A=Superior A=4.0 [100-94]; A-=3.7 [90-93]

Convincingly communicates a noteworthy idea to the reader through sophisticated use of rhetorical strategies.

• Thesis/focus: demonstrates an awareness of audience, specific in its argument, and clearly established and maintained throughout.
• Organization: has a clear sense of logical order appropriate to the content and the thesis.
• Development: demonstrates critical thinking that is clear, insightful, in depth, and relevant to the topic.
• Syntax and Diction: uses sophisticated and appropriate language that engages the reader; manipulates sentence length to enhance the total effect of the essay; uses precise language that expresses complex ideas clearly.
• Format and Design: fully integrates elements of design to best serve rhetorical purpose.
• Research (if applicable): uses sources effectively and documents sources accurately.
• Mechanics: contains very few errors of spelling, grammar, paragraphing or manuscript format.

B=Strong B+=3.35 [89-87]; B-=3.0 [86-84]; B-=2.7 [83-80]

Effectively conveys an insightful idea to the reader through consistent and controlled use of rhetorical strategies.
• Thesis/focus: intelligent, specific, clearly established, and consistently addressed throughout.
• Organization: logical, clear, and controlled.
• Development: demonstrates critical thinking that is more than adequate, with significant detail; may show depth in thinking and research.
• Syntax and Diction: demonstrates knowledge of and skill with complex and varied sentence constructions and vocabulary.
• Format and Design: consistently contributes to the persuasive aims of the assignment.
• Research (if applicable): uses sources effectively and documents accurately.
• Mechanics: may contain errors, but these errors do not interfere with the essay’s overall effectiveness.

C=Competent C+=2.35 [79-77]; C-=2.0 [76-74]; C–=1.7 [73-70]

Communicates an idea, but does not consistently address the needs of its audience.
• Thesis/focus: has a central idea that is conventional or general.
• Organization: the essay’s organization is choppy and may, at times, be difficult to follow.
• Development: demonstrates limited critical thinking and limited knowledge of the subject.
• Syntax and Diction: demonstrates competency with language use, but sentence constructions and vocabulary may be limited or repetitive.
• Format and Design: unevenly incorporates elements of design to aid its argument
• Research (if applicable): lacks sufficient research for the topic, poorly incorporates sources, or fails to document accurately
• Mechanics: contains multiple errors that hinder the essay’s readability.

D=Inadequate (1.0)

Ineffectively communicates its idea to the reader
• Thesis/focus: superficial and inconsistently addressed; reveals limited awareness of audience
• Organization: reveals no apparent strategy and lapses in focus and logic.
• Development: displays little knowledge of the subject, does not form conclusions, or fails to exhibit critical thinking or clear reasoning.
• Syntax and Diction: contains repetitive, incorrect, or ineffective sentence structure; displays a limited vocabulary.
• Format and Design: bears little relevance to the assignment’s rhetorical purpose or guidelines.
• Research (if applicable): lacks sufficient research for the topic, poorly incorporates sources, or fails to document sources accurately.
• Mechanics: contains many errors that garble the meaning or intent.

F=Incompetent (0.0)

Fails to present its ideas to the audience and does not meet some or all of the criteria for the assignment.
• Thesis/focus: lacks a central idea; has no awareness, or limited awareness, its audience and purpose.
• Organization: random and without focus or logic.
• Development: displays little or no knowledge of the subject, does not form conclusions, or fails to exhibit critical thinking or clear reasoning
• Syntax and Diction: fails to demonstrate competency with language use; sentence constructions and vocabulary may be inappropriate, facile, or incoherent.
• Format and Design: makes no attempt to use the elements of design to help persuade its audiences
• Research (if applicable): fails to include sufficient sources for topic, incorporates irrelevant or inadequate sources, or plagiarizes.
• Mechanics: contains serious and multiple errors that seriously hinder the reading of the paper

**

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