This strand evaluates at the holistic and synthesis level. The Ideas strand seeks to evaluate how well the Position is proven (substantiation) and how well the ideas are synthesized and interwoven. This strand is broader than the Interpretation strand—it encompasses the essay as a whole.

Quality evaluates the correctness of ideas, the complexity of ideas, and the integration of ideas across a full spectrum.

Substantiation addresses the level of proof that supports the position. When scoring at levels 5-8, it is important to think about the substantiation of both the position’s depth and breadth.