Final Exam Grading Criteria

Final Exam (Rhetorical Analysis) Grading Criteria

Sophisticated analysis focused on the choices the author makes to support the purpose of the text; essay contains a controlling thesis which analyzes the rhetorical choice(s) the author (or authoring agency) makes; supporting evidence is specific and appropriate for the thesis; reasoning is insightful; quotes are fully integrated and explained; understands the audience, purpose and context of the original article; coherent progression of ideas made with skillful transitions; fluid sentence-level prose; minimal errors; citations are correct and complete.

Clear and coherent analysis of the text; contains a clear thesis which may not be as sophisticated; evidence relates to claims; reasoning is logical; logical progression of ideas; analysis may contain minor misunderstanding of a rhetorical element (purpose, audience, etc.); uses attributive tags and/or citations consistently and correctly; quotes may not be integrated but they are appropriate to the evidence and explained; adequate paraphrases; competent transitions; clear and concise sentence-level prose with minor lapses

Competent analysis of text; Thesis makes an argument for any rhetorical element, though the thesis may be weak; thesis may not drive the analysis; evidence is mostly appropriate but may lack in-depth or thoughtful examination; may misunderstand some rhetorical elements of the article; may contain more summary than analysis; uses attributive tags and/or citations inconsistently and/or incorrectly; quotes are unexplained and there may be too many quotes; paraphrases may contain occasional minor lapses or may too closely follow original text (in one or two places); transitions exist but may be inappropriate; sentences are mostly correct (the occasional fragment or run on) but may be awkward or simplistic.

Inadequate analysis of article; inadequate (or no) attempt at a thesis; documents some claims with evidence from text but evidence may be weak or unclear; evidence is mostly summarized; misunderstands the original piece; inadequate organization, difficult to follow; ideas underdeveloped or difficult to discern; relies on summary instead of analysis; evidence may not be fully integrated into the essay; relies too heavily on quotes and paraphrasing with little or no explanation; fails to use attributive tags and/or citations; transitions may be nonexistent; sentences may contain many errors and boundary issues though they are readable

Exam may fail for any number of reasons: no thesis; evidence from text is weak or non-existent; essay is mostly summary or opinion; lacks coherence, jumps around; little-to-no analysis present; quotes are unrelated to any main point and are unexplained; vague or confusing prose, significant mechanical errors which may impede understanding.

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