This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but it should give some idea of the elements considered under each category.

I. Content

  1. Interesting
  2. Fresh and original
  3. Shows perception and insight
  4. Accurate, intelligent and thorough in analysis
  5. Objective
  6. Logical
  7. Avoids platitudes, trite comments, and obvious statements
  8. Fulfills expectations of the assignment

II. Support of Generalization

  1. Details
  2. Examples
  3. Illustrations
  4. Facts
  5. Shows understanding of difference between specific and general support

III. Organization

  1. On the subject assigned
  2. Subject is appropriately limited
  3. Has an organizational plan
  4. Is logically developed
  5. Is unified around a thesis (implied or stated)
  6. Has appropriate emphasis
  7. Maintains consistent point of view
  8. Provides effective introduction and conclusion
  9. Uses transitional devices when appropriate
  10. Contains unified, coherent, orderly, developed, focused paragraphs

IV. Grammar and Mechanics

(bold = major errors; even one error can disqualify an essay from the portfolio). This list is intended to be representative rather than exhaustive.

  1. Verb form
  2. Verb tense
  3. Fragment
  4. Run-on
  5. Comma splice
  6. Subject/verb agreement
  7. Spelling
  8. Punctuation
  9. Pronoun agreement
  10. Pronoun case
  11. Sentence structure clarity
  12. Dangling/misplaced modifiers
  13. Apostrophes
  14. Parallelism
  15. Consistent grammatical point of view