ENGL 1101: Graded writing

Per 1101 revisions:

In class writing

In lieu of previously required in-class essays (weighted at 15% of the student’s overall grade), students should be required to complete in-class paragraph length responses to assigned topics over the course of the semester, as this style of writing more closely resembles the type of in-class writing they will do in many core-level and upper division courses. 

Some suggestions (from 1101 document):

·         In-class assignments could be used to teach and practice different rhetorical strategies upon which students might build their formal essays.

·         In-class writings might serve as practice for the development of an argument, a thesis, a topic sentence, or a claim. Again, students could incorporate these “practice” paragraphs into their actual out-of-class essays.

The grade for such in-class writings as a whole should not exceed 10% of the student’s final course grade. They may also be factored in with other in-class assignments.

Out of class writing

Students should submit three major, final draft essays for a grade. The first two essays should be a minimum of three pages each, and the final essay should be a minimum of four pages.

Students should be given opportunities for revision on at least the first two essays.

The combined percentage of the three essays should not be less than 60% of the final course grade.

From 1101 revision document:

Rubric: The grading rubric is an important tool in the assessment of writing in FYW courses. The rubric expresses the shared values of the faculty in terms of how writing is assessed and creates opportunities for increased consistency in grading across multiple sections. Since the rubric is used to assess writing in courses from two semester long courses—ranging from the first essay in ENGL 1101 to the final research essay in ENGL 1102—faculty must weigh the assessment goals outlined in the rubric against where students are developmentally in the process of learning college-level writing skills. Student success should be measured and assessed in incremental stages as these skills are taught, practiced, and acquired throughout these two courses.

Recommendation: Request that the FYW Committee explore ways to link the assessment criteria in the Rubric to the sequenced evaluation of major essays in ENGL 1101 and 1102.

 

Proposed rubrics:

Essay #1

Requirements:

·         Essay should be typed, evenly double spaced, and formatted according to MLA style guidelines.

·         Essay should be at least three full pages, single side only.

·         Essay should posit a clear thesis centering on a text(s), and the student should support that thesis with evidence and analysis from said text(s).

Suggested rubric:

C          To earn a “C” on essay #1, a student must

1. Respond to most of the constraints of the assignment:

a. Paper should generally be formatted according to MLA style guidelines, with proper parenthetical citations and Works Cited page.  Minor formatting errors should not prevent an essay from receiving a C.

b. Paper should meet the minimum length requirement specified on the assignment sheet.

c. Paper should respond in some way to one of the topics assigned.

2. Posit a recognizable thesis/argument:

            a. Thesis must center on a claim, though it may be broad or vague.

            b. Thesis should at least loosely relate to the topic assigned.

c. Essay should contain some analysis, though it may be scant and underdeveloped, occasionally drifting into surface-level description or summary.

 

d. Essay should indicate at least a general understanding of the text in question.

3. Present an essay with some semblance of organization:

a. Essay should contain an identifiable introduction and conclusion, though both may need more specificity or clarity.

b. Body paragraphs should be of reasonable length with some supporting evidence and analysis, however weak.

4. Maintain a tone appropriate for the audience:

a. Essay should for the most part avoid colloquialisms or excessively informal language.

            b. Essay should not rest primarily on personal opinion.  

5.  Be able to construct generally grammatically sound paragraphs; while there may be grammatical errors, they should not undermine basic sentence-level coherence.

B          To earn a “B” on essay #1, a student must

1. Adhere to all assignment requirements (MLA style and formatting, length, assigned topic). While minor formatting errors should not prevent an essay from receiving a B, clear disregard for MLA style should.

2. Anchor essay via a clear thesis statement that posits a concrete claim about the assigned text(s) and topic(s), though it may need further specificity and/or development.

3. Provide concrete analysis that follows standard rules of paragraph construction (topic sentences, supporting evidence, explication).

4. Some paragraphs may be lacking (whether a topic sentence, transition, supporting evidence/analysis, etc.), but not enough to compromise overall clarity and development.

5. Have no distracting pattern of grammatical error.

A          To earn an “A” on essay #1, a student must

1. Adhere to all assignment requirements (MLA style and formatting, length, assigned topic) with few formatting errors, if any.  

2. Provide a clear, specific, and insightful thesis.

3. Remain focused on the topic and thesis, often providing sound and compelling analysis.

4. Provide effective textual evidence to support said analysis.

5. Guide argument via strong topic sentences that assert the claim that will govern the paragraph(s) to follow.

6. Have very few grammatical errors, none of which interfere with coherence.

D         A “D” grade results from

1.      Failing to adhere to basic assignment requirements (length, assigned topic, or flagrant disregard for MLA style).

2.      A lack of substantive analysis (i.e. an essay that rests primarily on observation or summary).

3.      A pattern of major grammatical errors (see above list) or basic sentence-level incoherence.

F          An “F” grade results from

1. Failure to adhere to basic assignment requirements.

2. Absence of any statements of assertion or claims; paragraphs consisting almost entirely of observation, opinion, or summary.

3. Obvious misunderstanding of the text and/or rhetorical task.

4. Pervasive pattern of grammatical errors that undermines basic sentence-level coherence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essay #2

Requirements:

·         Essay should be typed, double spaced, and formatted according to MLA style guidelines.

·         Essay should be 3-4 pages long.

·         Essay should posit a clear thesis centering on a text, and the student should support that thesis with evidence and analysis from said text.

Suggested rubric:

C          To earn a “C” on essay #2, a student must

1. Respond to all of the constraints of the assignment:

a. Paper should be formatted according to MLA style guidelines; likewise, parenthetical citations and Works Cited page should adhere to MLA style with few errors.

b. Paper should meet the minimum length requirement specified on the assignment sheet.

c. Paper should adequately respond to one of the topics assigned.

2. Posit a clear thesis/argument:

            a. Thesis must center on a claim, though it may lack specificity.

b. Essay should be comprised primarily of textual analysis, though it may lack development in some areas.

c. Essay should demonstrate an understanding of the text(s).

3. Present a reasonably organized essay:

a. Essay should contain introductory and conclusion paragraphs.

b. Body paragraphs should be of reasonable length with supporting evidence and accompanying analysis, though further elaboration may be in order.

c. Most paragraphs should contain recognizable topic sentences with appropriate transitions.

4. Maintain a tone appropriate for the audience:

            a. Essay should avoid excessive colloquialisms or informal language.

            b. Essay should not rest on personal opinion. 

5.  Be able to construct grammatically sound paragraphs with no pervasive pattern of grammatical errors that would undermine basic sentence-level coherence.

B          To earn a “B” on essay #2, a student must

1. Adhere to all assignment requirements (MLA style and formatting, length, assigned topic).

2. Anchor essay via a clear thesis statement that posits concrete claim(s) about the assigned text(s) and topic(s).

3. Provide sound analysis that follows standard rules of paragraph construction (topic sentences, supporting evidence, explication), with most paragraphs adequately developed.

4. Have no distracting pattern of grammatical error.

A          To earn an “A” on essay #2, a student must

1. Adhere to all assignment requirements (MLA style and formatting, length, assigned topic).

2. Provide an insightful and sophisticated thesis.

3. Remain focused on the topic and thesis, providing complex and compelling analysis throughout the essay.

4. With few exceptions, guide the argument via strong topic sentences and appropriate transitions to ensure flow.

5. Have few grammatical errors, none of which interfere with coherence.

D         A “D” grade results from

1.      Failing to adhere to basic assignment requirements (length or flagrant disregard for MLA style).

2.      A lack of substantive analysis (i.e. an essay that rests primarily on observation or summary).

3.      A pattern of major grammatical errors that significantly undermines sentence-level coherence.

F          An “F” grade results from

1. Failure to adhere to basic assignment requirements.

2. Absence of any statements of assertion or claims; paragraphs consisting of observation, opinion, or summary.

3. Pervasive pattern of grammatical errors that undermines basic sentence-level coherence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essay #3

Requirements:

Suggested rubric:

To earn a “C” on essay #3, a student must

  1. Respond to all of the constraints of the assignment:

a.       Paper should be formatted according to MLA style guidelines; likewise, parenthetical citations and Works Cited page should adhere to MLA style with no major errors.

b.      Paper should meet the minimum length requirement specified on the assignment sheet.

c.       Paper should adequately respond to one of the assigned topics.

  1. Posit a clear thesis/argument:

a.       Thesis must center on a concrete claim.

b.      Essay should be comprised primarily of textual analysis in support of the thesis.

c.       Essay should illustrate an understanding of the text that extends beyond the surface level.

  1. Present a well-organized essay:

a.       Essay should contain introductory and conclusion paragraphs of adequate length and appropriate tone.

b.      The majority of body paragraphs should provide supporting evidence and accompanying analysis, with few in need of further elaboration.

c.       Paragraphs should contain topic sentences and/or transitions.

  1. Maintain a tone appropriate for the audience:

a.       Essay should not contain colloquialisms or excessively informal language.

b.      Essay should not rest on personal opinion.

5.     Be able to construct grammatically sound paragraphs with no pervasive pattern of grammatical errors that would undermine basic sentence-level coherence.

To earn a “B” on essay #3, a student must

  1. Adhere to all assignment requirements (MLA style and formatting, length, assigned topic).
  2. Anchor essay via concrete thesis statement focusing on a sophisticated analysis of the assigned text(s) and topic(s).
  3. Provide sound analysis that follows standard rules of paragraph construction (topic sentences, supporting evidence, explication) and displays adequate paragraph development.
  4. Have no distracting pattern of error and no more than two major grammatical errors.
  5. Display tangible improvement with respect to errors marked on previous essays/graded writing (meaning the student cannot have a repeated pattern of errors marked on previously graded work).

To earn an “A” on essay #3, a student must

  1. Adhere to all assignment requirements, with no major errors in MLA style or formatting.
  2. Provide a thesis that is insightful, sophisticated and well-articulated.
  3. Remain focused on the topic and thesis, providing sound and compelling analysis throughout the essay.
  4. Guide argument via strong topic sentences and appropriate transitions.
  5. Have very few grammatical errors, none of which interfere with coherence.
  6. Display marked improvement with respect to errors marked on previous essays/graded writing.

A “D” grade results from

  1. Failing to adhere to basic assignment requirements (length, flagrant disregard for MLA style and formatting).
  2. A lack of substantive analysis (i.e. an essay resting primarily on observation or summary).
  3. A pervasive pattern of minor errors that undermines sentence-level coherence.
  4. A pattern of repeated errors marked on previously graded work.

An “F” grade results from  

  1. Failure to adhere to basic assignment requirements.
  2. Two or more of the faults listed under “D.”