Creative, applicable attention getter.  Concise overview of the primary argument. Clearly worded thesis that states position and the main support of the essay.

Applicable attention getter.  Overview of primary argument.  Clear thesis that states position and most points of support.

Attention getter present.  Overview of primary argument present but weak or unclear.  Thesis states, “in this essay I am going to….”  Fails to mention points of support.

Attention getter lacking or inappropriate.  Weak or missing overview of argument.  Unclear or missing thesis statement.  No mention of support made.


Clear expression of main points in relation to the thesis.  Logical progression of ideas.  Clear transitions between main points.

Main points clear with minimal repetition.  Relatively logical progression of ideas.  Transitions present between main points.

Main points distinguishable from one another.  Points are repetitive or are extensions of other points.  More than 1 idea in each paragraph.  Unclear connection b/t points. Weak or no transitions.

Unclear main points / only one primary point discussed throughout the body. More than 2 ideas per paragraph.  Unclear / awkward connection between points.  No transitions.




Uses 2 or more quotes / paraphrases for each main point.  Clear and meaningful explanation of quotes in relation to larger argument.

Uses 1 quote / paraphrase for each main point.  Explanation of quote made in relation to main point.  Most support connected to larger argument.

Uses 2 quote / paraphrase in essay.  Unclear explanation of quotes in relation to main point or larger argument.

Fewer than 2 quotes / paraphrase for support throughout.  Weak, missing, or unclear explanation to point or larger argument.

Quotes / Paraphrase

Properly formatted with tags and citations.  No errors in formatting.

Properly formatted with tags and citations. 1-2 minor errors in formatting.

Missing tags or citations.  3 or more errors in formatting.

 “Floating quotes:” no tag, citation, or explanation.  Multiple errors in formatting.


Exigency: The “Jerry Springer” final thought

Well-worded summary of main ideas in relation to thesis.    Includes creative, poignant exigency.

Summarizes main ideas without repeating wording in the introduction.  Exigency present. 

Summarizes main ideas but repeats wording from introduction.  Exigency present, but repeats thesis.

Unclear or lacking summary.  Unclear or repetitious wording. Weak or lacking exigency.


Less than 3 minor errors throughout. No major errors.

Less than 4 minor errors. No major errors.

Multiple minor errors throughout. 2+ major errors.

Errors impede understanding.  Multiple major errors.


No drafts = no grade

Includes drafts of intro., body, and conclusion.  Intelligent and reflective changes.

Includes drafts of intro., body, and conclusion.  Some revision made.

Includes partial drafts.  Little change made b/t draft and final.

Includes minimal draft. Final is simply a copy of the initial draft—no change made.