USE AS COVER SHEET FOR ‘THIS I BELIEVE’ ESSAY
AP English Language & Composition
50 points possible Writing Rubric
A+ (9) = 50 A (8) = 46-49 A- (7) = 45 B+ (6) = 44 B (5) = 42-43 B- (4) = 40-41 C+/C (3) = 36-39 C-/below (1-2) = 35/below
Name: Assignment: Due Date:
THINKING ORGANIZATION CONTENT DICTION MECHANICS
Development of ideas, clarity Arrangement and flow of Supporting details Use of language, sentence Spelling, punctuation,
of purpose logic structure paragraphing
EXEMPLARY Writer generates original Writer's theme/thesis and Writer's choice of Writer's voice is clear. Writing contains very few
ideas, provides a compelling supporting evidence are supporting evidence is Varied and elegant or no errors. Use of
8-9 thesis, synthesizes complex
concepts, and offers keen
presented clearly and artfully,
rich and substantive;
sources are integrated in a
sentences enhance impact.
Rich, effective vocabulary
meaning. Writer "breaks
insights. sophisticated manner. and figurative language. rules" artfully.
COMMENDABLE Writer demonstrates evidence Writing contains clear focus Writer's choice of content Writer demonstrates an Writing contains few errors,
of original thinking, offers a and flow of logic, including is interesting and awareness of the value of sophisticated use of
6-7 clear thesis, synthesizes
concepts, and displays
an effective introduction and
conclusion, and skillful
meaningful, with effective
details and integration of
good sentence variety and
generally rich language in
grammar and punctuation,
and effective paragraphing.
insight. transitions. sources. enhancing meaning.
EFFECTIVE Writer attempts analysis, but Writing is generally focused; Writer uses correct Writing contains some Writing features generally
(but with flaws) demonstrates little or no some attempt at flow of logic, information and sufficient sentence variety, correct correct spelling, paragraph
original thought or insight; but with limited success; details to support focus, word usage, and structure and grammar.
5 thesis is present but weak. adequate but "formulaic" but content does not acceptable vocabulary, Errors do not interfere with
introduction/conclusion. enhance meaning/impact. but lacks richness. meaning.
APPROACHES Writer demonstrates general Writer's focus is either limited Information is generally Lack of sentence variety, Writing contains errors -- in
EFFECTIVE awareness of purpose, but or too broad; organization is correct, but writing lacks limited vocabulary, and/or spelling, grammar and/or
central thesis is missing; no awkward and/or inconsistent; sufficient details and/or errors in usage (ref., S/P, punctuation -- that interfere
3-4 evidence of original thought. ineffective introduction and/or some details fail to V.T., inappropriate use of with meaning,
conclusion. support focus. first or second person).
NOT EFFECTIVE Writer shows little or no Writer's focus is unclear, with Writing contains details Writing contains no Writing contains many
understanding of purposes; poor organization, lack of that are confusing, sentence variety, some errors in spelling,
1-2 thinking lacks coherence. transitions; introduction irrelevant or repetitive; no sentence fragments and/or capitalization, punctuation
and/or conclusion is missing. integration of sources. run-on sentences; and/or paragraphing. Errors
simplistic vocabulary. seriously interfere with
Overall Grade: Comments:
AP English Essay Rubric Medium Score (5)
Each of the three AP English Language and Composition essays equals one- Essays that earn a medium score complete the essay task, but with no special
third of the total essay score, and the entire essay (free-response) section equals insights; the analysis lacks depth and merely states the obvious. Frequently, the
55% of the total exam score. ideas are predictable and the paragraph development weak. Although the writing
Each essay is read by experienced, well-trained high school AP teachers or conveys the writer’s ideas, they are presented simplistically and often contain
college professors. The essay is given a holistic score from 1 to 9. (A score of 0 is lapses in diction or syntax.
recorded for a student who writes completely off the topic — for example, “Why I – Rhetorical analysis essays demonstrate uneven or insufficient understanding of
think this test is a waste of money.” A student who doesn’t even attempt an essay, how rhetorical strategies create an author’s point. Often, the writer merely lists what
who leaves a blank page, will receive the equivalent of a 0 score, but it is noted as he or she observes in the passage instead of analyzing effect.
a dash [-] on the reader’s scoring sheet.) The reader assigns a score based on the – Argument essays demonstrate the ability to present an argument, but they
essay’s merits as a whole, on what the essay does well; the readers don’t simply frequently provide limited and inadequate discussion, explanation, or evidence
count errors. Although each essay topic has its own scoring rubric (or guide) based for the writer’s ideas. The writer may not address enough of the sources in
on that topic’s specific information, a general scoring guide for rhetorical analysis the synthesis essay. Oversimplification of the issue(s) minimizes the essay’s
and argumentation essays follows. Notice that, on the whole, essay-scoring guides effectiveness.
encompass four essential points; AP readers want your essay to be (1) on topic, Medium-Low Score (3-4)
(2) well organized, (3) thoroughly developed, and (4) correct in mechanics and These essays are weaker than the 5 score because the writer overlooks or
sophisticated in style. perhaps misreads important ideas in the passage. The student may summarize
the passage’s ideas instead of analyzing them. Although the writer’s ideas are
High Score (8-9) generally understandable, the control of language is often immature.
High-scoring essays thoroughly address all the tasks of the essay prompt in – Rhetorical analysis essays demonstrate little discussion of rhetorical strategies or
well-organized responses. The writing demonstrates stylistic sophistication and incorrect identification and/or analysis of those strategies.
control over the elements of effective writing, although it is not necessarily faultless. – Argument essays demonstrate little ability to construct an argument. They may
Overall, high-scoring essays present thoroughly developed, intelligent ideas; sound not clearly identify the author’s point, may not present multiple authors’ points of
and logical organization; strong evidence; and articulate diction. view in the synthesis essay, and may offer little evidence for the student’s position.
– Rhetorical analysis essays demonstrate significant understanding of the passage, Low Score (1-2)
its intent, and the rhetorical strategies the author employs. These essays demonstrate minimal understanding of the topic or the passage.
– Argument essays demonstrate the ability to construct a compelling argument, Perhaps unfinished, these essays offer no analysis of the passage and little or
observing the author’s underlying assumptions, (addressing multiple authors in no evidence for the student’s ideas. Incorrect assertions may be made about the
the synthesis essay) and discussing many sides of the issues with appropriate passage. Stylistically, these essays may show consistent grammatical problems,
evidence. and sentence structure is usually simple and unimaginative.
Medium-High Score (6-7) – Rhetorical analysis essays demonstrate little ability to identify or analyze
Medium-scoring essays complete the tasks of the essay topic well – they show rhetorical strategies. Sometimes these essays misread the prompt and replace it
some insight but usually with less precision and clarity than high-scoring essays. with easier tasks, such as paraphrasing the passage or listing some strategies the
There may be lapses in correct diction or sophisticated language, but the essay is author uses.
generally well written. – Argument essays demonstrate little ability to understand the author’s point (or
– Rhetorical analysis essays demonstrate sufficient examination of the author’s multiple authors in the synthesis essay) and then construct an argument that
point and the rhetorical strategies he uses to enhance the central idea. analyzes it. Minimal or nonexistent evidence hurts the essay’s effectiveness. Some
– Argument essays demonstrate the ability to construct an adequate argument, students may substitute an easier task by presenting tangential or irrelevant ideas,
understand the author’s point, and discuss its implications with suitable evidence. – evidence, or explanation.
The synthesis argument will address at least three of the sources.