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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Assessing your students' writing, Part 1: FOCUS and COHERENCE

Here are the things you should be looking for when grading your students' composition papers.

  • All paragraphs, as well as the composition as a whole, are focused and sustained. The reader can see how each idea is related to the next.
  • Introduction and conclusion are meaningful to the composition because they add depth. The paper has a sense of completeness.
  • The topic is narrow and manageable. The points are made clear and are easily understood.
  • Most, if not all, of the writing contributes to the total quality and development of the composition.
  • Pacing is well-controlled. The writer knows when to slow down and explain more fully, and when to pick up the pace and move on to the next idea.
  • The title (if one is used) is original and captures the plot and theme of the composition.
  • The tone and mood of the composition is appropriate for the purpose and for the intended audience.

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