ESL 123 Final Essay Scoring Rubric

Scoring Guide for ESL 123 Final Essays

The scoring guide contains 5 categories: content, organization, vocabulary, grammar, and spelling and mechanics. The categories in each essay may have different ratings, but the majority should be level 3 or above for a passing composition.

Clear Pass (4)
Content: The student addresses the questions in the prompt so that the writing is interesting and well-developed.
Organization: Clear paragraphing with ideas moving smoothly from general to specific or in another clear and logical order with specific details and examples clearly supporting the ideas presented.
Vocabulary: Words are specific, varied, and used correctly throughout.
Grammar: Verb tenses are used correctly. Overall, there are few grammar mistakes, and the meaning of sentences is clear.
Spelling and Mechanics: Most words are spelled correctly and most punctuation is used correctly.


Pass (3)
Content: The student clearly addresses all or most of the questions in the prompt.
Organization: Adequate paragraphing that is mostly clear and logical with sufficient use of details and examples.
Vocabulary: Words are specific and varied and are generally used correctly.
Grammar: Verb tenses are generally used correctly and the meaning of sentences is clear although there are some grammar mistakes.
Spelling and Mechanics: There are some spelling and/or punctuation mistakes, but they do not interfere with understanding.





Not Pass (2)
Content: The student may address one or two of the questions in the prompt but not thoroughly.
Organization: There may be paragraphs but ideas may not be presented in a logical order or lack details and examples.
Vocabulary: Vocabulary is somewhat limited or repetitive and not be used correctly.
Grammar: There are mistakes with grammar, including verb tenses, so that the meaning of sentences may not be clear.
Spelling and Mechanics: There are some spelling and/or punctuation mistakes which interfere with understanding.


Fail (1)
Content: The student may address one of the questions in the prompt but answers vaguely or briefly.
Organization: The order of ideas is confusing and details and examples are not used or are not supportive.
Vocabulary: Vocabulary is limited or repetitive and significantly interferes with understanding.
Grammar: There are many grammar problems, especially verb tenses, which make the ideas difficult to follow.
Spelling and Mechanics: Writing includes many distracting spelling and/or punctuation mistakes that significantly interfere with understanding.