General Studies Writing Program
GSW 1120 Grading Descriptors
When assigning grades to essays in GSW 1120, each of the six rubric categories may receive an evaluation of "Pass," "Almost Pass," or "No Pass." If any categories of the rubric earn an evaluation of "Almost Pass" or "No Pass," the essay must receive a "No Pass" or an "Almost Pass."
If the essay passes all categories of the rubric, a letter grade of A, B, or C will be assigned, based on GSW standards.
Click here to view The GSW Rubric (PDF will open in a new tab).
GSW 1120 Grading Descriptors
- An A essay clearly passes all categories of the rubric. It demonstrates a superior command of the subject matter and presents that information so effectively that the reader enjoys reading the essay and learns from it. The A essay shows clear organization that captivates the audience and keeps readers involved through all stages of the essay. Moreover, the A essay reveals a sophistication in style and an original voice; sentences are appropriately varied in length and construction; transitions and metadiscourse are used to produce a smooth flow for the reader; connections between sentences and ideas are clear. In addition, individual sentences are concise, clear, and highly specific. The A essay demonstrates a high degree of selectivity in word choice and is free of all but a few minor errors in grammar and mechanics. The A essay is the work of a writer who is able to deal comfortably with complex material and can present that material effectively for others. As a result of its careful organizational structure and development, all factors, both in content and style, combine to form a unified whole. For the multiple source and researched essays, effective synthesis must be demonstrated for a grade of A.
- A B essay clearly passes in all categories of the rubric. It contains few mechanical errors (none of which impede communication), and it effectively delivers a substantial amount of interesting information. The specific points are logically ordered, well-developed, and unified according to a clear organizing principle. The introduction and conclusion are effective, but not as engaging as in the A essay. The B essay exhibits an understanding of metadiscourse, and transitions are adequately smooth and logical. Sentence structure is sufficiently varied in both length and construction, and the choice of words has been made selectively, with few minor errors in grammar and mechanics. The writing in a B essay is organized, clear, coherent, and correct. The essay is far more than competent and, again, must show effective synthesis.
- A C essay passes all categories of the rubric. It is generally competent and reasonably well developed and organized. The C essay demonstrates an average knowledge of the subject matter, but the presentation of that information is often vaguely stated and superficially connected. The essay may lack adequate transitions and use of metadiscourse. The sentence structure is often not varied in either length or construction. It may contain some mechanical or grammatical errors, but they do not interfere significantly with meaning. Though the C essay fulfills the assignment, it is not especially engaging or enlightening. In GSW 1120 multiple source essays and researched essays, a C essay must show synthesis of source materials and an ability to construct and sustain an academic argument.
- An NP (Not Passing) essay does not pass in one or more categories of the rubric. It has serious flaws in audience awareness, organization, development, syntax, word choice, and/or mechanics and grammar.