Self-Study Grading Criteria

Grading Criteria:

A passing essay must:

  • have a clear controlling theme or thesis
  • develop this theme thoroughly with examples from your writing portfolio (cite yourself!) as well as references to scholars and critics. You can also refer to your work reviewing your classmate’s writing and to your past writing experiences.
  • cite at least three of the following five writers: Sommers, Rose, Perl, Faigley, Lu.
  • understand the writers you include (use the study guide, your notes, and the article itself)
  • integrate supporting quotes and paraphrases smoothly and correctly
  • conclude somewhere near the bottom of page six (or on a subsequent page)
  • demonstrate revision (there should be substantial differences between the first and final draft)
  • be submitted in a portfolio with all required components


  • have an introduction that adequately introduces the argument
  • have a conclusion that adequately concludes the essay
  • as a whole, be logically organized into well-developed, well-organized paragraphs
  • use transitions between paragraphs to make paper organization clear for readers
  • use transitions between sentences to make paragraph organization clear to readers
  • avoid unnecessary repetition


  • be clean stylistically, using concise and clear sentences, strong verbs, sentence variety, emphasis, and parallel sentence structure; avoid “this” as a pronoun except for emphasis
  • be grammatically correct, using commas with an introductory phrases, using a comma and a conjunction to connect two independent phrases (phrases that can stand alone as sentences), using only a conjunction with compound verbs
  • employ a voice and tone appropriate for academic discourse
  • demonstrate conscientious word choice and diction
  • be formatted correctly? (1inch margins and Times Roman 12inch font)
  • include a works cited page, in correct MLA format, that lists the texts to which your paper refers
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