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  • Thesis

  • Assertions

  1.  
    • Thesis is an opinion stated in the first person, and may or may not be a statement directly in response to the prompt.
    • Thesis is written in the third person, and may just be a topic sentence that restates the prompt. It may only address half the prompt (i.e. theme but no attempt to name craft move, or vice versa; in a two-text prompt, students may only write about one text).
    • Thesis is written in the third person, and may just be a topic sentence that restates the prompt. It attempts to answer the whole prompt, but may be too unclear to assess defensibility. This statement does not need to be accurate.
    • If the prompt demands it, the defensible thesis is written as an argument/inference that can be supported with evidence (rather than a restatement of prompt or summary of the text/issue). This statement must answer all parts of a multi-part question. This statement does not need to be accurate.
    • The defensible claim that the thesis makes represents a broad argument that could be made for all texts or all sides of the issue involved in the prompt (comprehensive). This statement must answer all parts of a multi-part question. This statement does not need to be accurate. Attempt at counterclaim present, if needed.
    • A focused thesis is one with strong, precise language that clearly conveys strong, precise ideas in response to a prompt. Thesis statements are often not focused when the language is imprecise, thus keeping the ideas at a level that is too broad. This statement must answer all parts of a multi-part question. This statement does not need to be accurate. Counterclaim is focused.
    • An analytical thesis is a response that incorporates the deepest meaning of the text in response to the prompt OR most meaningful level of an argument. It is the teacher exemplar in terms of language & level of interpretation. It does NOT list assertions. This statement must answer all parts of a multi-part question. This statement does not need to be accurate. Counterclaim is analytical.
    • A nuanced response shares the relevant complexities or nuances of an argument based on what took place in the text/what comes up in the scope of the argument--it does not overlook or not recognize these complexities for the sake of an answer. Goes beyond the "answering the whole prompt" and thinking about the text and/or author influences in responding to the prompt. This statement must answer all parts of a multi-part question. This statement does not need to be accurate. Counterclaim is nuanced.
  1.  
    • Generally body paragraphs contain topic sentences that frame each paragraph. Some topic sentences are related to the topic of the paper.
    • Most topic sentences are relevant to the topic of the paper.
    • Each topic sentence is directly relevant to the thesis statement and some topic sentences are assertions. Sequence of assertions may be random.
    • Each topic sentence is directly relevant to the thesis and most topic sentences are assertions.
    • Sequence of assertions is attempted.
    • Each topic sentence is an assertion that supports the thesis statement.
    • Sequence of assertions is mostly intentional but may not effectively advance the argument.
    • Each assertion provides defensible and relevant support for the larger argument of the thesis statement. Some assertions are clarified in scope.
    • Sequence of assertions is intentional and sometimes advances the argument.
    • Each assertion provides defensible and relevant support for the larger argument of the thesis statement. Assertions are mostly clarified in scope.
    • Sequence of assertions is intentional and mostly advances the argument.
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  • Quality

  1.  
    • Ideas show some understanding of the text/content and the task;  includes a significant misunderstanding. Significant misunderstanding of task: The response is on-topic, but in the wrong mode (i.e. the prompt asks students to defend use of cell phones in schools & scholar writes a story about cell phones); OR the response demonstrates a significant misunderstanding of a text (i.e. student thought a character lived when he/she actually died - it's like the scholar read a different text).
    • Some understanding: The response is on-topic and in the right mode but the response is missing an important element like text evidence (i.e. the essay is just interpretation of the text with no support); OR the ideas contain many misunderstandings that impact the argument (the scholar seems to have read the same text, but has very different & inaccurate ideas about it).
    • Basic/literal understanding: Scholar's ideas are accurate, but do not move beyond summary or "right there" evidence. There may be a few small inaccuracies that do not impact the argument being made and/or one larger inaccuracy (i.e. wrong craft move). The response is on topic and in the right format. If scholars do not answer part of a question (i.e. never address a craft move demanded by the prompt), they should probably land here.
    • Scholar's ideas are accurate, and there is evidence of inferential/"deeper" thinking present in some (i.e. less than half) of the elements of the essay. There may be some vague, but not inaccurate, language. There may be a few small inaccuracies that do not impact the argument being made. The response is on topic and in the right mode.
    • Scholar's ideas are accurate, and most of the elements of the essay (thesis, assertions, evidence, analysis) are aligned to an inferential/deeper meaning. There may be some vague, but not inaccurate, language. There can be one small inaccuracy that does not impact the argument being made. The response is on topic and in the right mode. Counterclaim is named somewhere in the essay.
    • Scholar's ideas are accurate, and all elements of the essay are aligned to an inferential/deeper meaning. The language used to describe that deeper meaning is precise and accurate. There can be one small inaccuracy that does not impact the argument being made. The response is on topic and in the right mode. Counterclaim is named somewhere in the essay with an attempt at disproving it.
    • Scholar's ideas are accurate, and all elements of the essay are aligned to ideas that reflect the deepest meaning of the text OR most meaningful level of the argument. It is the teacher exemplar in terms of depth of thinking. There may be 1-2 small inaccuracies that do not impact the argument. The response is on topic and in the right mode. Accurate refutation of counter-claim.
    • Scholar's ideas are accurate, and all elements of the essay are aligned to ideas that discuss relevant complexities or nuances of the argument (i.e discussing text or author influences). There may be 1-2 small inaccuracies that do not impact the argument. The response is on topic and in the right mode. Refutation of counter-claim is logical & dismissed fairly (nothing makes you say "hmmm" or remain unconvinced)
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  • Structure

  • Flow

  1.  
    • Paragraphs are absent yet ideas and information relate to each other.
    • Groups related ideas and information logically. Organizes ideas into separate and distinct body paragraphs. Provides a concluding statement or section that connects to the topic.
    • Reasonable essay structure.
    • Body paragraphs include appropriate content in a logical internal structure.
    • Introduction and conclusion are appropriately structured and conclusion supports thesis.
    • Well-developed essay has logical internal structure, building to become more convincing and complete.
    • Introduction is sophisticated and the conclusion provides closure.
    • Well-developed essay has logical internal structure to enhance the understanding of the reader, building to become more convincing and complete.
    • Sophisticated introduction draws readers in and insightful conclusion provides closure and eclipses thesis.
  1.  
    • Generally uses 1-2 word transitions to clarify relationships among claims and reasons.
    • Uses transition words and phrases to clarify relationships among most claims and reasons.
    • Uses some appropriate words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationship among claims and evidence chunks. There are some awkward or stilted transitions between ideas.
    • Uses appropriate words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationship among claims and evidence chunks. Limited awkward or stilted transitions between ideas.
    • Uses a variety of appropriate words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationship among claims, interpretations, and evidence chunks.
    • Almost no awkward or stilted transitions between ideas.
    • Uses a variety of appropriate words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationship among claims, interpretations, and evidence chunks.
    • There are no awkward or stilted transitions between ideas.