Worcester State University
Academic Success

 
WritePlacer-Written Essay
 
The essay gives you an opportunity to show how effectively you can develop and express your ideas in writing.
 
You will first read a short passage and an assignment question that are focused on an important issue. You will then write an essay in which you develop your own point of view on the issue. You should support your position with appropriate reasoning and examples. The position you take will not influence your score.
 
Your essay will be given a holistic score that represents how clearly and effectively you expressed your position. The following six characteristics of writing will be considered:
 
Purpose and Focus – The extent to which you present information in a unified and coherent manner, clearly addressing the issue.
 
Organization and Structure – The extent to which you order and connect ideas.
 
Development and Support – The extent to which you develop and support ideas.
 
Sentence Variety and Style – The extent to which you craft sentences and paragraphs demonstrating control of vocabulary, voice and structure.
 
Mechanical Conventions – The extent to which you express ideas using Standard Written English.
 
Critical Thinking – The extent to which you communicate a point of view and
demonstrate reasoned relationships among ideas.
 
WritePlacer Sample Topic
Prepare a multiple-paragraph writing sample of about 300–600 words on the topic below. You should use the time available to plan, write, review, and edit what you have written. Read the assignment carefully before you begin to write.
 
Some schools require each student to participate in an organized school sport chosen by the student. People at these schools argue that athletics is an important part of the educational experience and that there should be a rule requiring participation. Others argue that students should be free to decide whether or not they wish to participate in organized school sports. Write an essay for a classroom instructor in which you take a position on whether participation in organized school athletics should be required. Be sure to defend your position with logical arguments and appropriate examples. Your essay must be 300–600 words in length.

WritePlacer Holistic Scoring Rubric

Score 0

No holistic score –

 

This writing sample has not been given a holistic score or the six dimension scores because it is either a blank page, incoherent, insufficient (too short to assess), in a foreign language, or off topic

 

Score 1

A response in this category demonstrates no mastery of on-demand essay writing; the response is severely flawed by many or most of the following weaknesses:

 

• Lacks a viable point of view on the issue

• Demonstrates no awareness of audience

• Fails to present a main idea

• Demonstrates flawed reasoning

• Demonstrates no complexity of thought

• Is disorganized and/or disjointed

• Displays fundamental errors in word choice, usage, and sentence structure

• Contains pervasive spelling, grammar, punctuation, and mechanical errors

 

Score 2

A response in this category demonstrates very little mastery of on-demand essay writing; the response is flawed by many or most of the following weaknesses:

 

• Presents a vague or limited point of view on the issue

• Demonstrates little awareness of audience

• Presents an unclear main idea

• Demonstrates weak critical thinking with little complexity of thought or with flawed reasoning

• Organizes ideas ineffectively, demonstrating a problematic progression of ideas

• Displays numerous errors in word choice, usage, and sentence structure

• Contains significant spelling, grammar, punctuation, and mechanical errors

 

Score 3

A response in this category demonstrates little mastery of on-demand essay writing; the response is flawed by one or more of the following weaknesses:

 

• Presents a vague or limited point of view on the issue

• Demonstrates little awareness of audience

• Attempts to develop the main idea though that attempt is inadequate

• Demonstrates weak critical thinking with little complexity of thought or with flawed reasoning

• Provides inappropriate or insufficient examples, reasons, or other evidence to support its position

• Is poorly organized and/or focused or demonstrates serious problems with coherence or progression of ideas

• Displays limited word choice and little sentence variety

• Contains many errors in mechanical conventions of usage, sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and punctuation

 

Score 4

An essay in this category demonstrates developing mastery of on-demand essay writing.

A typical essay:

 

• Develops a viable point of view on the issue

• May stray from audience and purpose

• Demonstrates some critical thinking but may do so inconsistently or use inadequate examples, reasons, or other evidence to support its position

• May lack control of organization or focus, demonstrating some lapses in coherence or progression of ideas

• Contains some errors in sentence structure and use of grammatical conventions such as word choice, usage, spelling, and punctuation

 

Score 5

An essay in this category demonstrates adequate mastery of on-demand essay writing although it will have lapses in quality.

A typical essay:

 

• Develops a viable point of view on the issue

• May stray from the audience and purpose but is able to refocus

• Demonstrates competent critical thinking, using adequate examples, reasons, and other evidence to support its position

• Is generally organized and focused but could lack coherence and logical progression of ideas

• Exhibits adequate but inconsistent control of language

• Demonstrates some variety in sentence structure

• Contains some minor errors in sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and punctuation

 

Score 6

An essay in this category demonstrates reasonably consistent mastery of on-demand essay writing although it may have occasional lapses in quality.

A typical essay:

 

• Effectively develops a point of view on the issue

• Addresses an appropriate audience and demonstrates a clear purpose for writing

• Demonstrates strong critical thinking, generally using appropriate examples, reasons, and other evidence to support its position

• Is well organized and focused, demonstrating coherence and a logical progression of ideas

• Exhibits consistent control in the use of language

• Demonstrates adequate variety in sentence structure

• Is generally free of errors in sentence structure, grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation

 

Score 7

An essay in this category demonstrates consistent mastery of on-demand essay writing although it may have occasional minor errors.

A typical essay:

 

• Effectively and insightfully develops a point of view on the issue

• Addresses an appropriate audience and demonstrates a clear purpose for writing in the thesis statement

• Demonstrates outstanding critical thinking, using appropriate examples, reasons, and other evidence to support its position

• Is well organized and focused, demonstrating clear coherence and smooth progression of ideas

• Exhibits appropriate language, using a varied and accurate vocabulary

• Demonstrates varied sentence structure

• Is practically free of errors in sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and punctuation

 

Score 8

An essay in this category demonstrates clear and consistent mastery of on-demand essay writing with a few minor errors.

A typical essay:

 

• Effectively and insightfully develops a point of view on the issue

• Addresses an appropriate audience and demonstrates a clear purpose for writing in the thesis statement

• Demonstrates outstanding critical thinking, using effective examples, reasons, and other evidence to support its position

• Is well organized and clearly focused, demonstrating clear coherence and smooth progression of ideas

• Exhibits skillful use of language, using a varied, accurate, and apt vocabulary

• Demonstrates varied and effective sentence structure

• Is free of major errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation

 

 
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