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Gordon Rule



Demonstrates Emerging College-Level Writing 1

Demonstrates Satisfactory College-Level Writing 2

Demonstrates Proficient College-Level Writing 3

Demonstrates Exemplary College-Level Writing 4

Demonstrates Effective

Thesis evident but support very general and/or inconsistent.

Several factual errors

Thesis evident but supported by a mixture of generalizations and specific detail.

Some factual errors

Thesis, stated or implied, presents a plan of development that is carried out.

Effective supporting details.

Consistent development.

No factual errors.

Stated or implied thesis developed logically, coherently and extensively with convincing, specific supporting details.

Strong evidence of critical thinking.

No factual errors.

Demonstrates Effective Organization of Content

Loose focus on central idea, contains some repetition and digression.

Paragraph structure weak.

Central idea evident.

Paragraph structure sometimes supports content.

Consistency, logic and transitions show some weaknesses.

Central idea clear.

Paragraph structure uniformly supports content.

Consistency, logic and transitions well managed

Central idea clear.

Paragraph structure consistently and effectively supports content.

Clear logic and effective transitions

Employs Effective Language

Frequent errors in word choice.

Sentence structure and mechanics seriously affect clarity.

Word choice correct but simple/ without variety.

Errors in mechanics and/ or usage do not obscure content of assignment.

Word choice accurate, varied.

Occasional errors in sentence structure, usage and mechanics do not hinder writer’s ability to communicate purpose.

Choice of language consistently precise, purposeful.

Nearly flawless sentence structure, usage, mechanics contribute to writer’s ability to communicate purpose.

Addresses Purpose and Audience 

Wavers in purpose, incompletely addresses assigned topic or directions, shows need for more study of issues.

Style uneven.

Adheres to purpose, fulfills assignment, shows adequate understanding of key issues.

Style generally appropriate to intended audience.

Communicates purpose clearly.

Shows full understanding of issues.

Style consistently effective for intended audience.

Communicates purpose with sophistication.

Beyond understanding of issues, shows insight.

Style engages audience, establishes writer’s credibility.

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