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Guide to Writing at Stetson University

This guide is designed for students and faculty to use as a resource for what “good college writing” looks like—and how students can achieve it—and how faculty can encourage it.

General Descriptive Rubric

Example 3: Professors of writing-enhanced courses may use a rubric similar to this to describe the work that would earn a specific letter grade

In general, A writing is characterized by absolute clarity and original thought. No essay earns an A if it is not outstanding, academically challenging, and excellent. As are NOT for working hard; rather, As are awarded for rich and full detail, adroit transitions and effective arrangement, ethical and broad research, successful and vivid development and use of the individual voice, and quality of thought, expressed in high quality prose.

In general, B writing is characterized by above average achievement. An essay earning a B is one that demonstrates most of the qualities of average writing, illuminated in some spots by evidence of excellence: for instance, while organization may be sound throughout the essay, a superb introduction and conclusion might reflect "above average" skill in this area. Few mechanical errors are present. A B essay is often considered a C essay with some extra "good stuff"--style, voice, humor, and so on.

In general, C writing is average and expected writing. The essay has no particular lacks or weaknesses, but neither does it demonstrate excellence. Organization is coherent if slightly inconsistent, use of evidence is often limited to one or two kinds, and the essay sounds somewhat anonymous. Mechanical errors are present but not intrusive. A C designates average achievement.

In general, D writing falls below the average mark in two ways: meeting the assignment and mechanical proficiency. Writing that is off topic, doesn't address the assignment, or ignores one or more elements of the assignment is below average; mechanical errors that interfere with the reading process are clearly below average. Incomplete essays, or essays that do not get revised, are often D level essays that could be raised to C essays with substantial work.

In general, F writing fails to meet the assignment, fails to show effort at passing the course, fails the ethical expectations or in some other irreparable way falls far, far short of being acceptable work

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