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Essay Criteria Scale

Explain how Europe benefited from cultural diffusion during the period c. A.D. 1000 - 1500.

The following criteria scale is used to determine the score for the Essay part of the project.
Above Level 4 Above Level 3 Above Level 2 Above Level 1
Purpose & Form Essay demonstrates a strong focus and clear purpose in thesis statement. (to inform, summarize, compare etc.) Clear main thesis that indicates purpose of essay. Thesis is evident but supporting details in body paragraphs are only minimally supportive. The main idea is sketchy and weakly developed.

No clear thesis in introduction to indicate purpose
Supporting Paragraphs The main idea is complex, sustained and fully developed in each body paragraph.

Each body paragraph is very well developed with a strong topic sentence and creative and distinguished supporting details.
Each body paragraph sufficiently and relevantly supports thesis.

Each body paragraph is developed with topic sentence and supporting details.
Details in the body paragraphs weakly support topic sentences of paragraphs. No topic sentences in body paragraphs.

Insufficient writing in each paragraph.

Evidence is unrelated to argument
Organization Organization of essay is logical & creative.

Paragraphs that have a well linked beginning, middle and end.

Excellent use of transitions within paragraphs and linking paragraphs.
Essay is 5 paragraphs.

Body paragraphs demonstrate a strong beginning, middle and ending.

Clear use of transitions between paragraphs and within them.
Essay is 5 paragraphs.

Attempts to give a beginning, middle and end with use of transitions in each paragraph.
Essay is not 5 paragraphs.

Paragraphs have no clear beginning, middle or ending.

No use of transitions.
Style Voice is clear, coherent and sustained.

Vocabulary is more varied and appropriate for intended audience.

Sentence variety is varied.
Voice is evident and consistent.

Vocabulary is appropriate to the purpose of the writing.

Effective use of some sentence variety.
Voice is recognizable, but weak and not consistent.

Attempting to use creative and appropriate vocabulary.
No distinguishable voice.

Vocabulary is simple but sufficient to convey basic ideas.
& Spelling
Writing is free of all conventional spelling and mechanical errors. Writing has been well edited.

Occasional spelling & mechanical errors do not distract the reader.
Errors in spelling and mechanics that distract the reader. No editing apparent.

Many spelling & mechanical errors.