks focus and coherence, and often fails to communicate its ideas




  1. has very weak organization and development, providing simplistic generalizations without support

3

  1. has inadequate control of syntax and vocabulary




  1. is marred by numerous errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics that frequently interfere with meaning







1

Incompetent A 1 essay demonstrates fundamental deficiencies in writing skills. A typical essay in this category reveals one or more of the following weaknesses:




  1. suggests an inability to comprehend the question or to respond meaningfully to the topic

2

  1. demonstrates little or no ability to understand the prompt or to use it in developing a response




  1. is unfocused, illogical, or incoherent




  1. is disorganized and undeveloped, providing little or no relevant support

1

  1. lacks basic control of syntax and vocabulary




  1. has serious and persistent errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics that severely interfere with meaning

Revised by University Composition Committee, Summer 2004.






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