English 1/esl 1 Final Essay Examination Evaluation Criteria

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English 1/ESL 1 Final Essay Examination Evaluation Criteria


Evaluators must interpret the criteria reasonably; few students will meet all of the criteria or any single criterion completely.

The English 1/ESL 1 Final Essay Examination must


  1. Respond to the writing task.

The paper must respond to the specific topic and the reading and must show understanding of the reading. A paper simply restating the content of the reading is not an adequate response. The paper must be at least 400 words long.


  1. Treat the reading fairly.

The paper must avoid plagiarism by attributing the words and ideas of others to their source. Borrowed words and combinations of words must be set off by quotation marks. The paper must not misinterpret or misquote others’ words.


C. Maintain a consistent style and sense of audience.

The paper must not have abrupt or confusing shifts in person, voice or tense.


D. Present a single main idea or thesis.

The paper must have a central idea or thesis and must stay on topic with a consistent point of view.


E. Be organized logically and coherently.

The paper must be organized according to a discernible plan, with the main points supporting the thesis. The reader must be able to follow the plan with ease.


F. Be divided into well-developed paragraphs.

The main points of the paper must be expressed and fully and logically developed in paragraphs. Unsupported generalizations are insufficient. Paragraph divisions must be appropriate.


G. Have a variety of sentences that are free from serious grammatical errors.

The paper must use a variety of sentence patterns and be free of sentence faults: fragments, comma splices, fused sentences, faulty reference, mixed structure, faulty predication, and misplaced or dangling modifiers.


H. Use words appropriate to the audience and purpose.

The paper should have appropriate and precise word choice, avoiding unnecessary jargon, clichés, colloquialisms, and pretentious diction.


I. Adhere to the conventions of Standard English.

The paper should have no more than minimal errors in spelling, punctuation, capitalization, apostrophe, and case, and should use standard forms of verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.









1. Use the large size 8 ½ x 11 bluebook only. If you do not have a proper bluebook, see the teacher/proctor at once.


2. Write in the space provided on the outside front cover of your bluebook your name, social security number, current telephone number, and English 1/ESL 1 instructor’s name and class section (e.g. MTWTH 9:00). If you are retaking the test and are not currently enrolled in an English 1 class, be sure to write your English 1 instructor’s name and RETAKE on the test.


3. Make sure you understand the topic assigned. Review the reading carefully. You may write on the topic sheet, making notes and underlining as you wish. You may use scratch paper for planning and writing drafts. Your finished essay should be four hundred words long.


4. Write your finished essay in the bluebook in blue or black ink on one side of the page only. You may write on every line or every other line, as you wish, but do not mix the two line spacings. Put the topic identifier at the top of the first page.


5. Write legibly. Proofread and correct mistakes. Teachers reading your essay expect you will make corrections on the final copy, but they expect a generally neat looking paper.


6. When you have finished, turn in ALL of your preparation materials together with your bluebook. Leave the room quietly.


7. At the end of the time period you must STOP writing.


8. You may leave the room briefly to attend to personal needs with permission of the proctor, but you must leave all writing materials in the room.





Several basic guidelines may be helpful in writing the final essay.


The introduction should refer to the reading by mentioning the author, title, publisher, and date of publication. It should include a brief statement of the central idea of the reading. Then the essay must state its own thesis, one that provides an answer to the essay test question.


From here on, the rest of the essay needs to prove its point by advancing ideas, examining detailed evidence from the article, perhaps quoting a few key words, and building a solid case.


It is important that the final essay not merely paraphrase the article or parrot the opinion of the author but provide fresh reasoning and analysis of the issue. Good topic sentence with supporting details for each paragraph and a clear organizational structure for the paragraphs will go a long way toward building a convincing argument. If the essay is adequately developed, it will meet the four- hundred-word minimum required.


Finally, the essay should be proofread carefully.


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