Use the following guidelines to determine a holistic core (1-5) for each piece of writing.
(5) Score—Superior contains most of the following characteristics:
- Clear, well-focused topic—Main idea stands out and is supported by interesting examples and vivid word choices. We know what the writer is trying to say, and we want to hear more!
- Very clear organization. Writing has a definite beginning, middle, and end. Paragraphs flow, and the order of paragraphs makes sense to the reader.
- Vivid examples and details support the main idea and keep the reader interested.
- Well-developed sentences that are concise, compelling, and easy to read. Word choices are exciting. Writing gives the reader something to think about!
- Very few mechanical or grammatical errors make the writing easy to read.
(4) Score—Competent contains most of the following characteristics:
- Main idea is clear, but reader may have to work to see connections between ideas.
- Organization is evident, but transitions from one idea to another may be awkward.
- Examples make sense, but may not be interesting or insightful.
- Sentences are usually varied and may differ in length and structure. Word choices are clear and appropriate, but may be uninteresting.
- Some mechanical errors may be present, but writing is still readable.
(3) Score—Adequate contains most of the following characteristics:
- Main idea is somewhat vague or predictable.
- Structure may seem formulaic and contrived. Poor organization and a lack of paragraph structure make the writing difficult to follow in places.
- Examples are general or vague and only loosely connected to the main idea.
- Errors with sentence structure are frequent. Word choices are predictable and weak.
- Errors with grammar and mechanics begin to distract reader from the content.
(2) Score—Weak contains most of the following characteristics:
- The main idea is not clear, or the connection between the main idea and supporting details is loose and hard to follow.
- Ideas seem contrived, and paragraphs are overloaded or underdeveloped.
- Examples are simplistic, repetitious, vague, and/or confusing making the writing hard to read.
- Errors with sentence structure make writing hard to follow. Run-on sentences and/or sentence fragments are evident. Reader must reread sentences to determine meaning.
- Writer makes numerous grammatical errors that distract the reader.
(1) Score—Inadequate contains most of the following characteristics:
- Writing appears to be a random collection of unrelated ideas. This lack of focus makes ideas hard to follow.
- No clear structure, and a lack of organization make the writing very hard to understand.
- Writing lacks specific examples or details to develop main idea. Reader works very hard to understand what is going on.
- Sentences lack structure and appear incomplete or rambling. Many errors are evident.
- Serious grammar and mechanical problems are present.
See a sample of a QEP Writing Assignment for exiting graduates.