CSU Composition Exam Grading Guide
9-8: The upper-range responses satisfy the following criteria:
- Summary The summary should identify and distinguish between Sulloway's birth order thesis and Devlin's disagreement with Sulloway. It should note some of the reasons why Devlin disagrees with Sulloway, e.g. unscientific, illogical, subjective, and/or not very useful.
- Focus of agreement and/or disagreement Agreement/disagreement may be complete or partial, but the writer must establish, explain, and maintain the focus of agreement/disagreement with Devlin's argument.
- Support for agreement and/or disagreement Support should provide an analysis of Devlin's argument and/or relevant and concrete examples from the writer's experience or general knowledge.
- Style and coherence These papers demonstrate clear style, overall organization, consecutiveness of thought, and often a strong, effective voice. They contain few errors in usage, grammar, or mechanics.
7: This score should be used for papers which fulfill the basic requirements for the 9 8 grade but have less development, support, or analysis.
6-5: Middle-range papers omit or are deficient in one of the four criteria:
- Summary Summary absent, inaccurate, incomplete, or implicit.
- Focus of agreement/disagreement What the writer is agreeing/disagreeing with is not clear, is not well-maintained, or is not related to Devlin's main argument.
- Support Writer only asserts or counter asserts; writer's examples are highly generalized or not distinguishable from examples given in the article; the writer's analysis of Devlin's argument may be specious, irrelevant, inaccurate, or thin.
Style and coherence These papers are loosely organized or contain noticeable errors in usage, grammar, or mechanics. They may have a strong but inappropriate voice.
4: This grade should be used for papers which fulfill the basic requirement for the 6 5 grade but are slightly weaker. Essays that do not respond to the prompt but are otherwise satisfactory typically receive a 4.
3: Lower range papers are deficient in two or more of the criteria--typically, they have no summary and no support. Often these papers are preachy, cliched, or platitudinous OR they have noticeable organization/coherence problems.
2: Papers with serious, repeated errors in usage, grammar or mechanics OR papers with significant focus or coherence problems that seriously disrupt communication must be
given a 2.
1: This grade should be given to those papers which have overwhelming problems.